Sunday, January 20, 2013

Life Stages, Transitions and Purses


I love clothes; most women do, but I especially love shoes, coats and purses.  I have a wide selection of each – shoes of various styles, coats of various colors and lengths and purses of various styles and colors, but not of various sizes.  For years, basically as long as I can remember, I’ve liked bigger purses.  Purses that are big enough to carry all that I might need and, since I’m so well organized, I have all that I might need in little pouches, bags and wallets – very easy to move everything from one purse to another, which I usually did on a daily basis.   Years ago, I owned one purse at a time and then I realized that I could coordinate my purse with my outfit or coat.  Black and white outfit?  Carry my black and white seatbelt purse.  Wearing my green sweater?  Carry my green bag.

Last month, we were out to dinner with two other couples and, as I sat down on the bench seat lining one side of the table, I realized that with two other people sitting by me, there would not be room for my purse, so I handed it across to my friend, sitting in a chair on the opposite side of the table, and asked her to hook it on her chair.  I hefted it up and across the table to her.  As she attempted to take it and realized its weight, she asked in amazement, “Why do you carry such a big purse?”

“Because I like to have everything with me,” I replied.

A few days later, I was Christmas shopping at the mall.  I had my purse (with everything in it) over my shoulder and I carried several shopping bags.  My large purse (with everything in it) kept slipping off my shoulder and, with the weight of the purse (with everything in it) and my shopping bags; my arms were beginning to hurt.  Every time I stopped to look at something or to pay a cashier, I had to set down all of my bags in order to pull out my purse (with everything in it) to dig inside and find my wallet.  By the end of the shopping trip, I was exasperated and exhausted.

That evening my husband and I were going out to a Christmas function and I looked in my purse closet for a small red bag to carry (I do have a few small bags for evenings).  I pulled out this nice red wallet style purse and put in a few essentials:  license, credit cards, cash, comb and lipstick.  The purse has a long strap that I was able to drape across my body so that I didn’t have to worry about it falling off my shoulder.

The next day, as I prepared to go out, I decided to take this small wallet style purse with me instead of switching back to one of my bigger bags.  I couldn’t believe how easy it was to maneuver through my errands when I didn’t have to haul around a large bag in addition to whatever else I was carrying.  I carried the small purse the next day, the day after that, for the next week and then, I bought a similar style black one and I’ve carried one or the other everyday for more than a month.  Have I needed all the other “everything” stuff that I used to carry around?  No.  Have I felt light and free with my small purse easily slung across my body?  Yes.

The kids have noticed, though: “Mom, do you have your nail clippers?”  Nope.  “Mom, do you have scissors?”  Nope.  “Mom, do you have Advil?”  Nope.

For years, when the kids were small, in addition to my purse I carried a diaper bag.  What a relief it was to get rid of the diaper bag once diapers, bottles and playthings were no longer needed.  This past month after switching to my smaller purse, I realized that for years I have been carrying an adult-kids diaper bag.  The “everything” I was carrying with me wasn’t just for me, it was for whatever the kids or my husband or the child at the next table with the cut finger might need.  I heard someone refer to this type of bag as a “Mom Bag”.  I was no longer carrying a diaper bag and a purse, but my purse had become a Mom Bag!

Obviously I’m not done being a mom – that job never ends, but I can be done using my purse to mother all of these almost-grown and grown kids as well as the kid at the next table or the kid in line at the theatre or any other kid for that matter.  I can go out and just be me, Debbie, armed with license, cash, credit cards, lipstick and a comb.  What else do I really need?

1 comment:

Janine Fowler - Alternative Housewife said...

I love big purses too. I actually chose my old DIAPER BAG by accident because I thought it was just a normal bag (Um, who thinks a diaper bag sized bag is a handbag??) until I went to order it and noticed the changing pad.

Bags are also my favorite accessory. I like shoes but can easily get by with a couple great pairs. It's bags that I find myself browsing in every store, especially thrift shops.