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Beverly Godfrey column: No longer fanny-packing

Beverly Godfrey is a News Tribune columnist and copy editor. You can reach her at

In 2007, I went to Disney World with my family and bought a fanny pack for the trip. People there run around in Goofy ears and princess costumes, so in that context, a fanny pack is not out of place. Plus, it’s small and secure, so I could wear it on the rides — even roller coasters. It was convenient, too, like having a mini file cabinet on my stomach with my money, room key and Band-Aids in it.

My problem is, I haven’t dropped the fanny pack since returning home.

Part of it is that it’s a reminder of a vacation I wish I still was on. A bigger part of it is the convenience; the file-cabinet aspect still works for me.

But seven years later, I think it’s time to wean myself off my fanny pack.

It’s not that I care what other people think I look like wearing it; it’s that I, myself, think I look like a dork with that droopy piece of luggage hanging from my belly.

For all these years, I’ve had to balance how much I like the convenience of the fanny pack with how much I think it looks stupid. It looks a little better if I actually do wear it on my fanny, like I’m about to go on a long hike. But I don’t — I wear it on my stomach, as if hiding the spot I spilled coffee on my lap.

And although I say I don’t care what people think, of course I really do.

I took the kids to the Mall of America a few years ago, and we got autographs from some Minnesota Vikings who were there to meet fans. The players were friendly and nonchalant, but the overall atmosphere was pretty starstruck, with cheerleaders all dressed up and banners hanging and wide-eyed children exclaiming, “Whoa!”

I blame all of that for my feeling of embarrassment when Cullen Loeffler, the Vikings’ long snapper, looked up high enough from his table to see my fanny pack.

“What’s that?” he asked. “A camera?”

I pretended not to hear him. He persisted by staring silently, confused, for several moments.

“Oh, some kind of purse,” he concluded. I remained mute. How could a millionaire professional football player not know what a fanny pack is? Oh, right. The answer is in the question.

Despite this clear sign from the universe, it has taken me all these years to decide it’s time for a change.

The fanny pack cost only $10, so unfortunately, I had that number in my mind as I shopped for a new purse, making everything cost more than I wanted to spend. Nothing I found had enough convenient compartments or secure zippers. Many had too much bling and fringe and buckles. But I did finally buy one, something that — I hope — won’t draw any attention to itself whatsoever.

A few days in with the new purse, it still feels like an experiment. And nerdy as the fanny pack is, I’m keeping it — just in case.

Beverly Godfrey is a News Tribune columnist and copy editor. You can reach her at

Beverly Godfrey
Beverly Godfrey is a News Tribune copy editor and columnist. You can reach her at  
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