06
Aug

What My Purse Says About Me…

purse

Warning: You might want two of your favorite beverages. 

Around the time we were down to just needing a diaper change when in transit with the eldest son, I concluded that my late 20s and 30s were going to be without the “cute purse.” In fact I would wager that I could tell you what age bracket a woman is in just by looking at her purse. If she has the small, cute purse or no purse at all, she’s probably in her teens or 20s. If she has the large, non-sectioned purse, she’s probably in her 20s and 30s. If she has the large, sectioned purse, she’s probably in her 40s or 50s. If she has a mid-sized sectioned purse, she’s probably in her 60s or 70s and I’ll lay odds that purse is beige or black.

About the time that I thought I could return to the “cute purse” phase of my life, something else happened to forever end that phase of my life: the heart attacks. The heart attacks require that I keep my heart meds with me at all times. And I take more than just a few heart pills, sadly. But that’s not where the traveling meds end: I also have major allergies and chronic migraines. Thus, I usually travel with a wide assortment of allergy and pain reliever pills. Just to make life interesting, I also carry an epi-pen and nitroglycerine just so TSA can have some major fun with a graying, Anglo-Saxon middle-classed mom whenever I fly anywhere. The meds will be in an ancient ziploc bag. I learned to put them in there and zip it up, because one bottle will inexplicably lose its lid (even if tightened enough to keep an Ebola virus out) and spill all over the bottom of my purse, which I refer to as The Abyss. The Abyss is remarkably similar to a black hole.

Because of heart attacks 3 and 4, I now carry a very large pill bottle that gives my medical history. This is in case I’m in an accident or one of my crazy conditions causes me to be unconscious somewhere publicly. (Such a nice, pleasant, relaxing thought, right?) So, a major part of my purse is dedicated to keeping my crazy body running while en route to do local errands or to survive transcontinental travel, so much so that the daughter has proclaimed my purse “the walking pharmacy.” It’s not that far from the truth.

Then there are the inevitable, multiple packs of tissue for when my nose decides to go bonkers even if I have taken the allergy meds and had an allergy shot recently. My body, on all counts, is very unpredictable, so I have to come equipped for all contingencies.

I also suffer from chronic bad breath. Trust me–I’ve tried multiple ways to keep my breath reasonable, but to no avail. Therefore, I usually have multiple packs of Orbit gum circulating throughout the deep recesses of my purse. Why multiple packs? Because my hubby invariably wants 2 pieces every time we are together and I think it’s kind of tacky not to offer gum to those in close proximity. One can buy a “3-pack” of the stuff, so I just unwrap the 3 pack and throw all 3 in my purse. That usually guarantees that I can find at least 1 pack no matter what. Of course, it’s usually the pack with only 1 stick of gum left and of course, that usually goes to the hubby. My mother-in-law refers to such preparedness as “social security.” Probably far more reliable than me counting on the governmental version.

Next are the indicators of my advanced age (as if all of the above weren’t enough evidence of that). I usually carry two pairs of sunglasses and two pairs of reading glasses. Why? Because I usually can’t find one pair of either when suffering from Pre-heimers or Half-heimers. I can almost guarantee that all 4 pairs will have terrible scratches and be dirty. Why? Because I buy cheap pairs of both and because I’m too lazy to put them in their accompanying case. Heck, I usually can’t even find the case. Why would I be able to find the case if I can’t find the glasses that are supposed to go in the case??? And they’re always dirty because I forget to put the cleaning solution wipes in my purse. *Sigh*

The outside pocket will no doubt carry my ever-growing key ring. I suppose it could be worse–I could have a pile of key cards instead. You can tell whether I’m wearing the trendy jeans or the grandma jeans by where my phone is located. If in the pocket with the pile of keys, I’m wearing the trendy jeans with pockets not large enough to satisfy an ant. If it’s missing from the purse key pocket, that means it’s in my left back pocket of my jeans (I seldom hear my phone on time–another sign of aging–so having it on Vibrate is almost essential.), so that I can know when the sucker is vibrating from a call or notification.

