September 29, 2007
I carry with me, at all times, a ginormous purse. I could say it’s a fashion statement, big purses being quite popular right now, but that would be a lie. This monstrosity is filled to capacity with “necessities”. Upon inspection you will find the usual, cell phone, makeup, keys, papers ranging from important to trash and no less than three pairs of glasses (a whole other story). Peering deeper into the bowels of my beloved bag, you will also find gum wrappers, empty pens, lint, cracker crumbs, wadded up tissues, expired coupons, expired coffee shop cards and occasionally half a sandwich. You will also find (or not be able to find) my trusty little Canon Elph, because you never know when a photo op may present itself. The list goes on. In short, my purse is a black hole from which the gravitational pull renders all light and matter unable to escape.
Now the real absurdity reveals itself whenever I need to access any of the things I’ve been schlepping around all day. I can seldom, if ever, simply reach in and pull out a particular item. No, I rummage around for about fifteen minutes or more, sighing impatiently. After which I have to dump the entire contents of the purse out, pile it up beside me, and pick through it like an archaeologist on a dig.
This, of course, is not only annoying to myself, but anyone I happen to be with at the time. Especially when car keys or house keys are the desired target. Not finding keys in a timely fashion often determines whether or not you and the person you are carpooling with (my husband Tom) get to work on time. It can also determine whether you can easily enter your house or have to bash in a window. The ill will created by window bashing is often worsened greatly when said keys are later found right where they belong, in your purse.
I’ve tried carrying smaller bags in an effort to pair down. But this only results in, you guessed it, a small overstuffed purse. A much worse situation, I assure you.
With the exception of the backpack carrying student or the short lived fanny pack craze in the 8o’s, men in this culture tend to carry everything they need in their pockets. Perhaps there is, dare I say it, some wisdom in that? Is it gross materialism on my part or could it be obsession with girl scout-like preparedness that keeps this albatross around my shoulder? Should I become a minimalist? Lead a more ascetic lifestyle? Carry a wallet in my back pocket, maybe a comb? Could I survive such a drastic mind shift?
You know, better yet, think I’ll go shopping tomorrow for a bigger purse with more pockets!