Many of you have probably seen, while flipping through the pages of your favorite glossy magazine, a darling little blurb called What's In Your Bag? or something very similar to that. It's where they ask a celebrity to empty out the contents of their purse and take a cute picture of the contents and have the star explain all the little things they just couldn't possibly live without. It usually goes a little something like this, "My skin would simply die in this dry winter air (of Hollywood, California) if I didn't have my mum + bub ultra-gentle lotion with me. It's infused with fresh pawpaw fruit, (which no one has ever heard of outside the lyrics of a Jungle Book song) so you KNOW that it is ultra-expensive and works ultra-good!" Or, "The reason why I keep my youthful glow has nothing to do with expensive make-up, plastic surgery, or Photoshop and everything to do with spritzing myself with exactly .4 fluid ounces of No. 7 Hydrating Mineral Spray every 13.7 minutes. It's a must have!"
I am not sure what the purpose is exactly. Perhaps to make the famous person seem more real or down-to-earth to us? (Because let's face it, who doesn't carry around $80 lipgloss in 3 different shades?) Or maybe to humanize them a little? (See, even celebrities carry around 100% pure fruit snacks and banana chips to give to their nanny to give to their kids.) Or maybe it's even to make us think that WE can be just like insert-name-of-beautiful-superstar-here by purchasing a certain mineral powder or nail polish. (I don't care if you are their spokesperson, Kate Hudson, I still don't believe you use Almay foundation.) Whatever the reason, it must be a popular feature because almost any assorted women's magazine has something similar to it in it's pages.
Well, I'm no celebrity. But I do have a purse. And it is full of crap. Could I live without most of it? More than likely. Does that motivate me to clean it out? Ever? Um, no. As a matter of fact, in my closet are probably 10-13 previously used purses that still have crap in them. Mostly because there was no need to switch it over when I changed purses, and I'm apparently too lazy to do anything else with it. And if you were dying to know what I carry around in my purse, well, today is your lucky day.
At any given time in my over 18 years of motherhood, my purse has been filled with various selections of toys. I don't put them in there on purpose. I'm not that nice. How they end up there, I'm still really not sure. I don't know if I absentmindedly throw them in there so as not to leave them at various doctor or dentist appointments. Or to avoid sitting on them in the car. I don't know if my kids put them in there on the off-chance that they will ever want to actually play with them. I don't know if perhaps in a last ditch effort to single themselves out from all the other quazillion toys at the house, the toys actually put themselves in my purse. I'm not sure. I just know that for almost 2 decades if you looked in my purse you were pretty much guaranteed to find at least one, but most likely, several toys there. I have migrated over the years from Polly Pockets, Littlest Pet Shop, and Barbie shoes to cars, Legos, and action figures, but the theme is still the same: My purse is not my own.
My purse is kind of my all-in-one diaper bag, medicine chest, file cabinet, and cosmetics case. I always seem to end up with a giant stack of who-knows-what paperwork. It changes all the time. And apparently I am never near a trash can because very little of it is anything I need. That's not to say that I don't need any of it. Because the things that are stuck in there between the junk mail, school book orders, and recipe cards are sometimes very important documents. Like medical records. And birth certificates. My purse also serves as a timeline of some sort. For instance, I can tell you that I have not changed my purse in at least 5 months. Because right on top of the pile is Fantasia's graduation program. From May. It is now October. Don't judge.
#3 Earrings and Necklaces
Most days I wear earrings. Some days I wear a necklace. For some reason, on almost all of those days I can go for most of the day without even noticing that I am wearing any jewelry at all. And then, suddenly, I get to a point in the day (typically around 4 or 5 o'clock) when I cannot stand to wear them any longer. Like I feel like I'm going to die if I have them on for even one second more. I don't get it. But, whatever the reason, 9 times out of 10 my jewelry ends up in the pocket of my purse by the end of the day. Then I can't find it when I want to wear it next. So I yell at my kids for losing it. Then I find it in my purse. But I keep yelling at my kids for it anyway. Because it's fun. And probably they deserve it for something.
A million of them. From nowhere important. Most of them so faded that you can't even read them anymore. I don't know why I save them. My kids never even bother to try anything on until after they have ripped off, shredded, colored on, chewed on or otherwise ruined the tags. So there is very little chance that I ever would be able to return or exchange anything. I'm also pretty sure that as of yet, groceries and movie tickets are still not deductible on tax returns, so that's not the reason. I think that maybe the next time a cashier asks, "Do you want that receipt in the bag or with you?" I just need to say, "In the trash, please. In the trash."
#5 Gum and Candy Wrappers
You notice the total and complete absence of actual gum or candy? Yes, often I buy myself gum to have in my purse and every now and then I throw in a mini Kit Kat or a handful of Starbursts to snack on later. Much less often, are the opportunities I have to chew said gum or eat said candy. Why, you ask? My children are bloodhounds. Greedy, devouring bloodhounds who take no thought for anyone but themselves. They never think to answer the question: Why did mom buy this pack of gum? Mostly because they never think to ask the question in the first place. Obviously I bought it so they could pillage it all and leave nothing for me. Duh! I take that back, they leave me the wrappers. Always the wrappers. As a sad reminder of what might have been.
In addition to these fun items, there is also usually some used Kleenex (Not pictured for obvious reasons. You're welcome.) A handful of pencils with no lead and pens with no ink (Because having lead or ink would render them useful, and then my kids would have them instead. To draw on the furniture with.) And a variety of over-the-counter drugs to get me through the day including, but not limited to, ibuprofen, Excedrin migraine, allergy medicine, heartburn medicine, etc. And an old 2-week dinner menu and accompanying grocery store list. (Because, you never know. I might very well make dinner again someday. It may just come in handy.) Also about 15 hair elastics. (Although, when I actually need it I can never seem to find even one.)
So there you have it. The purse of a non-celebrity. Not a thing worth more than $3. It doesn't get any more human or down-to-earth than that. And, please, don't even ask me what's in my car.