People always ask me why I need such a big bag.
Because I have a lot of stuff.
And it’s not glamorous, fashionable stuff.
Have you ever seen those features in magazines showing what’s in a celebrity’s purse? Everything will be spilling onto the page out of a fabulous $4000 satchel in an artful, attractive way, and every single item will be gorgeously packaged, unopened, and completely useless. The starlet will insist these are her “must-haves,” her “can’t-leave-home-withouts,” but you and I know better.
Yes, I’m sure she grabs for her $85 Hello Kitty thumb drive all day long, so she can access those oh-so-important work documents she’s always referencing.
And that spare pair of Manolos? You never know when you’ll need to run out to a last-minute soiree straight from the hipster coffee shop so you’d better keep a pair of 5-inch heels in your bag.
And why wouldn’t you toss a bank-breaking silk Hermes scarf in the crumby, sticky bottom of your everyday purse, “just in case”?
The one that always fascinates me is the $1000 Smythson and Bond alligator-covered notebook that is completely and totally blank—I mean, there aren’t even pen line impressions on the pages!
They’re just buying all that stuff to have a reason to carry around the designer bags in hopes that the InStyle photographer will snap them on the street with them.
Well, my purse is big; and while I like to buy nice purses (at bargain prices—I’m a Maxxinista!) and there are a ton of must-haves inside, most of them are neither designer nor inexplicable.
There’s the lovely orange-and-white jumbo bottle of Walgreen’s Mucus Relief, because my nose is stuffy, a lot.
There’s balled up used and unused tissues and napkins, for the same reason.
There’s a travel tube of Excedrin, Aleve, Advil and Tylenol because, well, my job is stressful.
There’s a mechanical pencil, a highlighter, three black pens, two blue ones, and one purple one, simply so that when I need a writing instrument I can search the giant purse for 10 minutes with true conviction while repeating over and over, “I know I have one in here.”
There’s my inspiration journal, my daily thoughts journal, my blog notes Moleskine, my NaNo 2010 notes Moleskine and a plain memo pad. These serve to weigh the purse down in case some unsuspecting snatcher decides to make a run at it.
There is a red patent leather wallet, a gift from my friend Heather, that is always there and usually empty, also serving as a clever decoy to some poor sucker.
Then there is the Kindle, because I never knew true joy until I could carry around The New York Times, 500 books and 10 blogs every single day at the same time. (I blame this on Sister John Agnes at Our Lady of Victory Academy in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., who on the first day of freshman English said to us, “Rule #1: always have a book in your pocket. There’s no reason not to have something to read if you have stand in line.”)
And to add to the reasons why my purse is a thief’s target despite the empty wallet, there’s the BlackBerry and the iPod (16,000 songs and counting), and sometimes the netbook.
Finally, I carry three different colors of Smashbox Lip Tech, the perfect Revlon red lipstick, a tube of boroleum, a tube of Aquaphor and Clinique’s Chocolate Pink lipstick, because I abhor pale or dry lips at any moment in time.
My stuff isn’t glamorous, decorative, or fancy; most of it’s not brand-new and some of it is downright embarrassing, so much so that I DARE Vogue to do a spread on my bag’s contents.
But it’s very important to me that all these things are with me all the time, no matter where I am. It really is my life in a bag; I could go anywhere at anytime as long as I had my purse, even to a snooty premiere or Manolo shopping(although it’s a good bet I never will).
So I like my purses big. In fact, when I was shopping around for a new car and had my eye on the one I eventually bought, a MINI Cooper convertible, I jokingly said to a friend, “I hope it’s big enough for my purse.” He responded without even a pause: “You can probably carry the car around in that bag.”
***This blog post is dedicated to Princess H. The reasons should be oh so obvious.