My friend, Mel, wrote something a while back about when her kids called her out on her very unkempt “pursekeeping.” Her humbling experience is what prompted me to write today’s post.
For the record, I am not at all a purse person. I carry one only because I need the stuff inside and want to have my hands free in the event of a spill or other act of spazzery. (It happens.) I do not have an assortment of bags of differing colors, fabrics, seasons and strap lengths in my closet to coordinate with every outfit. I truly loathe the chore of changing purses.
My system is simple. I have a larger, casual purse that is used approximately 360 days of the year and a smaller, dressy one that serves the remaining 5. (Leap years have been known to throw off this system.) Both models are solid black and together they cover all occasions for me. In some ways, I am very girly but, in others, I come pretty close to crossing that all-too-important line of demarcation. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t plan on standing up when I pee anytime soon. I love highlighting my hair, painting my nails and wearing strappy sandals far too much for that. But I can also be pretty no-nonsense about a lot of things, especially when it comes to purses.
Someone once said my purse resembled a European man bag. I just smiled and said thank you.
Anyway, back to Mel. When her kids called her out on her slovenly pursekeeping, the first thing she did was to dump it all out, take a full inventory of everything inside and then post it on the internet for all to see. Sure, it’s weird. And that’s why I loved it … and am now following her lead. Of course, I did it thinking … “Mel’s kids are way younger than mine. Juice boxes, character bandaids … I’m way past that stage. My purse shouldn’t be that bad.”
Somebody cover me. I’m going in …
After I regained my footing from the painful fall off my high horse, I created my own list. Honestly, at any given time, you could probably put together a collage of where I’ve spent my last year (ahem … or two) based on the receipts, ticket stubs, business cards and other crazy remnants of my bag.
Here’s what I found:
- 1 wallet (I hate the oversized behemoth I bought when the awesome one my boy gave me finally succumbed.)
- 1 travel-sized Advil bottle (Should I worry that the pills inside don’t all look the same?)
- 1 miniature plastic pink hairbrush (I’m pretty sure I “appropriated” it from my daughter.)
- 1 small packet of Listerine breath strips (In a pinch, they can actually be used as bribes for my kids. Sad, huh?)
- 1 completely empty bottle of breath spray (‘Cause you never know when …. Fine, I’ll throw it out.)
- 1 checkbook (Sure, it’s old school. But it still gets a lot of mileage.)
- 1 surprisingly powerful pocket flash light (Great for when things drop in jet black movie theaters. Except food.)
- 2 pairs of ear plugs (I wish I’d remembered these were in here. Oh, the crap I could have blocked out.)
- 5 “lady products” (Two needed to hit the trash immediately. I wouldn’t use them to plug a drain. Shudder.)
- 1 unopened pack of Tums (I bought it during a particularly bad bout of “sea sickness” on a cruise last summer.)
- 1 pair of clip-on peace sign earrings (My girl got her ears pieced last fall so these have been in here a while.)
- 1 loose key (It might be for the exercise room at our pool club. The fact that it’s a mystery explains a lot.)
- 1 Chronicles of Narnia chapstick (Yes, the theme makes it OLD, but I knew it was there & use it all the time.)
- 1 handy carrying case of assorted gift cards (I probably shouldn’t be toting these around in my purse.)
- 1 black scrunchy (Don’t judge. I use these tacky “fashion don’ts” all the time. Actually, I’m sporting one now.)
- 1 foil-wrapped wad of chewed gum (Let he who is without a chewed gum wad cast the first stone! Or gum wad.)
- 1 single Mickey Mouse earring (I need to go sneak it into my girl’s room so she thinks she had it all along.)
- 1 barrette (I’ll put it by the earring and say “See, I TOLD you I didn’t have it. Take some responsibility!”)
- 3 perfume sample vials (Chanel, Jo Malone & a mystery vial – I live in the sweaty, humid South.)
- 2 pens (The number varies but their source remains a mystery. I never buy pens. They just show up.)
- 1 black hair clip (Again, I live in the South and you never know when a sudden messy updo will be necessary.)
- 3 nail files (One was a giveaway I got at a Katy Perry concert for Fox TV’s I Hate my Teenage Daughter.’ Ironic.)
- 1 Key ring (We’ll delve deeper into this one in its own post.)
- 1 pair of cheap sunglasses (I keep a whole arsenal of these cheap frames at the ready for when one breaks.)
- 3 casino cards (This makes me sound like a gambler. I’m so not.)
- 1 arcade card (From my Disney trip last February. Trash.)
- 1 policeman’s business card (From an out-of-town traffic accident last summer. Not my fault. Trash.)
- 2 old receipts (Only two? Well, THAT’S a banner day!)
- 1 Rolling Video Games of NOLA business card (I’m never renting the ‘mobile game RV’ for a party. Trash.)
- 1 old check register (This should probably be stored somewhere besides my purse, yes?)
- 1 lipstick (Very effective bribe for my girl. Not as effective with the boy. That’s probably a good thing.)
- 1 compact (See perfume samples & hair clip above. Sweaty summers necessitate a means of de-shining.)
- 1 sparkly silver eyeliner (I so wish I could blame this on my girl. But it’s mine. All mine.)
Sometimes a girl needs to be a little sparkly.
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