Since the move I've been splitting my time between the TallMan's apartment in the City and my parents house in Suburbia. I'd say the split is 60/40, but some weeks its 40/60 depending on schedules. The factors that go into determining where I spend my nights are whether I have a car (ie if Dad is away on business), whether TallMan has to work ridiculously late (sometimes he works until 3am, and I can't go to his apartment and just wait for him, because he has roommates who wouldn't appreciate that), and whether the cats miss me.
This last one is actually something I consider more than you would think. They're cats right? They've got my parents, they don't miss you. You would be wrong. At least for Parsley. (Though as I write that, Sage just got up and moved across the room to lie on my legs, so maybe Sage misses me too.) But Parsley is actually a little worrying. TallMan has always said that Parsley has kitty down syndrome, and he might not be incorrect. Parsley is very tolerant, she'll let you pick her up, but she warms up to people really slowly. She is afraid of both my parents, and as far as I can tell she only eats her food when I'm in the room. Now I know this isn't true because after being gone a few days I found her vomit in places around the house, so clearly she's been eating. But she is a bit thin. Last night I woke up at 2am, excessively warm, why? Because Parsley was sleeping on my arm with her head tucked under my chin. Parsley wants to be as close to my face as possible, always. This has been true since I got her. It is very cute, but also seriously annoying, because sometimes I like to breathe.
Anyway, I try to be home often enough so the cats, mostly Parsley doesn't miss me too too much. But this back and forth means that I've become a bit of a bag lady. There is school stuff (laptop), gym stuff (sneakers, flip flops for the shower, clothes, lock, etc), clothing (I keep some at TallMans, but I don't want to run out so I always bring a couple outfits over), and sometimes food (TallMan's roommate can be weird about letting other people use the kitchen or the refrigerator so sometimes I bring snacks). But this usually means that I'm carrying a purse, a lunch box, a backpack and a.... wait for it.... reusable shopping bag.
Ahhh yes this is where the post title starts to make sense! I have a duffel bag for traveling, and I could use that, but what I'd really like is a gym bag, something I can wash, something that isn't huge, but closes, unlike the reusable shopping bag. If I could get down to two bags, a backpack/purse and a gym bag, I would feel a lot less crazy.
Ideally I would get this bag, it looks like the most sturdy thing known to man, and you can get it in a bunch of colors. I'd get it in gray with navy straps in the 15.5".
Wm. J. Mills & Co. Unfortunately that bag is $130. Which is a little much for a gym bag for a girl who has $0 income.
So I'll probably get this bag, in gray. It is only $44. Which I thought was expensive the other day when I saw it in a store, but I feel better about it after seeing the $130 alternative. I like that they're both washable, and I love that this one has a small zippered pocket on the front of it. Perfect for keys, wallet, cellphone, lock and shampoo.
American Apparel so you can just get it in a store nearby, and its also made in the USA.
I did the green route too, and checked on Etsy (which had some hilarious hipster options in vintage, and terribly ugly options in homemade, but none with the simplicity I desired), and then Ebay and boy was I glad I did. I found some AMAZING options, new and used.
First the new options:
This bag is from It Style Bag, and they have a lot of cute canvas bags selling on Ebay. Sure they're a little manly. But sometimes manly is more practical, more preppy, and more classically designed. Seriously, this bag might be perfect. Also, its only $39, including shipping.
This bag is from the same company, and is slightly more duffel-y looking. Its shorter and longer with a couple outside pockets and is $40, including shipping. I think this one is slightly less handsome, but maybe more practical because of the outside pockets.
The used option is:
A white victorias secret duffel, 17', for $40, including shipping. It is promising. But since it is more expensive than the cuter one above, I'm not sure why I'd get it.
On Ebay you can buy duffel bags from WWII, the Israeli army, the Australian Army, and a number of other places, which is remarkable and not at all what I'm looking for.
There were a LOT of bags on Ebay that were awesome, but were larger or smaller than I wanted. (One had a printed image of a deer on it, it was majestic and suggested that maybe I like to kill deer on weekends, I was sad it was too big.)
So I guess I haven't made up my mind yet, but in your searches for new-to-you items, my suggestion would be to check Ebay, you might find something new and cute, or something reused/recycled and perfect for you.