Thursday, February 27, 2014
My mother worries because she says my handbag is always open. I guess she's right. It's just so much easier to have an open bag on the seat in the car so I can reach in for change or my phone if it rings. The problem is that it topples over a lot and I lose things under the seat. I also dump the contents out on my bed and then find myself at work without my comb. That happened the other day and when I got home I was just about to hit the one-click button on Amazon to order another one, when I felt something hard under my leg. I had made the bed with the comb in it.
I always had a little purse for Easter and it was almost always patent leather. To match my shiny new Maryjane's. My first real purse was the pink suede one I wrote about earlier. Not long after, my mother bought me a brown accordion handbag with a metal chain strap for my first day at Jr. High. It felt so grown up with my nylons, which I got to wear for the first time too. I have a nice photograph of myself later in high school, sitting on the couch waiting for my date, my open handbag beside me. If only I could zero in on that picture and see what was inside that bag. I do know I had a small hairbrush with a psychedelic Peter Max design on it. I also recall a red plastic billfold that had school pictures of friends stacked with a rubber band around them. There were just so many and each with a personal message written on the back. Perhaps a Yardley Slicker lipgloss, most likely in frosted pink to match my mini-dress and tights, although I'm not sure.
A friend told me once that her handbag was filled with daily comforts. I really liked that. My grandmother use to carry a small yellow tin of Anacin. It had a black dot on the front and after pressing down with tremendous force, or so it seemed to my eight year old thumb, it would reveal two small rows of pills. I carry some headache meds in a small plastic bottle. That's a comfort. As well as a tiny prayer book, a gift from someone I love. There are the usual things - a Kleenex package, the aforementioned comb, a small wallet with pictures of my daughter; one as an infant and one as a grown up. I love knowing those are there though I don't really look at them much. Most photos are on my cell phone these days.
One thing I really like to carry is a small bottle of scent. You've heard it here before: I use perfume as comfort sometimes. A new friend has told me I may want to carry a cotton ball of an essential oil I like. She tells me that pressing it to nose may ground and settle me when I am having stress. I do admit to having stress these days, especially at work. If I do use her suggestion, I think I will choose a citrus scent as my grandmother's hands always smelled of lemons, something else I've talked about here before. Those hands were cool and calming.
I was a handbag maven long before designer bags became so popular. At the mall last year, I pointed out a bag to my mother that I would consider to be my very ultimate handbag. She looked over at me askance and told me that the bag I admired so much cost more than her and my father's first house back in 1960. I knew she would be appalled and frankly, so was I. But it's difficult these days to find a nice pretty useful handbag that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. There's just nothing in between it seems.
I think everyone has their own handbag style. I was amused recently when I noticed my dear friend Jane's bag was studded. What was really funny is that each stud had an embedded rhinestone in it. That's Jane: bling with substance. I just love her. I don't like too much embellishment though. Just a supple leather, a medium size, and a nice inside with a lining that's sewn in. Something classic and practical but with a certain je ne sais quoi. And filled with a few comforts.