Swag bag scramble

I am certain the following described events never occur in other households.

I attended a recent “health” fair event at my workplace. The typical vendors were there – eyes, dental, medical, fire safety, credit union, etc. Most the popular vendor booths were giving away the cool little freebies. Water bottles, pens, flashlights, clip magnets, canvas totes, etc. Yeah, the majority of it is cheapy stuff but I believe that for whatever reason, most of us like to collect this free clutter crap.

I get home with my scored items to show off to my family I got simply by walking around and half-assed listening intently to the vendors’ spiels. Small price to pay for this super cool can’t-go-in-the-dishwasher-super-thin water bottle! Ha! Take that, kids! That’s when I realized I forgot an important lesson I had learned when I went to a previous year’s health fair – The kids snatch up and claim ownership of the cool items so fast, you don’t even know what hit you. And you can’t stop them and say “No.” I mean, it’s quite obvious I do not need another key ring flashlight. And yes, this tote bag would be a great Halloween candy receptacle. (sigh) Easy come, easy go.

Give it a few days and Gerald had gone to a charity golf tournament. The last time he went to one of these golf dealies, he came back with what the celebrities call a swag-bag. Yes, I am fully aware Gerald’s golf goodie bag contents do not compare to that of the grab-bags afforded celebrities at their fancy shmancy events, but it’s a swag-bag for us everyday Joes and Janes, it’s a goodie bag for the common folk, people!

As expected, Gerald walks through the door with his own collected freebies and the kids were all over it. Golf balls and golf tees – You can keep those, Gerald. Koozie – I think we need one more koozie to add to the classy collection we already have stowed in our pantry. Stylus pen – Where did that thing go?? Oh, the youngest claimed it. Broken flashlight keychain – Surprisingly, no one wanted this little gem. It actually made it to the trash. The cool backpack bag all Gerald’s stuff came in? Yeah, I claimed that for when we go for our walks; it will be great for holding water bottles and doggy doo bags. Maybe it will actually last longer than the other cheap string backpacks we’ve already gone through. (a big HA goes here)

It's such a valuable collection, there are even some still in their original wrappers!
It’s such a valuable collection, there are even some koozies still in their original wrappers!

There you have it. Before you even know what happens, your children strip you of everything. And I’ve just given the goodie/swag bags as an example. I’m sure in other households, the children don’t swipe nail-clippers, screen cleaner cloths, the last of the chips, the last of the cookies, oh and Gerald just reminded me — money. I never have any idea what sort of bills, if any at all, are lurking in my wallet. I’ll set the record straight here though – the boys don’t swipe money from Mom and Dad unless they ask first. I tell them to look in my wallet and take what they need for some school something or other.

So am I right? Does this sort of phenomenon happen to anyone else? It’s just my family, isn’t it?

–kd

29 thoughts on “Swag bag scramble”

  1. I have never had a swag bag and I wouldn’t care if I got a chocolate covered dog poop, my kids better lay off my freebies!!! I have gone around fairs and collects little free trinkets but mostly they were just buttons for whichever Republican candidate was running for office at the time. I was a beer sweater, damn it!!

      1. For a split second there I thought you wanted a sweater with beer bottles or beer brand names all over it. Gives a whole new twist to ugly sweater party, right? Then I was like oh yeah! Shawna is talking about the sweaters for beer bottles that she sees in the picture of our classy koozie collection. You know, not to brag or anything, but it can also be used as a wine bottle sweater. It stretches! I know! It’s just too good to be true!

  2. I have never had a swag bag and I wouldn’t care if I got a chocolate covered dog poop, my kids better lay off my freebies!!! I have gone around fairs and collects little free trinkets but mostly they were just buttons for whichever Republican candidate was running for office at the time. I want a beer sweater, damn it!!

  3. Since I don’t have kids I don’t have the experience of having my swag taken. I just found that the stuff accumulated in my office until the head of my department started holding an annual “feng shui day” where we focus on cleaning up our offices and most of the crap ended up in the trash. Except the flashlights because you can never have too many flashlights.
    The coolest piece of swag I got though almost made me wish I had kids. It was a publishing fair and one booth had a big Lemony Snicket exhibit. I still have the stickers that say things like “Evidence: Useless” and “Do not open under any circumstances” and “Outrageous lies”. The best thing was the t-shirt. Solid black. On the front it says “Watch out for…” and the ISBN for a book in the Series of Unfortunate Events. On the back it says “Snicket’s back.”
    It’s a great conversation starter.

    1. Oh you don’t have to have kids to have your swag swiped. Your wife has never snagged anything? Wait… you’re the smart one, aren’t you? You don’t bring any of it home, do you?

