Bag It

The innards of pocketbooks have always fascinated me. Much like strange pantries and medicine cabinets – neither of which I have EVER snooped in, of course – pocketbooks are a window into the soul of their owners. Did the bag contain prescription bottles? Tissues? Pens? Paper? Snacks? Was it well-organized? Messy? What was the nature of its edible contents? Grandma Ethel kept Velamints in her bag, for instance, while Grandma Hannah carried fruit-filled hard candy from Israel – who knew what exotic treats lurked in someone else’s grandma’s bag?! Jan carried a wallet and a change purse, but some moms had wallets with special change compartments attached. Some ladies pulled ornate silver mirrors from their bags and applied bright pink lipstick. Some kept plain plastic mirrors stashed inside and still others used the mirrors on their compact, which was just about as faaancy as you could get. The wonders never ceased to amaze me.

I remember how thrilled I was to pack my pocketbook for the first time. I was about three and Lew was taking me to the zoo. My “bag” at the time was a round pouch made of two pleather discs that zipped together, slightly lighter than smurf blue, with a clear plastic “window.” Creepily suspended in that window, somehow, was a tiny plastic doll. She was purdy. What does a three-year-old put in her pocketbook, you may be asking? We’ll I’ll tell you: the yellow-bunned Fisher-Price mother, who served as faux lipstick; an empty change purse covered in hideous orange and yellow beads; and a spare pair of Carter’s (it’s just good practice).

Even at my (ill-fated) bridal shower, this bag fascination came into play. The highlight of the afternoon was a rousing game of purse bingo, during which contestants had to produce from their bags such items as an authentic Louis Vuitton wallet; a Bobbi Brown lip gloss; a photo of a grandkid; and a Snausage, which we pre-planted for humor purposes.

And just last week, I could not have been happier when Loren told me she had ordered herself a Kangaroo Keeper – and one for me as well. How lucky could I be?

So it isn’t suprising that of all this week’s writing prompts from Mama Kat’s Pretty Much World Famous Writer’s Workshop, the one about purses called out to me. What’s in my adult bag? I’ll tell you, US magazine-style.

I carry no fewer than two kinds of gum and a tin of Altoid Smalls. I’m annoying enough. I can’t risk bad breath on top of that.

Paging Dr. Dermatologist
Some part of my epidermis is always itchy and red, so moisturizers and lip balms are vital. Right now I’m using Smith’s Rosebud Salve (thanks to my friend Katy) and Aquaphor (thanks to my friend Kiki).

Germs Stink
I get colds every other week, no matter what I do. But I try to be as careful as possible without adding a new obsessive ritual to my day; Purell, take me away.

Cosmetic Whore
Despite evidence to the contrary, I still believe there is one beauty product out there that will change my life. This week, those beauty products are a MAC lip gloss in Wildly Lush and a MAC, Wonder Woman-themed compact that is a bronzer, blush and highlighter all-in-one. It’s a three-toned powder with a delightfully creamy feel and while it hasn’t yet changed anything, I’m confident it soon will.

Ward Off Low Blood Sugar
You never know when starvation may strike. That’s why there’s always a semi-nutritious granola bar or other snack in my bag.

Technically Speaking
I am not addicted to my Blackberry. I can quit anytime. I can quit now, in fact, as soon as I send this one quick text …

The Key to My Heart
I carry my keys on a Louis Vuitton key- and change-holder that Keith gave me for Valentine’s Day.

CVS to Go
After getting stuck in Atlanta for two days with no luggage or toiletries, I started carrying around a pouch full of essentials. It contains, among other things, an eyeglass kit; nail file; contact lens rewetting drops; a mini-toothbrush; Advil; Tylenol: generic Imodium from CVS; little white pills; little blue pills; Band-Aids (for picked cuticles); toothpicks; boob tape; facial moisturizer; and Breath-Assure.

Et Al
Other items of little or no interest include sunglasses (Marc by Marc Jacobs); tissues; two Metrocards; an iPod and/or iPad; Marc by Marc Jacobs wallet; business cards; bank register; pen and Wite-Out (for crossword puzzles); stash of Lifesavers.

Bag It

8 thoughts on “Bag It

  1. LalaJordi says:

    Tracers, One of my favorite stories was from this one time when I arrived at my teacher friend Jim’s house. We were hanging out Friday afternoon after school and I had just met his teacher friend let’s call her Kyla. After about half an hour I noticed that Kyla, while telling a story, is riffling through my pocketbook and pulling out random things, looking at them and then putting them back. The whole time she is talking and not looking at the bag just combing through it. Finally, I realized what is going on and say, “You are totally welcome to look through that but, I think you should know that is my bag.” She was mortified and so apologetic. She said, “I was wondering where I got all this stuff.” Our bags looked almost identical. We still laugh every time we see eahc other.

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