This is your life: Handbag edition

Last weekend we cleaned the garage. We were on the verge of losing a small child amidst all the plastic tubs full of who knows what. One of those tubs housed my collection of bags and purses.

I don’t consider myself a clotheshorse. But back when I had an income and no kids, I had a tendency to spend my cash on handbags and blow. Just kidding. Only bags. I’ve never done blow, it just sounded cool.

Anyway I promised my husband I would weed through the bin and cut the clutter.

Purses are like time capsules. Most of these bags pre-date my childbearing years, and some even pre-date my marriage. So as I dug through their pockets, readying them for the Goodwill pile, it was like a walk down memory lane.

This little number I bought on a work trip to DC about 10 years ago. I was young, fun, and thought hey – a purse with a bird on it! So kewl and hipster. Reminds me of this hilarious Portlandia skit. Put a Bird on It!

I never used this bag. Not even once. I gave it to my daughter for dress up. She loves it. And I think we can all agree that’s a much more suitable demographic for this itty bitty birdy bag.

These next two purses were a painful reminder that having kids quadruples the size of the purse you carry. My current wallet would not even fit in these mini bags, let alone anything else. Much like my designer thong underwear, these are now useless.

The red one had several old tampons in it, so I saved those. Those things don’t expire, do they?

These next two are from my early 30’s, and reflect a departure from traditional fabric choices. Oddly, I found a ton of old business cards in these. Nothing says, “I’m a working professional who hates dressing like a working professional” like a corduroy purse or a sling satchel. Honestly, I should’ve seen the writing on the wall.

Note that they both have two front pockets – a feature that when you first see a purse, you think, “Oh sweet – I’ll put my phone in there so I can find it easily.” And then you never ever actually remember to do it, and repeatedly curse as you dig for your phone in the main pocket amid a sea of dried up pens, crumpled receipts and tampons – so much menses!

These next two I saved.

The orange moon purse I purchased on a trip to Italy with my sister. We were both single and it was a fabulous trip filled with gutbusting laughter and fierce fighting like only sisters can do. So even though I haven’t used it in years, I can’t part with it. Besides – Italian leather! (I don’t know what that even means – are cows better there?)

The smaller one was a gift from my sister. It’s made out of 60’s French lawn furniture fabric. C’est groovy, non? I still use it on the rare night out.

This next one I used a couple years ago. In it I found the business card of the marriage counselor we saw during the tumultuous year that followed the birth of our first child.

Uffda does that bring back memories. I love my babies, but oh lawdy they can throw a wrench in a marriage.

When I first pulled the card out, my husband and I laughed about it and agreed we are in a much better place now. Phew! Then later that afternoon he saw that I had saved the card and put it in the junk drawer. He was confused why I kept it, so I explained that it’s a safety precaution. We are only 6 years into this lifelong commitment. Mama ain’t naive enough to think that tide can’t turn again.

Buried within all those bags I also found this:

It was my grandpa’s belt. He was one of the coolest cowboys around – a soft-spoken, wise-cracking, humble man, who was so dear to me growing up. I always intended to wear this, but I never got around to poking another hole in it to fit.

I brought it up to my closet so I remember to finally do it. It’s also a good reminder that life goes by quickly. When there’s something I want to do or try, I need to avoid dragging my feet and just giddyup.

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11 thoughts on “This is your life: Handbag edition

  1. awesome. i’m so glad i’m not the only one who hoards purses for their emotional value. or who wants to toss her husband out the window after the birth of their first child. of course, i am only 4 weeks into this . . . so i take it from what you’re saying that this feeling won’t pass any time soon. cwap.

    and please pardon the lack of capitalization. typing one handed while feeding. 🙂

    • YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Trust me on this one. Having kids is like a marital apocalypse. It all goes to shit for a bit but it gets better once you find a groove and settle into your new roles and relationship. And it may not take that long – we were just slow to address it. To quote our counselor, communication is key! She said some other stuff too but I can’t remember it. Hang in there.

      • p.s. maybe go buy a new purse right now. Retail therapy always feels good, and then someday you can look back on it fondly and say, that’s my ‘post-partum I hate my husband bag!’

  2. I would love to do a post like this some day. I think I probably have a box with purses in it from high school. I can only imagine how hilarious it would be to watch the styles fly by in chronological order. This was a cute post!

  3. i love this trip down the memory lane of purses. You have great taste-well except for courdoroy 🙂

    I have always been a fan of big purses..even pre-kid but I am never one to spend much 4 or time looking for one. i have a few friends who give me their cast-offs.

    • That corduroy phase was a rough patch. I’m just grateful I didn’t pair it with a corduroy jacket and pants – that’s when I’ll know I have officially gone off the deep end.

  4. Pingback: Share The Love Sunday (Somewhat Cranky Edition) - It's A Dome LifeIt's A Dome Life

  5. LOVE the one from your sister. Since I go out once a year, can I borrow it?

    You had me at uffda. And with all the menses.

    All my purses, which I swear I’ll go through this week, have lip glosses in them. I can reminisce by shade and brand.When I was young I wanted gloss. As I aged I wanted color. Now I want eco-friendly “didn’t harm any Italian cows in the process” gloss. Because they’re extra buttery, or haven’t you heard? 😉

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