Spider-Man Wears A Fanny Pack, Why Can't I?


My fanny pack broke today.

I don't know why it's called a fanny pack. Nobody ever wears it over their fanny. Crotch pack is more like it, but something tells me that wouldn't have been a hit. Wait -- after that Miley Cyrus performance, maybe it would.

I thought I was the last person on earth to have one, but a couple of months ago I saw Spider-Man in Times Square with a red-and-black one strapped to his waist.

Mine was the mother of all fanny packs. It had double zippers and could expand to three times its depth. It was so dependable, packable, organized, and versatile that I called it Old Faithful. When my kids were little, I wore the pack everywhere. They knew that within its folds, they could find juice boxes and Goldfish crackers and the occasional Gummy Bear. It made me a veritable Mary Poppins.

If someone needed a Band-Aid, Old Faithful was ready.

If someone needed a penny, Old Faithful had one tucked away.

I wore Old Faithful when I started to walk for exercise -- before there were cell phones smaller than Agent 86, Maxwell Smart's shoe phone. There was a place for a water bottle, my keys, and my CD player with the large headphones. And for my chocolate, which routinely melted all over the lining, until I finally learned to eat it at the start of my trip, rather than at the end...for energy, of course.

I loved the way the pack's belt clicked when I strapped it around my waist. It meant I was going somewhere. On the move.

The dog knew the sound too -- it meant he was coming along. And that there was probably a treat inside with his name on it.

When my kids got older, they preferred I not wear the ancient artifact. They were secretly hoping I'd donate it to the Smithsonian. I'd offered it to my sons many times. "It's Gore-Tex, I'd say. "It can take anything."

Today, the dog is 13 and prefers sleeping in rather than walking. Ditto for my husband. My kids are both in college. But me... well, I'm still on the move. This morning I rose early, snapped on the pack, put my iPhone inside, along with my keys and old-school headset, and headed out. Two steps later, my keys dropped onto my right shoe. After years of wear and tear, the interior had finally given out -- there was a large hole. The exterior Gore-Tex I'm happy to report, was as sturdy as ever.

So I made do -- I went back inside, grabbed a jacket with pockets, tied it around my waist, and stuffed all my things into it.

It was 90 degrees out, but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

And it worked, sort of.

Later in the day I went in search of something new. Something that was as dependable, packable, organized, and versatile as Old Faithful, but not a fanny pack. I saw back packs, arm thingies, shoe thingies, and pants with thousands of pockets.

But nothing looked as if it would stand the test of time -- 18 years -- like Old Faithful.

Then I saw the new fanny packs. God, they're smart -- even smarter, and more logical, more practical, than ever before. There are pockets made for your phones, for your headphones, and straps that provide lumbar support. Some of them are called waist packs. Some are called lumbar packs. Rename them what you will, they're still fanny packs to anyone over 50.

No, they're still not pretty, though they come in every color (and some have rhinestones), nor are they fashionable enough to be featured in Vogue, and yes, I suppose they're nerdy, but I bought one because once you've gone fanny pack, you never go back.

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Earlier on Huff/Post50:

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