I’m always carrying an offensive number of bags. Two strung on each shoulder, one slung across my chest, another cutting off circulation to my fingers—I’m like a walking coat rack but make it diagnosed with peripheral vascular disease. And why? For what! I’d like to blame New York (the need for a surplus of totes was the second thing I learned when I moved here), but I suspect the problem is me. I’m not planning properly, or I’m planning too much, and my boyfriend, whom I ask to mercifully rip out my lower back muscles at least once per day, is paying the emotional toll.

Last spring I started documenting my strap-laden getups on Instagram. “Am I carrying enough bags?” I asked in each caption. In return, people started sending me their own bag photos with the same question, and as has become tradition, our answers to each other are always “no.” It’s never enough…



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