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Purses have evolved. They are now so much more than arm candy that holds a wallet and a lipstick. They’re more like survival kits we carry on our arms or shoulders, and if you reach a point in life where you’ve garnered a Ph.D. in Purses, you know how to work a purse like nobody’s business. I know one brilliant woman who walks out of the house never carrying more than a wallet and keys—in her pocket. I could never be her. I knew I had reached some kind of pinnacle when my purse succeeded as a survival kit for not just myself but an entire planeload of passengers during a four-hour ground hold. Charged cellphone? (I had 2). Ipad (uh-huh). Extra bottle of water (purchased post- security)? Check. Reading material? (The Library of Congress would have been envious). Sandwich (my travel staple—pb&j—which in a pinch can feed 8, as every mom knows). Grapes (yep). Earplugs? (2 sets, stockpiled from a business trip). Blanket? (well, a Pashima). And here is the god’s truth—I even had a smoke mask in a pouch, a relic from an office safety drill. We didn’t need that, but this inventory doesn’t even count my makeup, notebooks, and medicines. (If cholera had broken out on the tarmac, we would have been in good shape.) Even when not traveling, I seem to leave the house assuming I, like Lewis & Clark, will be forging out into a major expedition and must be always prepared. When I see a four—or even five– figure price tag for a purse these days, it makes me crazy, because I can see where this is headed. Soon, purses will reach the price point of small condominiums—in some places, they probably already have, certainly in the rental market. And the phrase “living out of my purse” will become a reality.
– Liz

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