Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Purses are a funny thing in my family.  We have rules about purses, but we all have evolved into our own interpretation of a need for a purse.

The cardinal rule of purses:  You NEVER, EVER, EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER go digging through a woman's purse.  For ANY reason.  Husbands don't dig in your purse, children do not dig in your purse, and my own mother would hand me my purse if I asked for the sunglasses that were dangling off the edge of it.  If an item you want/need is in mom's purse, then you go get it, and hand it to her.  You never go rifling through it yourself.  EVER!

The purse, in my family, is a tantamount to a lady's underwear drawer - and heaven knows you would never go through a woman's underwear drawer. I once saw a husband go though my hairdresser's purse and I 'bout passed out in the chair.  He got into her purse, dug out her wallet and then took out cash!  I could NOT believe what I was seeing!  Drinking straight from a gallon of milk was not nearly as policed as the purse rule.  But that's for another post.

But you can tell a lot from a woman's purse, and judge it how you may, this is what is in mine:

  • Red wallet - the contents of which would be a long post in and of itself.
  • Extra snoopy watch on the handle - just in case my ugly triathalon sport watch with 3 alarms AND phone die, or a fashion emergency dictates it.  Okay, not a wise choice for UPgrading my look, but I never said these things were there for great reasons...
  • Keepsake Quilting catalog - fabric and quilt pattern porn for when I have to wait in the car.
  • Foundation, Burts Bees tinted chapstick, 3 back up chapsticks, 1 regular mascara, and a back up that be-bops between the cupholder in my car and the outside pocket of my purse.  Lotion, lip gloss (though I look like I've just eaten greasy pork chops when I wear the lip gloss), a cheapie lipstick and a nice one from Clinique.  Of all the beauty products, the only one my kids managed to mess with was the nice $14 lipstick from Clinique that "Not ME!" rolled all the way up into the lid until it stuck there, breaking it off at the base and  leaving a mere stub for me to actually use.
  • Back up meds for my ADHD kids, Motrin, Tylenol and a percocet or two.  Apparently that is illegal because the baby and pain they were prescribed for is now two.  And a half.
  • Two sets of diapers in size 3 & 4.  A magical wipes box that will hold the wipes that will go in wet, and be completely dried out and useless when I am in an actual poo emergency.  I had some of the other kind in a plastic bag container that wouldn't dry out, but another mom "borrowed" it in a poo emergency.  Permanently.
  • A mood ring.  Just for fun.
  • Prescriptions for my kids meds.
  • Feminine emergency items.  Torpedoes AND landing pads.
  • An ID badge on a retractable clip that holds no ID, but two years worth of summer movie punch cards.  
  • A Little Orphan Annie decoder pin. Jealous much?  I think I have an irrational fear of being left with a child to entertain for a long long long time.
  • A magnet thing that clips and unclips.  Keeps kids entertained FOR HOURS.
  • Spare suckers from the bank.  My back windows are tinted in my van, so if I have to drop by the bank and they ask if "there is anything else?", I always ask for 5 suckers - regardless of the number of actual kids in my car, and tuck the extras in my zippered pouch.  Best thing for keeping a kid quiet.
  • Gum.  Unfortunately it is the remainder of a dual pack of Trident.  I bought it for the watermelon flavor pack and have been stuck with the orange flavored shingles that rattle around my hidden pocket with the dum dum suckers from the doctors office.  When the orange is gone I'm gonna upgrade the gum to "REACT 5" which is just Wrigley's regular gum with black food coloring...
  • Tissue pack - I encounter too many allergies, tears and boogers to ever be without.
  •  Coupons for cereal because, "I'm NOT gonna pay a LOT for these Cheerios!"
  • An emory board - I despise hanging nails!!!
  • An ever mutating collection of pens and pencils that die when I need them, disappear when someone is giving me a code or password/important email, and are a staple request from my children at church. 
  • Spare pair of sunglasses.  Usually the other pair is on my head which is a knee jerk reflex from my living in Arizona days.  Always, always have some sunglasses when you drive.  Even if you had to buy 9 pairs at the dollar store and stash them all over the car.
So, you can see that it is basically a diaper bag/kid purse/72 hour kit.  On good days, I also have a back up Enfamil powder pack, safety pins, band-aids, matchbox car and secret hidden chocolate, but lately I've told my baby that he will not starve to death in the next 20 minutes that it takes to get home.

I don't know if you know me any better for the list, but I found it entertaining to see how my purse stacks up against the other mothers in my family.  One has the tiny clutch with minimal items, another has a cavernous bag like mine, but with a fancy label.  My mom has... lots of crumbs, but no diapers, and HER mom always had a gramma bag with a short handle that she carried on her arm, wrist up.  We're different in our approach, but girl, we all live by the rules.  Cuz we've got Purse-onality, STYLE, purse-onality, WOW purse-onality! *I hope you're singing that song in your head now...*


Lisa said...

I would say 70% of what is in my purse is papers. Mostly receipts that I shove in there while I'm trying to rush out of the store. There are only a few things I require of my purses. 1. That the strap is long enough to throw over my shoulder and leave my hands free. 2.There must be divided sections in it so everything isn't in one big, black hole. 3. An outside pocket to hold my cell phone. and 4. At least one section that has a zipper closure and not a cheapie magnet.

Reggs said...

so true so TRUE!! If you ever even stuck a hand in mom's purse she'd threaten to BITE IT OFF. Yes, we never went through purses. I even feel weird when someone asks me to grab stuff from a diaper bag. Allen dug through my purse once and I wigged out. Isn't ANYTHING sacred?
I just cleaned out my bag, so I'm happy to say I have: a wallet, keys, cell phone, pens, paper, checkbook, and a pink pouch that carries all my beauty supplies: chapstick, hand sanitizer, extra hair bands, hand lotion, etc.
BTW, i still have that video of you going through all the stuff in your purse when we were at frogurt. Lemme know if you want it as a follow up post. :D

Unknown said...

Dear Mary Poppins,

You have such purseonality. I purse my lips when I think of all the purposes of your purse. If I had another son I would name him Pursival. You are a wonderful purson and I hope that your purse will pursevere.


P. Urse.

Annette said...

Wow you must have quite the muscles to carry that much stuff. Although I will say... I am okay with anyone but a thief digging in my purse. And I really hate carrying them around. I need to try one of those around the neck shoulder ones.. but I'm not sure they make them in my size!

Danielle Spangler said...

I remember by mom FREAKING out if we went through her purse. I am totally fine with my hubby going through it...if he asks first, and he usually does. But the kids risk amputation if they even get near it.

My purse is pretty simple. It has to be able to go over my shoulder, cross chest so I don't set it down and leave it. It also has to have a zip pocket to carry my makeup in. I use to have 15 lipsticks with me at one I am down to 3...ok 4.

Cyndie said...

That's funny--in our family growing up, anybody could go through Mom's purse. Weird, huh? Now I know why Jeremy REFUSES to even look into my purse.

scyp said...

Growing up we where only allowed to go into moms in church on Sunday to find pencil, paper and lady bug clippers. I have not found a purse yet that suits my personality and have instead chosen to use a hand made back pack that doubles as a diapper bag. Inside is a small bag that holds purse items. And as there are so many more interesting things in the larger part of the bag, (including grass hopper clippers) no one bothers with the little purse.