I’ve been looking for a messenger bag. Ever since I got my iPad a few weeks ago (sweet!), I was in need of a new bag to carry the iPad and its wireless keyboard, and the stuff I drag back and forth to the office each day. My old briefcase was too bulky, and it was actually a promotional item I received at a social media conference last year, so there was a big cheesy logo on it.
So during my lunch hour today, I drove over to South Shore Plaza in Braintree. I started at Macy’s (just traditional luggage), then headed to Banana Republic (no good options), and then to The Gap (a contender but not exactly what I was looking for). Then I crossed the threshold of Abercrombie & Fitch.
Listen: I know I’m three times older than the typical A&F customer and I’m nowhere near their target demographic. It was like walking into a hot nightclub, complete with hardcore dance music blaring through the sound system. The young lady (12? 13?) folding jeans near the front door yelled something unintelligible in greeting – I just waved and kept moving, peering through the darkness to see if they had any racks of messenger bags. I got to the back of the store where three young employees – all with impossibly-white teeth – smiled at me (“Poor old man,” their eyes said. “Must have wandered away from his group.”). One of the young men yelled something to me over the music. “Excuse me?” I said, leaning toward him with my good ear. “I said our jeans can make you a superstar!” he yelled, with a big goofy smile. “Yeah, right!” I yelled back, and turned back to the entrance, carefully following the trail of Geritol tablets I had dropped in my path.
I ended up at Filene’s Basement, where I found the exact bag I had envisioned. It’s a dark grey Ben Sherman (ooooh…Ben Sherman!) canvas bag, and all my stuff fits perfectly inside. Maybe I'll put it over my shoulder and venture back into Abercrombie & Fitch and show those young whippersnappers what a cool old man looks like!