Friday, November 14, 2008

A clear purse

Today was one of those days when I spied all sorts of interesting characters in the skyway. There was a young woman with a bird pinned to her head (reminiscent of Carrie in the wedding scene of the SATC movie, though this bird was brown, not blue), a man decked out in full cowboy gear, down to the crushingly tight jeans, and a woman carrying a clear plastic purse.

It was this that caught my eye.

Like every other woman I know, I carry a purse. Well, not really a purse, more of a bag. I own several (waaayyy more than I should) but I always end up resorting to the same style. Big, generally cavernous, probably closer to a tote bag or briefcase due to the size, with at least one interior zip-up pocket and one exterior pocket where I can tuck my go-to card, straps long enough to sling over my shoulder but short enough that the bag stays firmly tucked under my arm. The bag must be large enough to carry my wallet (a little wristlet), my cell phone, my lunch for work, a little pack of Kleenex, neosporin and a couple of bandaids, antacids, my ipod, a little notebook, a couple of pens, some chapstick, and some sort of entertainment, whether it be a knitting project or a book. Usually both.

I cannot imagine carrying a clear purse, though. I mean, my whole life is in there. In addition to the crap listed above, there are old receipts, about half a dozen tubes of lipgloss, feminine hygiene products, slips of paper with notes written on them, bills to drop in the mail, a couple of pens, knitting patterns, pamphlets and fliers for stuff I want to see and do, 15 pounds of loose change, and all the other detritus I accumulate as I move through my day.

I cannot imagine just putting that shit on display with a see-thru purse. Baring my soul, that’s what that would be. Inviting people into the deepest, most secret parts of my life. Displaying my lack of organizational skills, my packrat tendencies, and my entire being to the whole world as they stroll by me in the skyway.

That woman is way braver than I could ever be.

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