In the abyss part of my purse will be the following: the glasses I can’t find; the cases for the glasses, crunched-up, gross-looking pills that magically escaped the med ziploc bag, a few stray bottle lids, 4 receipts I forgot to put into my wallet (They will be faded and crumpled, guaranteed.), 18 pens (I always have this paranoid feeling that I’m not going to have a pen when needed.), one leaking pen, one non-working pen, two shopping lists from the World War II era and a partridge in a pear tree. The latter will mean that there is bird seed dust in the abyss as well. The bird seed dust was probably purchased for a partridge that died 26 years ago.

Last but not least will be my bulging wallet. It’s also the large, economy-sized version and it’s filled with checks yet to be deposited from 4 years ago, ancient IDs that expired years ago, but are the only cute pictures of me anywhere, 4 coupons that have expired, a plethora of non-used gift cards, and 2 debit cards and 2 credit cards. Also mixed in are ancient pics of my kids and the adopteds as well as an assortment of ancient buyer cards that seldom get used as planned.

And because I’m so forgetful, the checkbooks usually reside there as well, not to mention some other items I won’t divulge here just in case I ever get ripped off! Now, I will say that both the wallet and the purse come from Charming Charlie’s, so they are as in fashion as a big purse and a big wallet are going to get.

The lady readers are all thinking, “What do you do for an evening out when you’re dressed up?” First, I live in Texas, so dressing up is a relative term, even for funerals and weddings. At first this irritated my Yankee sensibilities and then I spent a summer here and understood why! Even when I do dress up, about 1/2 the time I bring the voluminous purse, despite the fact that it shouts, “This woman will NEVER be featured in Vogue or In Style.”

The other 1/2 of the time I ditch the wallet, only bringing the essential ID and putting in enough pills in 1 small bottle to cover the evening. But even then, my voluminous sunglasses, reading glasses, car keys and tiny bit of makeup will push the limits of even the largest evening bag ever devised by man or woman. And despite trying to “downsize,” I will probably be without something I actually wind up needing for the evening, meaning that my poor, abused hubby will have to take me home from the soiree early. I’m such a fun date.

Starting to feel sorry for me? Please don’t. My purse, with all its lack of organization, has come in handy. It has kept countless migraines at bay; it has rescued many from allergies, headaches and body aches; and it has kept me out of the ER more times than I care to count. My ability to produce an umbrella, a band-aid or a ponytail holder on a moment’s notice often makes me the most popular mom at drill team competitions, recitals and soccer games.

The next time you ridicule the woman with the unmatched, unfashionable, ridiculously large purse, remember that that nasty thing just might make your life much more bearable one day. And mine keeps me blogging this kind of nonsense. 😉

Friday’s Post: My Favorite Ways to Annoy a Teenager

You Might Also Like: The Odd Days of August; Lessons Learned from Buying 3 Homes; and Lessons Learned from a Colorado Family Reunion Vacation

This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 6th, 2014 at 10:50 am and is filed under Fun Stuff. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

comments

8
  1. August 6th, 2014 | Liesa says:

    I’m somewhere between the first two categories you mentioned. I have a small crossbody and a large purse (no dividers). 🙂

  2. August 6th, 2014 | maryann says:

    Well then…you’re right on track! 🙂

  3. August 6th, 2014 | Chelsea says:

    The title of your post made me tremble…my poor purse is a disaster! It is a large non-sectioned purse/catchall. It is fun to think of what our daily habits or accessories say about us. Mine may need some sprucing…

  4. August 6th, 2014 | maryann says:

    You and me both, Chelsea! 🙂

  5. August 6th, 2014 | Beth says:

    Get thee to a taping of “Let’s Make a Deal”…PRONTO! You could win a fortune for what you have in your purse!

  6. August 6th, 2014 | maryann says:

    I used to marvel at what women had in their purses at that show. Not anymore. 🙂

  7. August 8th, 2014 | Natasha says:

    I keep a small cross body purse for quick errands and a large sectioned purse with something like makeup bags in it to corral everything. I keep three medications boxes in the big one for two of the girls and me.

  8. August 8th, 2014 | maryann says:

    I’m starting to feel better about the two medication ziploc baggies in my purse now, Natasha. You’re right–we must be “sistas from another mista.”

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