I’ve never been a big collector of “things.” Genetically, I suppose I should have been predisposed to have this tendency, as the majority of my relatives collect stuff. Take my Uncle Louie, for example. His favorite store was the local thrift store and there was never a deal he couldn’t refuse. He once a bought a pair of dress shoes that weren’t even his size because, “They were only 25 cents!” He then spent a couple of weeks stretching them out with his handy shoe horn. Everyday he bought stuff. Deals. Bargains. A wise fortune cookie once told me, A bargain is something you don’t need at a price you can’t refuse. My Uncle had a heart of gold and purchased the majority of the items for others—for me, my mom, my brothers, my grandparents, my aunts and uncles, one of my many cousins…For someone he loved. But though he had the absolute best intentions, sadly, most of the items he brought home never left their plastic shopping bags. Instead, they turned the staircase and most of the third floor into a sea of unidentifiable gifts.
Like I said before, I have really never been this way. In fact, I’d probably argue I’m the opposite. A purger. “Do we need this?” and “Can I shred/recycle/toss this?” are two of my favorite phrases. I almost had a heart attack when Liam’s mom dropped off a box of “his things” a few months ago. Translation: Bank statements from 1998, college and high school essays, an old RCA stereo with larger-than-life-speakers, and some VHS tapes. I wanted to rock in the fetal position thinking about how much space this would take up in our house, and when or IF he would “take care of everything.”
There is one area of my life though that completely deviates from the norm, and that area is my purse. The bigger the purse, the more stuff I can put in it. Ladies if you feel me, put your hands up to the ceiling. I don’t know why I have so much shit in there, but I do. I like to tell myself it just means I’m prepared—when I leave the house, no matter what happens, I’ll have stuff in my purse to take on the situation. Or clutter it up so badly I can’t even find my ringing cell phone…(yes, that’s why I missed your call)
Peering into someone’s bag is like peering into their soul, man. You can really tell a lot about them by the items they carry (great short story, btw, called The Things They Carried). I now realize should I ever lose my purse or get into a horrible accident where they can’t even identify my face, I am going to be mortified when they open Old Faithful for clues. Okay, so we’ve got a wallet…yup…okay…and here’s some lipgloss…Oh, and this appears to be a bottle cap …And, weird, a grapefruit…Who is this girl?
I’d like to now give you a run-down of the current items living in my bag:
- A bagel
- 2 rings
- A necklace
- Car keys
- Cell phone charger
- A Christmas ornament
- My wallet
- My cell phone
- My work cell phone
- A tampon carrying case
- Winter gloves
- Said grapefruit
- An entire pack of tea biscuits
- Fast acting inhaler
- Preventative inhaler
- My security badge
- Lip gloss
- Loose change
- Random receipts
- Graham cracker crumbs
- A button that reads “Proud to be Pro Choice”
- Another button that reads “Multiple Scoregasms”
The saddest part? I didn’t think my bag was “that bad” until the other night—I went to hand the door-man my ID and a random pistachio came tumbling out of my wallet. The disgusted look on his face made me realize I might have a problem.
How did I get this way? More importantly, how do I change? The obvious answer would be to downsize my purse. But something tells me I would still cram as much crap in there as physically possible. Until I figure out a solution, I plan on doing Uncle Louie proud—I may not be able to find any of my stuff, but at least I’m surrounded by it, and I’ll take comfort in that.