Each year, sometime in March, my sisters and I go shopping. The middle sister’s birthday is at the beginning of the month, and it is tradition that we buy her clothes of her choosing, and then spend money on ourselves.
After the birthday presents.
For the past few years, I’ve been using this little jaunt as an excuse to buy a new purse.
Because if I don’t, I’ll have the same one for ten years. I’m like that. And it’s not that having a purse for a long time is bad, but a 2004 purse in 2014 is kinda, well, telling. That I have no fashion sense. Plus, if I get a new one each year, then I can decide I hate it and live with it knowing that next March I will have another shot at finding one I love.
Now, if you’re not a purse girl, or boy, there are a few things you should understand.
Those huge bags with one little zipper pocket inside the ginormous cavern do not work for me.
I have stuff. I have big stuff and small stuff, and trying to find my lip gloss underneath my wallet, notebook, check book, phone, keys, tissues, pens, pocket knife (it’s small), flashlight and business card holder is not a pleasant experience. And I feel like my mother.
The cough drops, lucky for them, get to live in the little zipper pocket. But they tend to drive the other non-medical items away, which is awkward
Second, the strap.
Oh yes, this is important. There are many options: short straps, long straps, one strap or two strap. Will it be leather, chain, string, chain mail? The list goes on and on.
I’m not terribly particular on any of the above points, except the lengths. I have chubby arms (heck, I have chubby everything) so those super tiny, short straps on those cute small purses do NOT work. If I can’t tuck the thing into my armpit, grasp it like a football (American) and dash through the crowd like a running back (only with less protection on) then it gets tossed back onto the rack.
One year I thought I could handle it. One year the cuteness of the purse so overwhelmed me that I bought one without sufficient strap diameter to meet my requirements.
That will never happen again.
And this is where I went awry this year.
All of my purse stuff is wide:fat wallet, notebook, lots of pens, business cards—mine and other peoples, flash drives, lip gloss, random meds…put it all together and it fits perfectly into a giant Tootsie Roll.
So why did I buy the skinny square?
I dunno. I think I was hoping I could slim down my purse stash enough to get it all to fit. I stuffed everything in, noticed it bulged slightly from the side, and decided to ignore it.
It would be fine. Nothing was ripping.
And things were fine for a few months. I made do. The purse is cute, and red, and, well, cute.
But a few weeks ago I was trying to jam my wallet back in, around my asthma inhaler, keys and some hand sanitizer, and my mind clicked.
Why in the world was I trying to jam my chubby purse stuff into the skinny square?
What had possessed me to think that after all these years, I could slim down my stash of it-might-come-in-handy stuff?
It just wasn’t me.
Within a week I’d gone to Ross, found the not quite as cute but nicely proportioned and pocketed, purse that I now carry with me.
Anyone else ever do that? “I can change that, no problem.” But when there isn’t a plan to change anything, then nothing will change. Just me jamming my too long wallet into my skinny square purse.
Now don’t get me wrong, you can change anything you want to. All of us can. But there are some things that are you. No matter what. For me it’s Tootsie Roll shaped purses, wearing my headphones long after the music has stopped and looking on the bright side of life through cool shades.
How about you?