  4. Kids will pretty much steal or borrow (and never replace) our stuff. Money? Well, they can’t get their hands on that. Recently, my son asked me what I do with all those little receipts that I put in my wallet after taking him out to eat. Really? Like, I should tell the waitress when she asks “do you want the receipt?’, ‘hell, no what for? I don’t need to know where I spent another 50 bucks…” As if I could remember without this tiny slip of paper. Obviously, I’m old and ridiculous to keep my receipts. Sorry, went on a tangent there. I love the swag bag your hubby got. Amazing koozies. Koozies are important for summer. Don’t let your kids steal those :)

    1. Luckily (?) the kids don’t swipe our koozies. I’m bad about keeping every receipt ever received, but I never do anything with them (like smartly check against a credit card statement or something) so then it just ends up being more clutter in the house. I’ve had “shredding” on my mental to-do list for months. I just never get around to it (or I just don’t feel like doing it, take your pick). :-)

  5. This brings me back to when my kids were young. Certain items we never could keep in the house — scotch tape and flashlights come to mind. We could buy piles of them from Home Depot and the next week they’d vanish. We still have no idea what happened to them.

    1. Thankfully my boys appear to no longer be interested in the scotch tape. I think their disinterest came shortly after I bought so many spare tape rolls, they were all over the house. So I guess the thrill was gone. I forgot about flashlights. Now with those, it doesn’t seem to matter how much I try to stock up, sure as shootin when the power goes out, no flashlight can be found. I tried to get Gerald to brainstorm with me last night while I was writing this b/c I was just certain there were so many other disappearing items I wasn’t thinking of. It was a futile effort though, we were both beat (like most days and evenings).

  6. Fun swag! I am kind of anti loot bag in our house. If it is dollar store crap pitch it before I see it because it is gone. I seem to get girly stuff and cleaning supplies in any bag I get. My daughter has never try to raid them. Should I have her tested?

    1. Well I SHOULD be anti swag bag in our house too, what with all my decluttering efforts and all. Sure let’s bring some more crap in the house!

  7. Swag bag? I should be so lucky. I’m clearly not going to the right events! But this is England where the word frugal was either invented or stolen. And I’m way too uncool for my kids to want ANYTHING I have. And they would need to visit.

    1. Like others’ comments have confirmed, it’s mostly dollar store junk. I guess it’s just fun to feel like you scored something free, no matter the worth/quality.

  8. Kids don’t just take swag bag items, they take everything you have from the moment they’re conceived. They start by taking over your body (if you’re female) and then move on to your sleep, most of your brain cells and memory, and any moment of downtime you used to have. My kids are in high school now and I still have to hide anything I really want to keep. I don’t sound bitter and resentful, do I? ๐Ÿ˜‰ The truth is that I’m a big softie and let them have most of the things I have or receive that they want. But, yes, it’s definitely impossible to keep tape, pens, flashlights, etc. around the house. My husband and I have always kept our own stash of those types of things out of reach, because it really does bite to reach for one of those things and not have it be there pretty much every single time. Our good flashlights are in our dresser, nestled in with our clothes.

    You must learn to hide your valuables, Karen, and to pick through a swag bag for what you want *before* you walk through your front door. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Yep, they suck the life right out of you. And I’m still usually a sucker for their list of wants.

      I’ll be sure to keep the next goodie bag scores at work, yes! :-)

  9. I just have to comment on the beer koozies with boobies. Why? Just why? I can only assume that the back side of the koozie includes a tiny tramp stamp. OK, that’s all I had to add to this conversation. Carry on…

    1. Wow, good guess. I do believe the Twin Peaks (Gerald insists the food is excellent uh huh…) koozies have the tramp stamp on the back. He wouldn’t let me get rid of any of those. I have a feeling there’s going to be a most unfortunate accident soon. Whoops, I have no idea how the boobie koozies ended up in the trash smothered in ickiness!

  10. Our older son will make off with anything that isn’t nailed down. We have secret hiding places for things we want to keep, so now he’s taken to looking for secret stashes. Like treasure.

    I go to so many conferences and runs and other events, I’ve become rather discerning about the freebees I take. I have a drawer full of koozies we never use, but water bottles are a big deal. Key chains? Maybe. Pins? never. Lanyards? I don’t know why, but lanyards are a hot item around here. Stickers too. Bandanas go directly on the dog and get immediately torn to shreds.

    It’s a system. Not a great system, but a system.

    1. Getting the freebies isn’t a regular thing around here so we don’t have a good system set up for such. Gerald is playing in another charity golf tournament on Monday. I’m betting he will come back with a bagfull of goodies. Maybe we should figure that out NOW. :-)

      1. Paw through it and set aside what you want in the driveway before getting out of the car. Put your goodies in a separate, nondescript tote, but make sure to act like you’ve brought in the entire haul. I have faith in you, Karen! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. I really like it when the boys get new batteries out and then leave the old batteries right there so then you have no idea what’s new, what’s old. It’s great.

    1. They haven’t discovered your hiding place(s)? I think I’m being all sneaky and next thing I know, they’re in that cupboard / drawer.

  11. I’m not sure I’ve ever had the swag bag experience, although kind of edible treat that makes it with me through the front door has usually disappeared before I’ve even sat down.

    1. Just last night our youngest snagged the gum from Gerald’s latest take home golf tournament goodies stash. Wasn’t much stuff this time. Freebies more for the old man golfer — ibuprofen, bug repellant, dental friendly gum.

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