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The “Hip” Grad Student Messenger Bag

If you follow the backwater that is my Facebook account, you will have recently received an obnoxious solicitation regarding my lost backpack. Yes, I lost it on Saturday. Yes it was during tailgating. Yes it was lost in the Mods. But I have found that there is a fate that I now must suffer greater than my inadequacies as a man. Similar to the burden of having my right hand ensnared in a cast for a month—a longer story for a longer time—I now must bear my shame in the form of using an old, Salvation Army “find” messenger bag.

Why is this shameful, you may ask? Because now, in addition to not being able to carry my full course load of books, I am associated with the pseudo-demonic headed hipsters that roam from grad seminar to grad seminar wishing to alert you to their intellectual supremacy. Granted, it fits my laptop—which is impressive considering that it was certainly constructed by Rosie the Riveter long before the silicone chip—but considering the only other constituency that uses such bags are parcel couriers, please do not look at me as though I carry for you some ancient wisdom lost in the archives of Burns library—of which I have unbridled access for my thesis. Or worse yet, gawk like I have that high of an opinion of myself.

Perhaps this bag is some attempt to cling onto passing innocence. Like the boy becoming man, relinquishing his conformation threads for proper jacket, some just prefer to settle into the comfort of the v-neck sweater. In this case, the unavoidable, or in some cases, undesired polish of a proper hard-case confronts the loveable L.L. Bean backpack. Enter: the messenger bag.

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