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Monday, September 10, 2012

Stay The *bleep* Out of My Purse!

I was watching a golf tournament over the weekend and one of the players -- Dustin Johnson -- hit his ball into a lady spectator's pocketbook, which was followed by lots of chuckling from the commentators. The spirit of their conversation was this: "Doesn't Dustin know? You never go into a lady's purse."

There's this odd understanding people have about poking around in a woman's pocketbook. Women, myself included, are often heard to say "Hand me my purse" when somebody asks for a nail file or dollar bill. Rarely do I hear one of the sisterhood say "The file (or whatever) is there in my purse, just dig around until you find it." Purses, for some reason, are off limits to everybody except the owner.

Several years ago I scaled down my handbag situation. I used to lug around a gigantic leather tote, a throwback I think to the days when I worked in Manhattan. I had no car, and everything I might need in an 8-hour day needed to be at hand, or in this case, on shoulder. No longer working in that environment, it seemed appropriate that I reduce the dimensions of the carry-all. My purse now is a small thing, about the size of a narrow football. Very sensible. Very manageable.

Dustin's errant golf shot reminded me it was time to clean out said purse. Here's what I found:

-Savings account book (sensible)
-Checking account book (also sensible)
-Wallet (good)
-Comb (ok)
-Brush (well, maybe overkill as there's a comb in there)
-Another brush (uh-oh)
-Crumpled deposit slips from August...and June...and January
-A gel-style luggage tag
-A very used tissue
-A tube of mascara
-An eyeliner pencil
-Four pens, two non-working
-An old-fashioned pill box with six crumbled and aging aspirin
-A tiny vinyl bag containing a handy fold-up satchel that I've never used because I'm afraid if I unfold the handy satchel I'll never get it back into the tiny vinyl bag
-Silver sparkly contact lens holder for contact lens case
-Two business cards, one for the local bank and another for The Trophy Guy
-An elastic ankle brace
-A container of L'Oreal New Bare-Naturale Gentle Mineral Powder 
-One gold hoop earring
-A tube of lipstick
-A ten dollar bill
-Four dollars and fifty six cents in change
-A roll of quarters
-A stack of my own business cards bearing the address and phone number of an office I left two years ago
-My cell phone charger
-My cell phone bill
-A mysterious wire that maybe goes to a computer
-Three empty matchbooks
-A tealight candle
-A reminder card from the dentist that I had an appointment in July
-The dog's license tag
-And three golf balls, none of which was deposited there by a professional golfer

There's a good reason women don't let people into their purses. The word would get out that we're all nuts.


Rose 10e said...

Your story is why each of us ladies with a purse of any size should have a weekly time to clean that puppy out. I don't even want to confess what's in mine, but I did pull out about 20 Big M receipts, four unused tissues and two used, plus a plastic bag and tossed the trash today. I only started carrying a purse in my 20's because I needed to be sure I had my inhaler close by to deal with my asthma. Before that, it was license and some cash in the back pocket, and away we went. Those were the days! My shoulder liked it much better then.

Kathleen Yasas said...

A woman's purse is a vortex of necessary (and clearly unnecessary) items. I've always wondered how men get along without them.

Anonymous said...

all that is essential can be carried in a scrotum

Anonymous said...

Damn you carry a lot of "stuff" around. I was living out of my purse for a month due to an unexpected stay in California and I organized it every night. Wallet, reading glasses, chapstick, cell phone, cigarettes, that's it. I did, however, need a dumpster for all of the receipts that I accumulated.

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Newspaper columnist; blogger; author of Delta Dead; author of 101 Tip$ From My Depression-Era Parents; author of Australian Fly; editor: ...And I Breathed (author, Jason Garner, former CEO of Global Music at Live Nation), "A History of the Lawrence S. Donaldson Residence"; "The Port Washington Yacht Club: A Centennial Perspective"; "The Northeastern Society of Periodontists: The First Fifty Years"; editor: NESP Bulletin; editor: PWYC Mainsail; past editorial director: The International Journal of Fertility & Women's Medicine; past editor of: Long Island Power & Sail, Respiratory Review; Medical Travelers' Advisory; School Nurse News; Clear Images; Periodontal Clinical Investigations; Community Nurse Forum