Posts Tagged ‘TSA’


What My Purse Says About Me…


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

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Lessons Learned from A Family Vacation…


Warning: War and Peace was shorter. 

I just finished a trek to the lovely state of Washington with my hubby, daughter, the DSL, my brother-in-law and my father-in-law. While I adore both my own family and the one I married into, there are always little surprises along the way, even though I’ve been to this destination before and have been on vacations with this same group of people.  Here’s what I learned this time:

1. I don’t pack well under pressure.

2. The final episode of Survivor is more important to watch than packing.

3. I proved # 1 true yet again.

4. When # 1 occurs, I always forget something. Even if I make a detailed packing list.

5. I forgot my PJs.

6. Workout clothes make a good substitute for PJs.

7. I worked out once while on vacation.

8. I wore street clothes to work out because I was too lazy to change into workout clothes.

9. Glad I packed 5 sets of workout clothes.

10. TSA pre-check status rocks.

11. The hubby who surprised me with a TSA pre-check status rocks even more.

12. When going through TSA pre-check, I have flashbacks to trips I took in the 1990s.

13. I have more circles under my eyes than I had in the 1990s.

14. I’m pretty sure TSA put those circles under my eyes after 9/11.

15. I don’t respond to TSA instructions well under pressure.

16. Did I mention I like TSA pre-check?

17. We would super-glue the DSL’s belt to his pants to help him through security, but TSA wasn’t laughing when we suggested this.

18. Someone needs to get TSA agents a sense of humor.

19. Belts to hold up pants are lethal weapons and that’s why no one wears them in Seattle. See # 17.

20. I didn’t know there was such a diversity of boxer shorts in Seattle. See # 19.

21. Anyone under the age of 30 in Seattle shops at Goodwill and purposely puts polka-dots, paisley and plaid together. Color coordination optional.

22. If I go through Pike Place Market 10,000 times, I will still feel like I’ve never seen it all.

23. Beecher’s Cheese Mariachi Mac ‘n Cheese is da bomb. Next time I’m getting the large, economy-sized helping even if 4 wheelbarrows are required to carry me out of the place afterwards. Even if I have to make use of 1 set of workout clothes for something other than PJs.

24. The beautiful bouquets of flowers at the Market are way under-priced. And yet I walked away empty-handed because I had no place to put them.

25. # 24 is cruel and unusual punishment.

26. The Underground Tour never disappoints even if the new tour guide is…well…new.

27. Did you know “Lincoln” was a superhero and had a cape and everything? See # 26.

28. In the 25 years plus since my last Underground Tour my allergies have made it nearly impossible for me to go on the Underground Tour. Grr.

29. Pioneer Square is still one of the prettiest parts of Seattle.

30. I can play in a wind-up toy store for a solid half an hour. Maturity went right out the window.

31. Chocolate pasta and sweet potato orzo are just too difficult to resist in bringing home in crumbs in my suitcase.

32. The flying fish never disappoint, even if no fish are flying.

33. I am in awe of tea sets that are in the shapes of peacocks, phoenix (What is the plural of phoenix??? Phoeni? Phoenixes???), hummingbirds and other assorted fowl.

34. I’m not in awe of the price of # 33….at least not enough to bring it home in pieces in my suitcase.

35. O’Asia is not an Irish Asian restaurant, but the food there will make you feel lucky to visit.

36. When forced to choose between an interactive music museum and a world-renown glass artist, MaryAnn picks the glass artist.

37. When the hubby is forced to choose between an interactive music museum and a world-renown glass artist, the hubby picks the interactive music museum.

38. Neither one of us felt cheated.

39. Dale Chihuly is a genius.

40. The Hamilton Middle School string orchestra and jazz choir will make you wish your kids were raised in the Seattle public school system.

41. I don’t do Kenyan curry well.

42. I do potato chips and yogurt much better.

43. The daughter is as giddy as a kid at Christmas when taking new forms of transportation. Let’s just say Ms. Master’s Graduate liked the ferry ride.

44. We adore the houses on the shore at Bainbridge Island. We doubt the owners of these houses adore the ferry still coming into the nearby dock at 2 am.

45. The drive from Bainbridge to Sequim is breathtaking.

46. MaryAnn needs to quit saying the phrase, “Pretty, pretty.”

47. When the hubby needs a GPS holder, he recruits his wife.

48. The GPS holder has a lot of arthritis that doesn’t do well holding a GPS for 2 hours straight.

49. Sequim is pronounced, “Skwim.” I’ll remember that the next time I order my skinny latte.

50. There’s no fish and chips like the fish and chips prepared by a Kiwi.

51. They do xeriscaping in Sequim. Ummm….why? Is there a shortage of lawn mowers or something?

52. I lost count of the number of lead changes in the Indy 500 at lap 50.

53. I lost count of the number of drivers leading laps at lap 100.

54. I shouldn’t go 7 days without an allergy shot.

55. I went 9 days without an allergy shot.

56. If I go 9 days without an allergy shot, I should bring my Vitamin E, Vitamin C and Beta Carotene with me.

57. I get terse when I forget Vitamin E, Vitamin C and Beta Carotene.

58. There is nothing quite like fried raspberry cheesecake when I forget Vitamin E, Vitamin C and Beta Carotene.

59. The worst cup of coffee I had in “Starbucks Central” was in Seattle.

60. They don’t even give you pretzels on a 4 hour flight anymore. What is my $ 50 for a checked bag going for???

61. The EPA has decided that having a non-oil smelling airplane is good for my health. I now know what the $ 50 is going for.

62. I think I will invite the EPA to fly with me the next time I go to Seattle.

63. I will not invite the EPA to go through TSA pre-check with me.

64. When you get 5 seasoned fisher persons together with 2 rookies. the rookies will score the big fish.

65. If you want to avoid starvation, go with the rookies.

66. Because of # 65, I’m now divorced.

67. Did I mention I like TSA pre-check?

68. There’s no place like home and still no better family.

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