Honey, What’s in Your Purse?

The best things in life are free. The second best are very, very expensive.”

coco chanel
A few of my favorite girlfriends…

Let me start by saying that I’m fairly low-maintenance. I don’t need lots of girly-things. However, I do have a weakness, and it’s purses. Oh, how I love them! Through the years I’ve made several impulse purse buys. And, some of those handbags have had a permanent place on the shelf in my closet… and have never been used. But, they are soooo cute.

I know… I’m supposed to be purging! Purses are my weakness. My kryptonite. My Achilles heel. I LOVE them!

In all fairness, a purse saved my life once. I was 20 years old, going to college in downtown Atlanta, and working part-time in a shi-shi law firm as a “girl Friday”. One day my assignment for the firm was doing an errand for one of the attorneys, which required my riding a bus through a dicey part of town, where, I (of course) got off at the wrong stop. Suddenly, I was being pursued by a guy who was wearing platform shoes, lots of necklaces, large velvet hat and possessed a certain… swagger. He was following me, while I was just trying to find the special dry-cleaning establishment that this particular lawyer favored. While trailing me (relentlessly), he was simultaneously “offering me a job”. You get the drift. I was panicking, and then remembered what my dear old dad used to call a woman’s purse – her “ammunition pot”. I decided to take that description literally and turned around and nailed him, right in the face, with my own ammo device. The last thing I heard was lots of colorful language during a frantic play for the large hat before it landed in a mud puddle. Thank you, purse. Thank you. No wonder I love you so much!

Are you a “big purse” girl, or one of those annoying “small purse” girls? Sorry… don’t mean to judge. I just need room. Through the years, I’ve had to winnow down my collection (a little), because I need my stuff. However, I have come up with a few ideas of how to change purses rapidly and keep things organized. Pictured below are the main “components that are in my purse most days:

The main components!

The key to my success was finding a “catch-all” bag (see the flowered zip make-up bag above). I keep lots of essentials in it:

How many pens do I need???

This catchall bag (as stated earlier, I use a makeup bag) makes it possible for me to change purses in less than a minute, and it keeps things neat. I’ve got my Advil, my Splenda, my cheaters, my pen(s) (how do I accumulate so many pens?), my chapstick, tissues, and my receipts. Done. I love this. Also, when I buy a new purse, the only real criterion is that it has to hold all these things. So, I’m a confirmed “medium/big” purse girl.

Other requirements for my handbags: pockets, (my phone and keys go in those). Also, my Kindle makes a regular appearance (it’s thin), so it slides between the wallet and catchall. I love this, because with my Kindle in the bag, I always have a book (essential). If the friend I’m meeting for lunch one day is late, no problem. I sip my tea and get another chapter read in my book! And, I’m not pissed off when the errant friend arrives, breathlessly apologizing, 25 minutes late (most of my friends don’t do this!). If I’m at the doctor’s office, and the waiting room is full, and my doctor’s had an emergency and is running late… three new chapters in my book! Happy Day!

It seems like a silly, frivolous thing, but when I figured out this whole catchall bag thing, I was immediately happier. And, happier is what our focus should always be!

I’d love to hear your thoughts about what kind of bag you carry and what your “tricks of the trade” are. Meanwhile, I’m searching for more happy-making things to write about. Suggestions? I’d love to hear them! Until next time, my friends!

4 thoughts on “Honey, What’s in Your Purse?”

  1. I can’t say I change purses but I do have multiple little bags in my purse with the various components. Makes it easier to find things – except the keys that despite my always thinking I put them in the side pocket end up at the bottom!


  2. I’m plagued by shoulder pain AND I am a whopping 5 feet tall on a good day, so it’s small purses for me! My contents are very similar to yours with a few exceptions. I look for purses with built-in wallets and have learned to carry 3 credit cards (including my treasured Kohl’s card), insurance card, AAA card, DL and ATM card only. I also carry a tiny 36” tape measure which has come in handy more times than I can count! Less is best!


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