The Problems that Plague Us

My friends, I am tormented by a problem that plagues my days and haunts my nights! My mincing steps resound through hallowed halls in terror. I turn to Amazon for aid, but it turns its face against me – leaving me cold and solutionless in the dark night of the soul.

Stop reading now, if you be easily frightened, or squeamish.

It’s annoying to carry my phone around at work when I wear a dress/skirt


OK, so this is actually the world’s most plebian problem. But I’ve been surprised that no enterprising entrepreneur has arisen in the vast realms of Amazon (or even Etsy!) to help me solve it. Let me explain to you, and then you can go start a vastly successful business to solve my problem, or point me in the direction of a person who has already done so.

Scene 1: Brenda’s office
(Yes, I have an actual office with an actual door now. Rumor has it we’re moving soon, so I’m not getting too attached.)
Office mate: Whither goest thou, Brenda? Dost the zephyrous breeze beckon thee to a meeting wherein thou may be’est a shadow on the wall, gleaning learnings from the sages of our new industry?
Brenda: Verily, I go first to that blessed information experience. From thence I shall proceed to the land of milk and honey, which is our cafeteria. Let me only gather those things to me which are needed! Fist, I shall take my badge, both sides of which must show at all times, which is clipped hereon to my skirt/dress. For lo, I must use my badge no fewer than four times to get from this, our workful repose, to thence where succor can be found. In all those places, this copy of my visage must be clearly visible to those around me. Then also I shall take this, my cell phone. Forsooth, I must carry it lest my steps not be tracked and I fail to meet my goal. Also, I would be foresworn if I left it in my office and it kept sounding and annoyed you and the school principal might fail to reach me to inform me of minor behavioral issues regarding my sons which in my own day wouldn’t even have made it to the principal’s office.
Office mate: Indeed, I am glad that you bring your phone of slightly annoying ringtones with you. But hark! How can you carry it! For your dress has no pockets! And it is well known that the cafeteria requires both hands for the full loading of your plate!
Brenda: Alas, alack and welladay! You speak truth! Thus are the skirts of women most annoying, in their pocketlessness. Whatever shall I do?! Woe to me, the pocketless. Watch the burden I must carry in my hands wherever I may go!

(/end scene)

The solution, of course, would be to have a little pouch that is clear so you can see my ID (and I can use it on the door) but has a little extra space for my phone. I carry the Galaxy S4 mini*, so it’s both light and small. The clip which performs so admirably for my badge would carry the extra load no problem.

I swear I’ve read every possible listing in Amazon with every key word combination. I went to Staples. I went to the Paper Store with that line of incredibly garish cloth bags of all sizes. I combed Etsy. I’ve considered alternatives. For example, a phone case that has a clear sleeve for putting my ID in (all the sleeves are opaque and colored). A case that connects to a lanyard at the top would be pretty great (maybe that you could snap in and out. I’ve ordered a bunch of stuff that isn’t quite right. My current plan is to buy a new back to the phone, attach velcro to it and the back of a badge lanyard and see if that will do the trick. (Prediction: disaster.) You can get a waterproof bag that has all the features… and comes in bright orange and screams “I’m going white water river rafting but can’t live without my cell phone.”

I have to think this is not an uncommon problem. Many women wear skirts**. Many women own phones. Surely I’m not the only one in the world who would like to be able to carry things with TWO HANDS while wearing a skirt?

So advise me, sages of the internet. How may my days of torment be ceased? Am I doomed to don trousers until the end of my days, solely for the pocketage? Is there a product out there that is ideal for my needs? How do you solve this problem, if you’ve encountered it? (Do you carry a purse with you ALL THE TIME?)

*I am able to get a new phone but just discovered to my horror that Verizon doesn’t carry the Galaxy S5 mini, which was absolutely my plan. Now I have no idea whether they’ll eventually come out with it, or if I need to get a phablet-size phone which just compounds my problem because when womens’ clothes have pockets, they’re often small.
**I would say men too, but kilts have sporans and utilikilts have pockets. Because men are smart that way.

