It is a thing of great utility, and yet it can also be the black hole of death, where old tuna sandwiches and yogurt cups can go to die.
In elementary school, you sometimes can see the kids pulling a rolling backpack, undoubtedly because their mothers don't want them to carry the weight of a small elephant or killer whale on their backs, lest they grow up slightly bent.
That behavior totally stops dead after leaving the shelter of grade school for the horrors of middle school or junior high.
That rolling backpack becomes ...
*insert music of doom*
Do NOT be caught dead dragging around a backpack on a stick. You will find yourself dumped in a trash can, or pants'd, or some other charming thing that middle-schoolers (and older kids too) like to do to each other.
But if you're REALLY a fashionista, the idea of an actual backpack goes away as well.
It becomes a "tote bag."
So instead of equalizing the weight of textbooks and binders across your slouching, slumping, aching back, you shove it in a purse-like tote that you carry on one shoulder. Now, THAT'S great for your posture.
The Roo-girl has used a series of bags over the years, some bigger, some smaller, some that actually held her school stuff, some that didn't.
This year, her second year of high school, the bag is smaller than usual. And wouldn't you know, her schedule this year is a hotbed of extra books, workbooks and binders.
None of which actually fit in her "book bag."
So she carries them in her arms.
On cheer practice days, she also carts around a second bag with her practice clothes and cheer shoes.
Sometimes it takes her five minutes to collect her junk to be able to get out of my car in the school parking lot in the mornings. (Hey, it's hard to juggle all that stuff AND your Starbucks cup, ya know?)
I laugh at her and offer her a rolling backpack.
She sneers, knowing that social death is a fate worse than bad posture and disorganization.
But here's what cracks me the heck up.
I work at a big company now. The halls are filled with lawyers, scientists, marketers, doctors.
All of them dragging something that looks like this:
Maybe. We ARE talking about some potential nerds here.