I’m starting to think you can mark the age of a woman by the size of the purse she carries. (Or, in my case, by the fact that she carries a purse at all).
Back in my early days of motherhood, I disdained both purses and diaper bags. I just slid a couple of bucks and a spare diaper in my back pocket and went on my merry way.
You can imagine how well that worked out for me.
With no reliable place to store my car keys, I spent more frantic hours searching for them than I care to admit.
I often cleaned my poor baby’s booty with a wet paper towel I scrounged from a public bathroom, a far (and honestly unnecessary) cry from the soft, scented, pre-warmed wipes that glide across baby butts these days.
Ever so slowly, I ceded to the sands of time and good sense.
What began as a conciliatory wallet on a string contraption has morphed into a Mary Poppins satchel that could tote a toddler.
In it, I carry the embarrassing acroutemont of age — crumpled to-do lists, reading glasses in varying degrees of disrepair, loose change that disappears whenever I actually need it, a cell phone, wallet, chewing gum, a couple of tea bags, a nail file and dental floss.
I’m currently carrying a box of thank you notes as well, but that’s a temporary situation I’ll rectify as soon as I can cross “send birthday thank you notes” off all of my to-do lists.
I added the floss when I realized my aging gums were becoming embarrassingly accomodating to the food in my mouth. “Come on in!” they say to every spinach leaf I ever bit. “Rest up a bit here. Set a spell. Take your shoes off. She won’t mind. A little hunk of green in the tooth only adds character.”
I’ve also tucked in a small bottle of hand sanitizer, a spare mask, my vaccination card ,a nail file, grocery store coupons that definitely will expire before I use them and, some days, my lunch.
There are various pens in there too, but, like my spare change, they tend to scatter when I need them. I’ve also collected an impressive bunch of action figures, confiscated squirt guns, Your Are Beautiful stickers, lone socks, mittens and pop its in every color.
I wonder if I’ll downsize as I age further, or if I’ll end up with a giant duffel bag slung over my poor, frail disorganized shoulder.
Only time will tell.