Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Weirdo non-sequitur post about my Old Navy canvas wallet

When I was 16ish, I had a cheap-ass leather wallet. It belonged to my grandfather when he died, but I don't think it had ever been used. I'm not sure how old it was, but in the clear driver's license pocket there was card with terribly-illustrated drawings of Alan Ladd and Virginia Mayo. There is no way I'd have recognized Ladd and Mayo's on sight, but they were helpfully labeled "Alan Ladd" and "Virginia Mayo," respectively. Handy! I thought this was so bizarrely awesome that I left the card in place.

It wasn't a very well-made wallet, and it starting falling apart rather quickly. Luckily, around my 18th birthday (which HOLY CRAP WAS 12 YEARS AGO!!!), I received an Old Navy gift card.

Old Navy Canvas WalletI walked on in and, not finding any clothes I was particularly enamored with, I ended up picking up a new wallet instead. It was a green canvas wallet; a bi-fold with a Velcro clasp and a zippered coin purse built in to the front. I transferred over the contents of my old wallet, including the ugly illustration of Alan Ladd and Virginia Mayo, and off I went!

It's now 12 years later, and this durable beast of a money holder is still the only wallet I've owned as an adult. It's seen some action: I've lost it for extended periods at least twice. It's been dropped into the ocean in a foreign country. It's packed around a LOT of crap, including ticket stubs for every movie I watched from 1998 to 2005 (it seemed like a good idea at the time, okay?). It has held up amazingly well. The zipper on the coin purse is shot, and there's a bit of fraying here and there, and Alan & Virginia departed in the last two years, but otherwise it's in great condition.

A few years ago, I looked at replacing it. I'd had the thing for a decade and although it didn't need replacing, I wanted to get something new. I looked. Hard. And nothing I found had everything I wanted: bi-fold, canvas (or at least not leather, as I was vegetarian at the time), reasonably attractive. I did find a hemp wallet that was just what I was looking for... except for the giant marijuana leaf embroidered on the front. Nothing met my criteria, so I decided to just hold on to what I knew I liked until it totally gave out...

I don't know what I'll do when that happens!

Side note 1: This is not a plug for Old Navy. due to the labor practices of their various factories, I don't shop at Gap, Inc. Gap is actually one of the better companies when it comes to big-time overseas garment production, but they are no means good guys. Even if 90% of a company's labor comes from "clean" sources, that still means 10% comes from deplorable or slave-like conditions. For khakis.

Side note 2: Hey hemp people: you know, some of us actually might prefer to buy ethically-made, fair-trade, sweatshop free, and/or animal-free products without giant ganja leaves on them, or giant proclamations that "Hey! This is made out of hemp! That makes me better than you, you jackass!" on your products (okay, I may be exaggerating... slightly). And don't get me started on the whole "organic" thing. That's a different post for a different day.