It was a leather, vertical messenger bag that I bought myself for my 35th birthday, which makes it just shy of 14 years old. Kind of a medium brown. Pocket on the front with pen holders, etc. Big open pocket on the back. Shoulder strap and top carry handle. Lined with some kind of funky plastic stuff that would get crackly stiff in really cold weather.
The bag predates the laptop and cell phone. I liked it because I was doing a lot of print publication work then, and it very nicely accommodated proofs that were on 11 x 17 paper. When I got my first laptop five or so years ago, I bought and briefly used a black Targus laptop case, but I missed my leather bag, so I bought a laptop sleeve that fit it and began carrying my leather bag again.
I’ve abused the poor bag horribly. The leather has acquired a lot of, um, character. Last year, the shoulder strap tore off where it was stitched to the bag on the left side, and I took it to the local shoe repair shop. The guy did a beautiful repair job for about $25.
Then the strap gave way on the right side. I’ve been carrying it around by the top carry handle for months, and today I thought I’d empty the bag and take it back in for repair. Then I noticed that the handle was starting to tear away at the rivets.
Sigh. I decided I’d passed the tipping point, where it made more sense to buy a new bag. I always thought that funky lining would split before the leather started developing problems.
So I bought a new bag today. I hope I’m posting to MPSIMS on the verge of my 65th birthday to praise its long and honorable life.