Jul 29, 2012

The Things She Carried

I started a new job Friday. It's a two-month commitment with a start-up travel website (more later I'm sure) and it requires long hours, nerves/balls of steel, and leaving the house. I haven't worked in an office in about seven years so the leaving-the-house part is the biggest change. 

I prepared like someone preparing to enter a bunker for two months:
I bought a new handbag

... in bunker-green and gold. Utilitarian but a little flash. It seemed like the right thing to do.

A pocket umbrella to fit in one of the front pockets of my new bag ... because unexpected rain can mess your hair when you don't have a roof over your head (and an unused pocket is a sin in New York City, where space is at a premium).

Band-Aids. Not the generic store-brand bandages; the three-dollar-extra industrial-strength Band-Aids with Quiltvent technology and superior breathability. I also bought Band-Aid's Advanced Healing Blister Cushions, with cushioning gel pads no less ... because when you commute at rush hour you have to wear shoes that give you blisters.

Pond's Evening Soothe wet cleansing wipes with chamomile and white tea. They "lift away impurities while soothing the senses." It seems they are designed for evening use, but I use them before, during, and after a subway ride, and on the elevator on the way up to the office. If I was Oprah, these wipes would be on my Favorite Things list ... and I'd give a case away to everyone in the audience.

I'd also give away my other Summer-in-the-city essentials (no self-respecting handbag can be toted without them): Boscia B.B. Cream–a super-light foundation/moisturizer that hydrates, protects from Sun (that I will only see through a window), and evens out skin; Bare Minerals All Natural Lip Gloss (so you can take lip-gloss breaks);  and Moroccan Oil Hydrating Cream for frizz-control (travel-size, of course).

Tea bags and a mug. There's a Starbucks on the corner—and almost every corner where I work—but I need me some Golden Moments in a breakable cup (with bamboo cuff) thank you very much. It turns out I also need me an electric kettle for the office. WTF? I can't believe I forgot to ask about a kettle in the interview. Will add it to my cover letters going forward ...

Coconut Water and Seaweed Snacks. Healthy choices won't endear me to M&M-scoffing officemates, but to quote reality-show contestants—"I'm not here to make friends."

Finally, Ginger Chews to put a sweet and spicy spring in my step and my fave worn-in (with teeth marks from my pup) flat sandals for the end of the day when I don't have the time/energy to walk in heels.

Next week's bag will include a sweater to ward off agressive air-conditioning, a kettle, and a good book to take advantage of an hour-long commute each way. And maybe some Valium.

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