If you open my trusty Timbuk2 backpack (Timbuk2, I love you, sponsor me!) at any given moment, you are always bound to find a few things.

  1. My wallet. Duh.

  2. My inhaler. I’m wheezy, what can I say?

  3. Hand lotion. Maybe more than one travel-sized tube, in fact. 

  4. Benadryl (for my other ailments. Read: peanut allergy!).

  5. A lint roller.

Now, as if my Silicon Valley-looking bag of choice didn’t already say “nerd”, this list should further suffice as undeniable proof. However… there’s one item on here that I’d bet roughly 95% of the population—even those who enjoy toting multiple tubes of conveniently-sized hand lotion!—would squint at. Of course, I’m talking about the wallet.

Just kidding. It’s the lint roller, people!

After all: who carries a lint roller around with them? In a city where you often leave the house at 7 am and don’t make it home until a good 14 hours later, where do I get off carrying an 8-inch wand of sticky parchment wrapped up toilet paper style?

Easy. I don’t want to smell like my dog all day, nor do I want to carry him around with me quite literally everywhere I go.

And yeah, I said smell. Maybe this is a big dog thing, but my 85-pound husky shepherd’s hair doesn’t just have a bit of an odor when on his body. No, no. I truly can smell him whenever there are one too many hairs of his (and they do often come off in clumps, mind you) on my person. It’s not that it’s a truly negative smell, either. It’s just… I don’t know, I spent good money on that Le Labo, people, and I want to smell at least a little bit like it throughout my day, ok?

Moyo’s hairs burrow their way into quite literally every single piece of my clothing, find their way into my food (gross, I’m sorry), and, well, really just come along with me everywhere I go… and aside from wanting to smell more like my perfume than my dog, I don’t always want everyone with whom I come into contact to know I share my bed with a dude named Moyo, plain and simple.

This ‘Carrying Around of the Lint Roller’ began when I lived in LA and dated someone with a cat. I’m severely allergic and would always ask, non-rhetorically, “just a quick roll, ya?” before letting her into my car. Insane? Whatever. If dogs’ hair smells, cats’ hair stinks. Plus, the cat was long-haired and whatever entered my vehicle wove its way into the cloth seats of my car like some hell-sent cat embroidery. But I digress. Alas, this is where my lint rolling reality truly began.

When I moved back to New York last year, my closet went from decidedly white and bright (LA, baby!) to black and… more black. And although my dog’s hair is a third black, a third brown, and a third tan, the tan seems to prevail. And it’s. On. Everything.

I’ve taken to lint rolling myself when I first get dressed, right before leaving the house (obviously), sometimes once I’ve dropped Moyo off at daycare. Then maybe again once I’ve gotten to work, especially if I’m monochrome black or navy. Forgettttt it. And sometimes, dare I say, on the L train. In front of everyone.

But honestly, I’m kind of keen on this weird habit. Do you know how many times someone else wearing all black (read: every New Yorker ever) has looked at me sheepishly, their hands in their pockets, animal hair clinging to the lapels of their wool blazer, and grinned sheepishly? Okay, it’s only happened twice, but both times I’ve reached out with my olive branch, I mean lint roller, and both times it was accepted! Twice a hero sort of!

Call me crazy, but maybe my public-displays-of-lint-rolling is going to get me places? Or, if nothing else, if you see me on the subway and are in need of some freshening up… just know that I’m your girl.