Breaking Nemo News: from the front lines of Stoneham MA

This fall, your brave correspondent risked life, limb and coffee to bring you hourly, real-time updates about the ravages of Hurricane Sandy in Massachusetts (as seen through my windows). Trash cans fell over. Branches swayed. It was epic.

Now that we’re ACTUALLY going to be in the middle of a storm that might even AFFECT us, I thought there was nothing for me to do but put on my galoshes (or fuzzy slippers – whichever is more convenient) and continue that fine reporting tradition. Come back all day to find out what’s happening in Stoneham during this Epic Winter Event! You can also follow this on my twitter feed, Facebook page and G+ pages… until such a time as I get too lazy to update in four locations.

#Nemo 10 am: Actual snowflakes have been spotted in Stoneham, MA. I would get a head start on shoveling, but it’s not sticking yet.

#Nemo 11 am: Trying to figure out if we should expect two feet of snow or three. Turns out the scale maxes out at 24″ – which is shown as white. SOMEONE is getting clever!

Nemo snowfall predictions
Nemo snowfall predictions

#Nemo 12 noon: The snow is starting to thicken. Unsalted surfaces have started to look whitish. School was announced closed on Wednesday – starting to think they could have made it until the 2:20 closing time. Daycare closes in half an hour: prepare for influx of children!

#Nemo 1320: Roads closed. Children home. Mass transit shut down. Snow accumulation at nearly an inch. Proactively eating chocolate to prepare for possible future starvation.

#Nemo 1400: Snow day pirate map comics while we wait for enough snow to play in.

A productive snow day!
A productive snow day!

#Nemo 1420: BREAKING NEWS! My husband just brought me warm-from-the-oven cookies! And you were wondering why people always stock up on milk before snowstorms.

#Nemo 1500: Three hour long conference call complete. Snow now covering most surfaces outside and falling at a moderate rate. Pirate-comic completed and AWESOME.

Buried maternal treasure
Buried maternal treasure

#Nemo 1600: As the blizzard begins to bliz with increasing seriousness, I am preparing the emergency survival plan for my family. As night falls in New England, I have laid careful plans for gumbo and The Princess Bride. I may be so consumed by these dire tasks that I am unable to make updates for an hour or two, so do not send the Sherpas out for me until at least 2000.

#Nemo 1820: actual blizzard has arrived. There is probably six inches of snow, hard winds, and more falling. The only moving vehicles I’ve seen in three hours are plows. So far, so awesome!

#Nemo 2130: there are currently five dads and a dog sledding down our street. Wouldn’t the kids be jealous if they were still awake!!

There was no chance of this picture coming out as seen by the human eye
There was no chance of this picture coming out as seen by the human eye

#Nemo midnight: I have a table full of men eating pancakes and discussing Superman movies – after 2 hours of sledding. The snow is taller than the top step and falling fast. The windows are opaque with blown snow and ice. The wind is howling. The children are sleeping. Life is very, very good.

Men. With pancakes.
Men. With pancakes.

No, I have not given birth yet

I promise you are not as disappointed by this as I am. (I’d forgotten that about this stage of pregnancy not only do people get *really excited* when you call them, but if you — heaven forfend — do NOT contact them they get all excited.) But no. Still pregnant.

I do, however, have significantly less hair than I did this morning. I just washed it, and I’ll let you know tomorrow if I like it. But it needed to be done — I couldn’t do anything with it but put it back and it failed to please me. To the headsman! Or the stylist! Pictures will be forthcoming.

One of my cats has gingivitis. Let me tell you how excited I am about paying for full anesthesia for appropriate dental care. I increasingly suspect these two felines are the last freeloaders I’m going to have for quite some time.

These and other FASCINATING events are the substance of my life. Now, if you will excuse me, I have some terribly exciting things to do. Like pay bills.