If I were to be defined by my purse alone, I would be old, tattered, out-dated. When I am gamboling about with CJ during the week, I think little about the condition of my purse or how it shall be received by passersby. When my students enter the office, it sits tucked away beside my chair. And what eight year old cares about what Mrs. Tammy carries her crap about town in?
For me, a purse is something in which to transport my little “necessities.” It is not a several hundred dollar fashion statement nor does it get replaced with the changing seasons. It is not changed out based on what color shoes I wear. I am quite sure the paparazzi would have a field day with Jennifer Aniston and she would never secure a lead role again were she to carry my LL Bean bag full of holes purchased circa 2007.
Recently, however, I found myself a bit concerned about my bag and about myself.
Who Says You Can’t Go Home
Just last week, we traveled to Upstate New York, the place from whence we came, the place where we formed our young identities and some of our finer habits like strolling about malls and outlet stores.
Of course, my bag came with me as my only other option is to stuff everything into CJ’s man purse or yank the Obligatory Black Purse out from the top shelf of the closet, dust it off, and try unsuccessfully to stuff all of my notebooks, pens, fold up brush, and make-up I carry around but rarely use.
Somehow, my bag seemed heavier and more conspicuous as I entered households and restaurants visiting family and friends.
Why such angst? These were the people who knew me best, were they not? Some of these people saw me in much more compromising positions during my youth, and I am now a 42 year old woman who runs her own business. Yet I was experiencing what one might consider mild anxiety over it. What would they think about someone who chooses to nance around carrying a shoddy bag?
Would there be whispers after our departure? Lost her mind. She used to be so good, so on top of things. So together. What on earth would possess her to carry that hunk of junk into our lives?
Silence of the Fams
With the exception of one small comment and my quick and witty retort, my bag and I flew under the radar of the Purse Police. No one seemed to notice. As far as I know, my integrity was not called into question. Nothing happened to lead me to believe that people wondered if I had lost my marbles. I may even remain in some wills if I were ever in any.
As the days passed, the weight of my bag lifted. After a day or two, it affected me no more than a mere feather on my shoulder might.
Safely back on the ground in Houston ten days later, I smiled contentedly and stared out the window of the airport shuttle now transporting us back to our car.
Ah, a healthy bag, I see!
I turned to my right toward the man now ogling my purse from across the aisle.
Yes, I replied and nodded.
They’re coming out with a new design. I work for the company. Should be out in September or October.
Really? I questioned. Even though I craved sleep and silence, I am not impolite.
Oh yes, even better for the back.
I just love mine. See?! I held up my bag which looks like I just wrestled it from the jaws of a Tasmanian devil.
September or early October at the latest, he comments once more, now affirming for me that it is indeed a sales pitch. I slightly admire him for his perseverance. After all, his hard work has contributed to my many years of freedom from purse shopping and purchases.
Any hint of embarrassment vanished. In its place I experienced a bonding of sorts, a shift in my relationship with my bag. I placed it back on my lap and commenced a gently patting of her fine, worn canvas. Don’t worry, punkinhead. No one could ever take your place.
And you, Jolly friend? We love hearing from you.
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