Monday, August 5, 2013

The dance bag

The first 2.5 years I did Zumba, I'd just cram all my stuff into my purse. What do I mean when I say "all my stuff"? My shoes, my drink bottle, and a container of Tums (those are for night classes). Those things, on top of what I usually carry around in my bag... Well, I like large purses so it wasn't too bad, but I had been thinking for a while about maybe getting a bag to carry my shoes and drink (and Tums) in, along with just my wallet and phone. That way I could leave all the non-essentials at home without having to disrupt the organizational system inside my purse. All you ladies out there, I know you know what I'm talking about.

About a year ago, some friends of mine went in together to buy me a gift from Thirty One for my birthday. If you've never heard of them, they do bags and containers of all kinds and included in the purchase is embroidery of your choosing. I was handed a catalog along with the birthday card and to me, this was a great gift because I am a bag hound. I have an entire drawer (it's a deep one too) in my closet filled with bags and purses of various styles, for various occasions. The crazy thing is that when we moved into our current house, I got rid of almost half of what I had. In short, I love bags. I thanked my friends and as I sat paging through the catalog, I said to them, "I think I want to get something to carry my Zumba shoes in." So then my friends, as a collective, had a little chuckle and my friend Kay told me that's what they'd all guessed I'd do when they came up with the idea. Am I really -that- predictable? When it come to things Zumba-related, maybe so...

At the time, my friend Rae-Mae was a Thirty One consultant. Thirty One is direct sales, meaning that a consultant will come to your house with merchandise if you offer to host a party and invite your friends. In a bit of a reversal, I went to her house catalog in hand. I had earmarked the page with the bag I wanted and I knew what I wanted the embroidery to say but combining bag colors with thread colors is more challenging than you'd think; or at least I thought so. As many of you know, I do have just the slightest tendency to over-think things... Rae-Mae had lots of samples though and I poured over them until I settled on a black bag with silver thread.

Okay, a couple things here... One, I know I put way more thought into this process than was probably necessary, but hey, I love bags and I wanted it to look good! Plus, it's not like my friends were going to spring for a second birthday gift just because I ordered something and then decided I didn't like it once it was ready. Two, black and silver? Yeah, black and silver... This was last year's birthday remember, so I hadn't come to my color epiphany yet. If I were ordering today, I'd probably choose differently, but my bag and I have been together almost a year now, and to me it's like my favorite pair of Zumba pants - irreplaceable. Actually, it's exactly like my favorite pair - black and silver. Huh, fancy that...

Kay, Rae-Mae, Pat, and Tat: here's another big thank you for the gift. I love this bag. A few months ago, the seal on my old Zumba bottle cracked (last time I buy that brand). Unfortunately it was in my bag at the time, along with my shoes, wallet, and phone (no Tums, this was Saturday morning). It wouldn't have been so bad if I hadn't had flavored electrolyte powder mixed in. My phone was lucky even if everything else wasn't and I suppose if I had to pick one thing in that bag to not get wet it would be that. My shoes though fared considerably worse and were pretty wet. Did I dance anyway? What do you think?

How many votes for "Of course she didn't, because her shoes were wet and uncomfortable and smelled like lemons."?
And for "Of course she did, because she's a freak about her Zumba."?

Deja vu anyone? If your vote was for the second one congratulations! As long as the bottoms could grip the floor properly, and they were safe, no way was I skipping class. It's not like the shoes weren't going to get sweaty anyway. My bag and all the rest of it was dry by the time class was done, but things needed to be cleaned once I got home. That bag went through the washing machine and the dryer beautifully. If I ever need a replacement I will definitely buy it from Thirty One because they make a quality product. Oh, and I hand washed my shoes with Ivory in the bathroom sink and let them air dry. Hey, if you take good care of your shoes, they'll take good care of you.

I suppose you all want to know what I had embroidered on the bag...
The first word is blatantly obvious. The second word is in Spanish, it means move. I thought it was appropriate to use a Spanish word since so much of the music in Zumba is sung in Spanish. I got the word from the song Dance Bailalo by Kat Deluna. It was one of the songs we did my very first class and this, specifically, is the song that taught me how to clap my hands to a beat. That song is special and I'm very sentimental about it.

Best advice: If you take a night class right after dinner, you might want to pack some Tums in your dance bag.

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