Bag Lady’s go-to holiday movie, “While You Were Sleeping.”

Packages are mailed, stockings are hung, gifts are . . . well, let’s be honest, they won’t be wrapped until Dec. 24, late into the night, as I try to decide whether Mr. Bag Lady’s throwing stars should be wrapped in glittery owl paper or traditional snowflakes and as “While You Were Sleeping” plays in the background.


Bag Lady still gets misty every time Jack proposes.

All of which is to say, it felt like a great time for the last column of 2019 to take a moment to be grateful, to stake out plans for 2020 and to semi-publicly declare which to-do’s will be accomplished over a few days off at Christmas, so help me Santa.

Junk that has accumulated on almost every stair: I’m talking to you.

Let’s just start there.

Of course, it’s not straight-up junk. No, wrappers or faded 1987 newspapers could be easily tossed. It’s that magazine that might still be read. That book that has not found its way to a bookshelf in three years and somehow attracted 10 book friends. That purse that felt like a great buy seven months ago — but really, what season does it go with? — and has been used zero times due to said paralysis.

First, you’re gone.

Second, the 3-inch gap under the bathroom vanity that sucks in all that nears its orbit? (Elastics, Dixie cups, entire soccer teams.)

You’re next.

If there’s still life left in my organizational bones, under the kitchen sink, I’m coming for you.

Staying in the bathroom a moment.

One of the unexpected things I’m most grateful for this year is a new bathroom wall clock. I know, sounds foolish, but it’s been seriously life-changing. Bag Lady has run late in the morning for decades. Decades.

Life in the Bag House every weekday:

Mr. Bag Lady: I don’t get it, it takes you 45 minutes to get ready!

BL: It does not! It’s much closer to 20!

Emerges from bathroom 44 minutes later.

MBL: See?

BL: You’re wrong! And please thaw the chicken!

Now, with a clock, my morning routine is humming along at something closer to 38 minutes and I’m well aware of it, in the moment. Like, you know, I would have been if we’d purchased a bathroom clock 30 years ago.

But let’s not think about that, shall we?

Let’s think about the future instead.

Like the new shops to be shopped. New products to be tested. (Last year we did funky ice cream. Two years ago, toilet paper and lint rollers. Dare to dream what’s next . . .)

There will be topical, ripped-from-the-headlines column themes that we can’t even yet fathom, which is honestly part of the joy of doing this year after year. And getting to be silly. And shopping with friends. And shopping for (OK, fine virtual) friends.

Lastly, Jan. 1 will bring us a new season of one of BL and Shopping Siren’s favorite shows, “Married at First Sight,” during which two strangers (this time from Washington, D.C.) meet at the altar and pledge their lives to one another in front of television cameras and family members who weren’t too weirded out to attend!


Bag Lady still gets misty when they stay together more than eight weeks.

Bag Lady’s true identity is protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who are doing lots of winter slumbering) and the customer service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach her at [email protected]

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