Young men who, on a day off, can slow down, who know how to move as if they were old, are way ahead of the game. It takes talent and a certain bag.
Giudi’s Stazione is a most evolved bag. It’s a hybrid: A blend of messenger and briefcase, on a modest scale. It is no burden to carry, it has many pockets but little bulk, it zips up tight. It draws on many types of bag, but I’d call it a man bag.
A man bag is a bag a man is not embarrassed to carry, but it is not a briefcase or tote. It is too small to be a “work bag” – a new category which helps in marketing because it makes men feel they will be identified as a “worker” when in use. This need to be seen as working is one of the myths that keep men from being honest about their needs for a bag and the associated problem with self-expression: what does this bag, your bag, say about you?
As boomers mature, this identity as worker becomes problematic and finally false: I’m not working, I do not work, my career is over! I carry a bag because I like walking about (though on some days I make slow progress) and seeing things and people and I need to have some things with me.
I carry a bag because I don’t like vests with “multiple” pockets (I am not a mountain climber or an adventurer; I don’t turn leisuire into work). My bag may look like a briefcase, an echo from the past; but it is a shoulder bag and only big enough for the novel I’m reading, my journal, my newspaper, my reading glasses, my keys, a pen, a flask for the grappa I will add to my espresso, and there’s room for something small I will pick up later in my wanderings, some nice chocolate. If I remember, I will get the mail – it’s always just bills these days, the children use email — and store it in my Stazione until I get home.
I am Odysseus, back from the wars, happy to have survived; Penelope is at home, or not (she’s a bit like me, likes to get out, we are not the jealous kind); I still wander, but I don’t make people suffer for my libido. I’m at peace with myself and my bag makes no apologies. It happens to be quite handsome, Giudi being a very fine outfit, masters of hides, and women do ask me about it, it has real charm. I like to think it rubs off on me, we’re that close.