WAG: The School Tie

The writing prompt for this weeks WAG was:

“WAG #19: Pick a Pocket” Let’s do some stalking people-watching for this one! Pick someone out of a crowd and describe what (you imagine) is in their pockets (Unless you want to be brave and ask them!) Give us both meaning and physical details, and don’t forget to let yourself be surprised. (This week’s topic inspired by my son Bear.)(read more about it here… it’s not to late to write your own!)

I’ve been staring at strangers all weekend, wondering what treasures they had in their pockets. Honestly though, adults are insufferably boring. Mostly its keys and mobile phones, loose change and a petrol receipt. How do we get there from being wild creatures with pockets full of string, magic rocks, and boiled sweets? And why?

As part of a running joke with Bear, I asked him this morning what he had in his pocket. “My tie”, he said. Quite a nice tie too, in his school colours, rolled like a cinnobun and tucked in a back pocket. He’ll probably even put it on today. Eventually. When a teacher asks him to. I’d tell him to, myself, but I avoid futility. He’d sigh and put it on, no doubt, then take it off as soon as he was out of sight of the front steps. Besides, I admire his resistance to adulthood and secretly support it.

My grandfather took to carrying boiled sweets in his pocket. I don’t remember very much about him; just that.

Why is it only at the beginning and end of our lives do we realise what’s really important enough to carry with us?



  1. Nice! :) I like the part about secretly supporting his resistance.

  2. I don’t like to carry a purse so I often stuff the necessary into my coat pockets. Good excersise! And it’s true, adults are boring. Which is why it’s so much more fun to use your imagination:)

  3. I really liked the family links and I know what you mean about resisting adulthood, I have to admit I often end up carrying the children’s treasures, lots and lots of daisies!

  4. I carry nothing in my pockets, unless I’m home and I’ve taken off a ring or watch to wash dishes or something. Now, purses, that’s another story.

    We are boring as adults, aren’t we? That’s a rather sad admission.

    Straight From Hel

  5. You have an excellent site here. I carry a toothpick or two which don’t take up a lot of room, but they are handy to have after a snack. My wife is annoyed a bit finding them in the washing machine.

  6. I rarely have pockets. Maybe if I were bone-thin. Right now, I have a stick-on name tag worn at a meeting, folded four times to cover all the stick-um.

    [ Follow me on Twitter:

  7. I love this question – Why is it only at the beginning and end of our lives do we realise what’s really important enough to carry with us?

    Never in my life would I have thought to analyze that one!

  8. I always check my kids’ pockets before tossing their clothes in the wash. I’m amazed at what they collect in a day. Pebbles, pieces of string, coins, flowers (wilted, by the time I find them!), small plastic toys, bottle caps, the list goes on and on.

    My daughter invented a game we often play at the dinner table. It’s called I Have Something in my Pocket. Whoever is “it” thinks of an object small enough to carry in a pocket, and s/he gives the rest of us three clues (it’s made of metal; its useful but it’s not a tool; it can come in different colors, etc.). Based on the clues, we have to guess the object. Fun!

  9. My bestest friend on this entire planet used to carry his cat, Judas when Judas was a wee little kitten.

    Judas was the runt of a litter and my friend couldn’t bear to leave him when he went out that he just popped him in his pocket and off he went to have great time.

    Sadly, Judas grew to be big manly cat!! But the memories and the pics are there!

    take care

  10. I love your last sentence. With my kids, I wash a lot of chewed gum that’s been reinserted in its wrapper along with the occasional Lego.

  11. Hi India! I love the last sentence in your post. So moving :) I sometimes forget to empty my kids pockets before I wash them and usually end up with a dryer full of shredded tissues, pencil stubs, little plastic guys (who somehow survived the fiery inferno of the dryer) and once gum, which was a HUGE mess.

    I’ll be your fan :) My husband used to read Small Engine Repair for fun.

    And, can you tell me how to follow you here? I can’t figure it out. This comment is a bunch of nonsense, sorry about that!

  12. Your son sounds like quite a character – must take after his mum! :) Nice observations on life. Good piece.

    Strangely enough, the only thing I store in my jeans pockets are receipts and monetary change, and occasionally a twist-tie from some kitchen item ends up in the front pocket.

    Now, if we were talkin’ about my jacket pockets, that would include keys, my wallet, my cellphone, and on rare occasions, a tissue (often used – ick).

  13. Peter Spalton

    Mmmmm, yes we adults are boring. We seem to forget about having fun when we become a parent.

  14. I was always amazed at what my students had in their pockets. Those big, baggy pants they wear… One day a kid pulled out a whole box of cookies. At least it wasn’t a weapon but how did he ever fit that in there?

    Um, what exactly is a boiled sweet? Maybe I need to use “the Google.”

  15. You’ve just brought back some unpleasant memories of my teaching days where I had to tell the kids over and over again to put their ties on…

    I love how you’ve applied this topic to life in general.

  16. This piece made me smile-it feels very honest and I am also a fan of the resistance to adulthood.


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