Friday, October 05, 2012

Handbag


How do men manage without handbags? Here are the contents of mine. Do I really need all this? I suppose that those who use an electronic diary don't perhaps carry two diaries, as I do at this time of year: the flowery one is this year's and the red one is for writing in details of exciting parties to which I've been invited next year. (No - not so far.)

And men put wallets in their pockets so don't need what I would call a purse - the black thing at the top left. Mr Life copes with not carrying a cheque book because he never writes cheques - and come to think of it, I hardly ever do either apart from to the window cleaner or, rarely, someone to whom I'm sending money. So maybe I don't need to carry it around because I write these cheques while I'm at home.

But obviously I need the little packet of tissues and, occasionally when out, the specs. Then there's the little black shopping bag - useful and not heavy. And the wee notebook. Maybe I could ditch that, since I have a few sticky pad leaves stuck to the inside of my diary for random and temporary pieces of information. But I'm a notebooky sort of person. Moving to the right, there's my old-lady bus pass and my driving licence. I don't really have to carry the latter, I suppose. I seldom break the laws of the road or at any rate not to such an extent that I would be conveyed directly to gaol. (I hope.)

The red thing to the right is a Swiss Army card, with lots of tiny tools which I never use (but might one day, who knows? If I take it out of my bag, I'm sure to do something that requires tweezers to undo.) Below that, there's a stash of old receipts, which I do clear out from time to time and won't put back, and below that, a thing from Sainsbury entitling me to £2-something off my next shop. Left of that, the green thing is my National Trust card, in a little container of cards that I don't need very often, and the black leather thing above, which contains cards I use a lot. Then, to the left, there's my (unsmart, but fine) phone, a comb, a pen (very unusual for me to have one rather than twenty-seven, including red ones which I now never need). And lastly, a very useful folding pair of scissors and a lip salve. It's strawberry flavoured, which gives me the illusion of eating something if I'm out, about and hungry. It also makes me smell as if I've been eating cheap sweeties, but nothing's perfect.

I sometimes also fit in a paperback book.

My handbag is actually quite small. It's black fabric and cost £7 from Marks and Spencer's. I bought it one day as a standby when my regular handbag's strap had broken but it's lasted several years. It's probably not the height of chic. I dread to think of the amount of stuff I'd carry about if I had one of those huge designer portmanteaux into which you could fit a medium-sized baby.

And you? Minimal, kitchen sink or something in between?

16 comments:

Lynda said...

I finally gave in to my inner lack-of-femininity and just carry a rucksack. You can fit a LOT of junk in a rucksack!

Jee said...

I cut down my clutter when I realised my back was suffering - I also brought a smaller bag with a strap that allows me to wear it diagonally so it doesn't slip off my shoulder when I carry shopping. My back's much better and so far I haven't missed anything..

Jennifer said...

Definitely minimal, because of a shoulder problem I don't like heavy bags or bags which must be hung from one's shoulder. Many of the current bags are so huge you could use them to pack clothes for a fortnight's holiday.

magsmcc said...

Well. At least with the tweezers I could have whipped the dead fly from Jo's eye on the spot on Wednesday instead of having to cycle on to the school, wait for the school nurse who never appeared, get lift home with neighbour nurse who did appear, extract dead fly myself with tissue and reading light, drive back down to school, leave my bike at the school all day, walk down to retrieve both boys and bikes at 3pm. Phew. Yes, never leave home without the Swiss Army thing! Obviuously I don't have the tweezers. I try always to have my little camera and my Kindle. (I remain a book snob but have been Kindle-converted because of ease of always having something scandalous to read on trains, or school runs- my diary being nowhere near sufficient.) I should carry my reading glasses, but I've lost them. Which is unfortunate when you're going on a Roman blind making day tomorrow which will necessitate not only hand sewing but the threading of needles. Thankfully my mother tonight presented me with a needle threader. Now I realise that I am old, Isabelle. I am old.

Ali Honey said...

That to me sounds very normal. Mine is very similar.
I have a small rectangular fabric holder ( like a coin purse ) for all the dam cards I need to carry. I really don't approve of loyalty cards but go along with it because of the benefits. ( why can't they just take it off the price for everyone? )The occasional free cup of coffee or what ever.
Add to your list a camera and a makeup purse and you have my lot.
Sometimes I also get to carry R's glasses case etc.

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

Let's just say that I admire your restraint and organization without getting into a discussion of what's in my "purse" which is what I call the shoulder bag with all my "stuff" inside it.

I do keep diaries there and love remembering that bit in Mrs. Miniver where she is choosing a new engagement calendar. It's delightful and a lot the way my mind works. And many other minds as well, I'm fairly certain.

Lucille said...

So minimal that I was locked out for two hours yesterday. I hate carrying a bag. The cheque book has long been jettisoned. The glasses are almost permanently on ma face, unless I drop them. I eschew most cards. Don't wear make up, but do need lip salve. The phone is tiny and I don't carry it often enough to reassure my family. The oyster card is useful because I don't quite yet qualify for the old lady one.

Linds said...

Kitchen sink. I have no idea how so much STUFF ends up in my bag. And I am so glad to see someone else who carries the Swiss army card! Wonderful little thing.

Gina E. said...

Most of that looks pretty familiar to me in a Scottish kind of way. I don't carry my cheque book around though, as I write any cheques at home. Just one small diary, and a small sketchbook in my bag. Licence and cards all go in one wallet, but coins go in a separate coin purse as too many of them can wreck the coin part of a wallet. I made myself a 'bottom-of-the-bag' holder to keep all the small things like lipsticks, comb, nail file, etc. that are so hard to find when you're digging around in the bottom of an average size shoulder bag.

Mac n' Janet said...

How very organized your purse is. I'm not sure what's in mine, have to take a look.

Thimbleanna said...

You're very organized Mrs. Life. I always forget the lip balm. Actually, I'm either minimal or the kitchen sink in my backpack. If I'm just running an errand I just grab my little wallet that contains my driver's license, credit card, a little cash and a few loyalty cards. The whole thing can attach to my keys. Unfortunately that leaves my phone to just hang around unattended, which has occasionally caused me to leave it somewhere. Otherwise, if I'm going somewhere for the day, I'll take my backpack full of all of your goodies (except the lip balm which I always forget) plus my big camera and the occasional iPad. ;-D You always have such fun posts!

Marcheline said...

I've often thought of doing one of these posts, but I'm afraid after making the contents of my bag public, the men in white coats would arrive to cart me off...

Fran said...

I carry bus timetables in mine because I go round on the bus all the time. And whenever I'm at the bus stop and I get one out of my bag, everyone looks as though they're thinking, 'Is she for REAL?'

Gillie said...

Mm, well, yesterday I staggered through two airports carrying what felt like the kitchen sink in my bag and am suffering for it today. But have pruned and tossed so have similar to yours except always carry my camera and some knitting/stitching for unforeseen waiting around.

libby said...

Way too much stuff in mine......but can't seem to leave the house without it all,and I have one of those little screw driver type things too..useful for mending your glasses when the arm falls off!.

Fairlie said...

Like Jee and Jennifer, I've had to downsize my bag carrying due to chronic neck and shoulder issues - my physio saw me heft my sizable handbag over my shoulder after one session and said, "THAT! Stop that immediately." I now have the tiniest of bags which I can wear diagonally and in it I can fit my purse, phone, keys and a lipstick. And after swapping to this regime a couple of months ago I've realised I have never actually needed any of the other items I used to drag around with me. Talk about a (literal) weight off my shoulders.