A Purse Through the Decades

Purse. Pocketbook. Handbag. Satchel. Trash bag. There are many names for it. I guess it’s all in what you prefer. And perhaps your mood.

Men don’t feel the need to carry around items they most likely will not use during their time away from home. Does that mean they are smarter than us?

No.

We’re just more prepared. Even though there’s a pretty fat chance I will not need that pair of earrings from the last wedding I attended in 2012.

I don’t even wear earrings so that one’s just as much a mystery to me as it is to you.

It’s not like we’re going camping. I don’t even like camping. So, why carry on with my day as if that’s exactly what I’m going to be doing? All it does is cause frustration and a bad neck.

Anyway, the contents of my purse have morphed over the years.

When I was a teenager in the 80’s this included a black eyeliner pencil, a BIC lighter to melt the black eyeliner pencil with, and the occasional maxi pad. Back then I was always caught off guard. Knowing when you would get your period came with the wisdom that age brings. And a certain number of ruined Jordache jeans.

There would be a roach clip, but don’t tell my parents. The buckle that fell off my beloved Chinese Slippers, a glass roller ball tube of Bonne Bell lipgloss — bubble gum flavored, of course. And a pack of Hubba Bubba.

I had the keys to my beat up Chevy Nova among the rubble, and a handwritten note that a friend passed to me during History class. Oh, and dimes in case I had to make a phone call from one of the many pay phones that hung in the lobby of my high school.

In my twenties, I graduated to tampons and finally learned to permanently leave them in my bag. My lip gloss was replaced by brown Revlon lipstick. A box of fruity Chiclet gum, quarters, a spare pair of L’eggs that came in a plastic egg would be in there. And keys to the Geo Storm that remarkably behaved like a lemon.

My thirties brought on Pampers, used breast pads, a rattle, and loose Cheerios. A flip phone, chapstick, my checkbook, and six month old receipts. Maxi pads as well as tampons (I don’t want to talk about it), and keys to both my house and my ever reliable and roomy Nissan Pathfinder.

Although you would no longer find Pampers or maxi pads in my bag when I was in my forties, you may have found a random Poise pad thrown in there. Girlfriends and wine suddenly had that effect on me. My flip phone was replaced by an iPhone. Water bottles, bobbie pins, sock glue, and the like for all the irish dance competitions The Kid was fond of dancing in.

A tin of Altoids, and stale gum that inevitably fell out of its wrappers and stuck to anything it came in contact with. Ruining perfectly good leather wallets and…ahem, Chapstick.

These days you will find Lysol wipes, masks, and hand sanitizer thanks to a little thing called a Pandemic. A wallet that is stuffed with more crap than I care to discuss. Yes, that includes an expired gift card from Chuck E. Cheese and my AARP card.

Tums, Advil, and Preparation H have replaced all beauty items. A bottle of Poo-Pourri, a notebook, chocolate kisses, toothpaste, and a pen can also be found. I keep the pen for when I need to jot down an idea I have. Also, to leave behind a note in case someone kidnaps me.

I can sit and wonder what I’ll carry in my next decade, but I’m going to take a quick guess and say it will probably be hard candy and Bingo cards.

I’ll get back to you on that in about six years. Whoa. Did I just say that out loud?

Mo
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