What To Put In Your Purse
Some time around 2004, dogs began to get really tiny. At the same time, women's bags and purses began to get outlandishly huge.
Even if you don't have a tiny dog, through the insidious machinations of the fashion industry, you've probably still ended up with a giant purse, and got used to filling it with everything you own. But now, the Fashion Gods are telling us that the technicolor Santa sacks we've been lugging round for the past few years are not, in fact, cool anymore, and we'd better get ourselves a regular sized purse or be shunned and pelted with tiny dogs next time we step outside.
The purpose of this post is to help you figure out what items you should allow into your limited purse real estate, and what you should leave behind. For example, your cell phone, wallet, and inhaler: vital. Duct tape, a hammer, and three newspapers: probably not vital, unless you are planning some kind of elaborate pinata. Other vital things to keep in your purse include:
Something to stick in your ears. An iPod or some other kind of music player is traditional, but cotton balls or small marshmallows are also acceptable. Some kind of object that implies "I cannot hear a word you are saying" is absolutely necessary, because you never know when someone on public transport will try to engage you in a conversation about all the different kinds of pasta.
Small zippered pouch for The Makeups. If you insist on leaving your chapstick floating around loose in your purse, at some point the cap WILL come off, and your chap-stick WILL become covered in pencil shavings and sand and tiny hairs, and don't say we didn't warn you. The way to prevent this is to put it in it's own special little bag, along with lip gloss, hair ties, gum, a teeny tiny mirror so you can inspect 1/16th of your face at a time, and any other cosmetic doodads you might need. (Note: it is quite easy to get carried away with this, and end up with a makeup bag that is bigger than your actual purse. If you find yourself trying to fit two bottles of body lotion and a hair dryer in there, it's time to stop.)
A pen, to graffiti unsuspecting strangers.
Your keys, to get back into your house quickly when the strangers chase you.
String. Nobody carries string any more. Why not? Surely it would come in handy.
Tissues. Sniffing, wiping your nose on your sleeve, or asking a stranger for a tissue and then they don't have one and you have to stand in line behind them sniffing for another twenty minutes, are three of the most socially awkward things you could ever do. You never know when your face is going to start leaking fluids, so it's best to always be prepared. Also, you might knock over a milkshake or something.
Something to read. A small, lightweight paperback is best for carrying around in your bag; so leave the leatherbound Complete Works of William Shakespeare on the shelf, and hide your copy of Twilight behind it. If you are forgetful or incredibly lazy, you won't want to always be remembering to pack a new book, so choose something with a plot that falls between "mildly interesting" and "dull as a brick," something that will be tolerable to read when your train is delayed by 4 hours, but not so good you'd be tempted to finish it when there's the option to do anything else. This way, you'll be able to keep the same book in your bag for weeks on end.
What do you keep in your purse?
Related Post: Two-Strap Vs. Messenger Bag: The Backpack Showdown