Whilst reading ‘I feel bad about my neck’ by Norah Ephron I couldn’t help but laugh when she started to explain how much she hated handbags and purses.
How her friend spent thousands on a bag that she then had to pay to get waterproofed. How they break your back, have the potential to age you drastically if not chosen correctly and can cause you to have to remortgage your house.
The contents of ones bag can tell you a lot about a person. A little like when you peer into someone else’s shopping trolly and start envisioning their life. Three bottles of wine and a bar of chocolate? Fine. Three bottles of wine, a bar of chocolate and a pint of milk? She’s hiding something.
A women’s bag carries around her deepest secrets and can give you an insight into her soul. Parts of yourself that you wish to remain hidden lie at the bottom of the never ending black hole you call your purse. Remanence from nights out and bad decisions made, and to come, hide in little compartments. Pushed as far down as they’ll go until buried deep, just like the memories.
In no way am I the kind of woman who takes her belongings out of her handbag at the end of the day. Nor would I want to be. She sounds fabulous, a real upgrade from the scrub I tend to be but I’ve categorically decided I have better things to do with my time. For example, looking for lost items in my handbag.
Sitting next to my bag on the floor while I’m typing this is making me feel slightly uneasy. I want to tell you what’s inside it, I really do, but I’ve not looked in it for weeks and I’m scared of what I’ll find. Maybe you’ll all decide I’m not your kind of woman after all and you’ll abandon me for someone that doesn’t leave orange peel in places one should never leave orange peel. But in the name of writing, it has be done.
This particular handbag is from Zara. It is black, plain and a shopper shape. It’s oversized for what I need I’m sure and the fact it’s larger pressures me into filling it with more crap I will never need. One of these pieces of crap is a black USB cable. I have no idea what this is destined to connect to, nor do I care. Inside the crevices of this cable lie some little pieces of tobacco. I stopped smoking in June 2018 and I honestly couldn’t tell you how it got there. Tobacco at the bottom of handbags and stuck on lipsticks. That’s got to be one of the most irritating things about smoking and if that doesn’t help you on your way to quitting then my friend, you are a lifer.
Speaking of lipsticks I’ve just found three. Clinique Blush pop no. 23, Maybelline Smoky Rose 987 and Blushing Pout 942. Smoky Rose thought it a good idea to not leave her lid on and attract black fluff and as of yet I’m unsure of the origin. More accurately you could say I replenished my lipstick hurriedly in a bathroom and carelessly throw it back in so I could get on with the more important matter at hand, talking and enjoying a glass of red with my friends. Apologies Smoky Rose. I’ll put your lid back on and deal with you another time.
Winnie the Pooh is staring up at me from my 2020 dairy. My mum buys us a diary every year and it’s one of my favourite presents. It’s a fresh start. A blank canvas full of organisational hopes and dreams.
The problem is I forget everything, I always have. Every two years I phone the GP to find out when I had my implant put in or get angry when Specsavers fail to send me my contacts to realise I didn’t attend the appointment six months ago. Every day I carry this diary around and it’s got nothing in it. No birthdays, weddings or appointments. But I need it and I love it. What kind of weirdo would I be if I didn’t carry a diary?
The kind of weird that carries two purses. One is tan and does not go with my bag and contains everything. The other still has the label attached and is black. Obviously I brought this because I felt it needed to match the bag to then realise I actually don’t give a shit. It became camouflaged and it’s stayed there with the tag on ever since. Inside the offensive tan purse is a five pound note I’m now told I should be scared of and store cards. Fourteen of them to be exact and I don’t think I’ve shopped in any of the stores for the past few years. No bank cards though? Interesting.
There they are. All of them, loose at bottom of my handbag. Clearly sliding them back into their beds inside the offensive tan purse was too much effort. Every time I go to buy something I make the cashier wait while I dig for plastic gold. They then watch me drop it back into the bag once the transaction is complete. I’ve never really thought about it before, but I’m sure they hate me and I’m littered over cashier meme groups everywhere.
Inside a small side pocket I’m proud to report lies a pad and a tampon. It’s like I decided that that compartment was just for that? How grown up. Because I have the implant I only have a few periods a year and I can tell because the sticky tab has come away from the pad wrapper and to be honest if someone asked me if I had a spare, I would not give them this one.
The origin of the fluff, I’m pleased to report is from a scrunchie. A scrunchie that could probably do with a trip to the washing machine. I didn’t know this was in here or for how long. I’ve been borrowing hair ties from friends for a good year. Didn’t return any of those though. Sorry girls. I would give you my scrunchie but I’ve only just found it and who knows when another one of those will show their face again.
Taking one final look into my sorry state of affairs I like to call my handbag I can see a pair of gloves from work, headphones, a WWF notebook that says I care and an empty sunglasses case. I know where the sunglasses are before you ask.
Perhaps it’s not the contents of my handbag that will tell you all of the things you need to know about me, it’s what I’m about to do next.
Throw it all back in.
Lots of love,