My purse tells a story of its own

Do you remember what was in your grandmother’s purse?
My Grandma’s purse smelled like “Juicy Fruit” gum and there always was at least a stick or two in there for the little kid I was at the time.
I don’t chew the stuff today but if I catch the scent of Juicy Fruit wafting by it takes me way, way back.
By comparison, my purse smells like the old moldy apple I found in the bottomless pit of the thing.
Remember the old 1970s game show, “Let’s Make a Deal?”
Game show host Monty Hall would walk through the audience and ask people, mainly women, to play for money based on what was in their purse.
If that show existed today and I was a contestant, I would come out of it a winner, because everything Monty Hall asked for I would have had in my purse—even an old, fuzzy-haired, rotten apple.
And I don’t even like my purse. In fact I loathe the thing. It’s heavier than I am and if I have to show up in public swinging the monstrosity on a strap over my shoulder, I can be assured it will pinch off a nerve and render my arm useless all the way to my fingertips. All I can think about is the packhorses out there that carry burdens like that for a living. Poor souls.
Lao Tzu, a Chinese philosopher from the sixth century, once said: “To handle difficulties, handle them when they are small and just beginning.”
I should have applied that little piece of advice before I bought a purse and instead used the small pockets of my jeans to stuff the essentials in.
In my grandmother’s era, all she had in her purse were the vitals of life—gum, a wallet, and her car keys.
Today we are convinced that we need a bigger everything and we carry the house inside our purses. Quite frankly, there’s only one place where size matters and it’s not in my handbag.
However much to my chagrin I, too, have become a part of the larger all-in-one purse collective and now I can’t find anything that I put in there.   
I had the bright idea to carry a small safety flashlight in my purse but I hope I never have to find it in a hurry.
When I do dig around in there, thankfully I do find my wallet.
There also are seven tubes of lipstick and two tubes of sunscreen chap stick, one of which looks like it expired in mid-summer 2014. By my obviously sunburned lips, that’s the one I’ve been using while on my sunny winter excursions.
I found keys on chains for locks I know nothing about, a never-before-seen USB memory stick in a sealed plastic bag, and a compass?
Suddenly I am transported into a movie with a “secret documents” plot.
I was as surprised by the memory stick showing up in my purse as I was when I was raising windows in my car with the automatic button and a plastic gift card for a local restaurant came up from inside the door.
Lucky me for once. It had enough money on it to buy me a hamburger.
And just when I thought my purse was empty, I turned it upside down and shook the thing. Out dropped a micro-screwdriver, (used once to fix a pair of expensive sunglasses that the next day were flattened under the wheels of my car after I left them on the hood,) a worry stone (rubbed nearly in half in the weeks leading up to tax time,) a corkscrew, three pen knives, a “Leatherman,” a magnifying glass, dental floss, ear plugs, tooth brush, Band-Aids, a comb, bobby pins, a mirror, sticky notes, hand wipes, all manner of grocery lists, a pair of slippers, batteries, granola bars, and air freshener.
Heck, that’s not a purse. That’s the beginning of supplies for a road trip waiting to happen.

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail