Purse Pursuit

I have been on a quest for the perfect purse for many years now. Searching for the perfect purse is much like the search for your soul mate. You have to try out several before you know for sure that you have finally found the right one.

Often, you think you have found the right one. He seems interesting. He is attractive to you in all the right ways. He surprises you with all of his useful qualities and handy pockets. (Uh, okay maybe not the pocket thing.) Then just when you have bought into his appeal and colorful exterior you realize that you really aren’t a good fit after all.

He’s dragging you down because he has too much baggage. In fact, he is the baggage. So you toss him away or in the case of the purse, relegate it to the back of the closet. Mr. Right wasn’t Mr. Right at all. He was just Mr. Right-Now.

So like Don Quiote you once again tilt at windmills in search of the prize: the perfect purse.

I have quite a collection of almost purse soul mates. For a while, they were lovely. Then sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly, I fell out of love with them. It wasn’t them, it was me. My needs changed.

In the 80’s I carried tiny purses. I didn’t need to carry a lot of stuff around. Keys, driver’s license, some cash were all I really needed. In the 90’s, I carried medium sized purses until I realized the larger the purse I carried the more crap I had to haul around. My shoulders began to hurt.

I switched to backpack style purses. Those worked great for a while, but soon enough newer models caught my eye. I returned to the small minimalistic purses with long straps I could loop over my head and across my back and chest. Carried the bare essentials. I was hands free before it was cool.

Then I had a baby. I needed a wagon, not a purse to convey all the extraneous gear babies bring to the game. Now that baby is seven and she can carry her own things.

It turns out, it still takes a lot of stuff to be me. It wasn’t all baby weight after all.

My carefully cultivated preparedness mentality demands I carry a lot of just-in-case items. The sort of things you don’t use very often but as sure as you remove it from your bag you need it and have to buy another one. Immediately.

Things like: a pocket knife, a bottle of Tylenol and antacids, my netbook, reusable shopping bags, gloves, hand lotion, weird loyalty cards and Silver Dollar City passes, extra gel pens, three chapsticks, hand sanitizer, hair barrettes, beads and buttons, a notebook, compact, wallet, phone, a book, a flashlight, a tire gauge.

You can’t carry all of that in a tiny purse.

I can’t even carry it in the large purse I have now. The quest continues. 

Long live the hero.


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