Just in Case

I got a late start in the purse department. I remember girls started carrying purses around 8th grade, but it was still optional. When I became a freshman it seemed all the girls carried them, yet I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Honestly, I didn’t have anything to carry in one plus I didn’t like the feeling of being “tied down” to this bag that I had to lug around. I wanted to feel free to jump up and go without having to remember if I grabbed my purse. It seemed like a lot of responsibility that I just wasn’t ready for.

Eventually, I did get a driver’s license and a job that afforded me the luxury of some cash. Occasionally I used chapstick. Still, I didn’t need a big ol’ purse, so I found this little “clutch purse” (as my grandma called it). It was blue and made out of the same type of material windbreakers are made out of. It had a small looped strap that you could put around your wrist if you wanted to. It was pretty sporty looking and actually it was probably the least girly purse you could find at the time.  (And you could wipe it off if you spilled soda on it. Bonus points to my style deprived sensibilities).

That purse served me until I went to college and graduated to backpacks. Backpacks solved the purse dilemma nicely for me.  Then slowly I began to realize that carrying a purse wasn’t the huge drag on my freedom that I thought it was so I started branching out. I remember finding a purse made out of black . . . plastic, I think . . . it looked similar to a binocular case and it had a really long strap that could go over my entire torso for hands free purse carrying – my new favorite thing. I had one from Africa that was made out of water buffalo leather. It was a little black leather square on a long braided strap, but the leather always smelled a funny to me, so I eventually traded it in. I can’t remember every purse I’ve ever had, but mostly they were hippy bags. Woven sack type things that were bought at festivals or stores that sold goods from third world countries.

Now that I regularly carry a purse I’m amazed at all the crap I find to put in it. I think once you have children, that helps fill up your purse and you just sort of get into this habit without thinking about it. Suddenly you realize that there’s a lot of stuff you HAVE to have with you on a daily basis. It’s weird.

So the other day I was switching from my old purse to my new one and here’s the contents of my purse – well it’s the contents of my purse currently, I threw away about four old receipts, a candy wrapper, and a small handful of strange scraps of paper that I don’t recognize (straw wrappers? Gum wrappers? Who knows?)

You’ll see I have a couple hand sanitizers although I don’t really use hand sanitizers. My sister gave me the vanilla one and the little bottle of Purell just appeared magically – I guess the OCD elves came one night and left it in my purse. I keep them just in case.  There’s also a small bottle of Christmas hand lotion. That’s for just in case too.

Oh, that inhaler I got last winter when I had bronchitis. I keep it in my purse just in case.

Two packs of gum because I like one flavor and my daughter likes the other (no, it’s me that likes the bubblegum flavor, okay) and she’s sixteen but she’s inherited my disdain of purses so I have to carry her stuff.

Wet Ones Wipes. They’re for me. I have no small children. I’m just messy. Sometimes I wipe the car down with them too.

I have small prayer book in my purse and a rosary – driving is dangerous people, so those are for just in case too, I guess.

I have a wallet, of course, and I’ve started carrying hankies because I like them and it’s my small step to environmental consciousness . . . OF COURSE I WASH THEM! sheesh.

I also keep a notebook in my purse – just in case I get an idea or think of something we need at the store or need to write a note and leave it someplace .

I have a cute little mirror that I have used a couple times.

Then we have a stash of lip stuff . . .

How much lip stuff does one person need!? I think I have a problem with this because this is actually only a small sample of my entire lip stuff collection.  I have bought into the whole lip protection marketing campaign. I’m a sucker for cute little tubes of lip gloss, ointment, treatment, shimmer, slicks, or sticks JUST IN CASE people, just in case.

I have overcome my lack of stuff to carry in my purse.