Saturday, January 24, 2004

Contents may settle under pressure.

I just read Christine's post (see "Bag o'tricks") about the contents of her purse. I had read a post on someone else's site that was inspired by Christine's entry, so thought I'd check out the original post.

It got me thinking about what I lug to work in my bag (and I always have a bag that I only use for the office) and that would be, in no particular order:

- wallet
- checkbook
- address book (including a book of stamps)
- little spiral notebook (that I never seem to write in, but feel compelled to have with me)
- assorted pens (most of which are either completely or nearly out of ink)
- comb (ever since I lopped off my hair I'm solely a wide-tooth comb gal)
- little cosmetic bag containing lipsticks (if I wear no make-up at all, I at least wear lipstick), concealer, blush, mascara, compact (why am I carrying around make-up when I rarely wear it?), a Band-Aid, a baggie with a few Ibuprofen, Benadryl (for the rare really bad allergy day), tampons (currently) -- I think I could leave most of this mini-bathroom at home.
- a computer disk, which seems bizarre since my laptop at home only has a CD drive -- I must have thrown it in there in the event that there was something I wanted to copy while I was at work...but then, how would I read it once I got home?
- a book (always a book) to read while eating lunch at my desk or standing in the occasional bank line (yes, they still exist here and if the ATM is down--a frequent occurrence--a girl's gotta stand in line to cash a check, hence the checkbook) or while waiting for my driver (works every time...just as I get absorbed in the words, he shows up.)
- the occasional breakfast item: a biscotti or Nutrigrain bar or baggie of Cheerios

The contents of my work bag sound just like my job: cut-and-dried, boring, uncreative, boring, unstimulating, boring.

Evenings and weekends I sometimes don't even carry my wallet (which has a shoulder strap). I use something better: my boyfriend's pockets. Let him carry the money. I may throw a lipstick into a cargo pant pocket, but sometimes I don't even go that far. But then I live in a small place--it's not like I'm ever gonna be more than about 10 minutes from home.

When we venture into town on weekends for breakfast or whatever, it often occurs to us TOO LATE that we should have brought the digital camera with us. Oh well.

As a little girl in the 60's, I loved having a purse. I'm trying to remember what I kept in them. I seem to recall a coin purse, a handkerchief (jeez, I AM old if I carried a hankie rather than Kleenex), a pen, a Chapstick (pretending it was lipstick, of course). I remember my little purses always seeming rather...empty. I think I must have mimicked the contents of my Italian grandmother's handbags. Hers were always those type have a clasp that snaps shut, and she carried the minimum number of items: lipstick (she wore one shade of red for as long as I can remember), a compact, a handkerchief (that's probably where I got the hankie thing because it sure wasn't from my mother), a comb, a coin purse. I don't even remember her having a wallet and believe me, we were the worst kind of prying grandkids--the poor woman had no privacy. And as soon as she returned home from church or an outing, she would carefully replace every item in her purse in its proper place at home.

My mother and aunt, on the other hand, always seemed to be carrying handbags that were so full and heavy. What was IN there? Probably a lot of the same unexciting crap I cart around.

All of this handbag analysis makes me realize that maybe I've got it bass-ackwards. Maybe I'm creating a bag to match the job (and my uninspired feelings about it). Maybe I need to create a bag that matches ME. My slogan about my current job has always been "Check your brain and creativity at the door." (Meaning my front door, not the office door...I start putting on my "game face" the minute I leave my house.) Maybe I need to be much more creative with my contents...and then they won't SETTLE...under pressure, or otherwise.


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