Evolution of a Bag Lady

I never thought this would happen to me. I used to be the gal who went out for a night on the town with nothing more than my ID, credit card, a bit of cash, and a lipstick neatly tucked away in my jeans pocket. Of course, this was back in my single days when I wanted to have both hands free to manage cocktail hour, and didn’t want to worry about leaving a purse unattended while was on the dance floor.

Then the boyfriend (and one-day husband) arrived on the scene. I allowed myself to bring a purse out with me. After all, he tended to be the one at the bar ordering the drinks, and he was always willing to watch my purse for me. With the purse came more must-have items for an evening out. I placed my ID and credit card in my wallet (where they rightfully belong), I could bring more than one lipstick, and maybe even compact, or a pen.

However, with marriage and children came an explosion of handbag needs. The purse I use today is the equivalent of an army rucksack.

It wasn’t too bad at first. When my son was born, I had a nice fashionable diaper bag for all of HIS stuff: bottles, diapers, wipes, pacifiers, and the like. I held onto my petite purse for basics. Then my daughter came along. The diaper bag was still great, but I was getting tired of lugging around two bags.

As they both got a bit older, and I starting to brave brief outings with little more than supplies for an emergency diaper change. I starting finding ways to fit a few diapers, wipes and fruit snacks in my purse.

Here’s where it all falls apart, in order to consolidate my mothering and personal needs, I buy the BIG BAG. That’s right, the type of handbag that my mother lugged around all through childhood. It held everything from tissues, to keys, to rosary beads and crayons. It was the bag that held EVERYTHING.


Of course, having everything in your bag usually means you can find NOTHING.

That’s my bag today. I surveyed the contents this morning on the train ride to work. After a 3-day weekend with the kids, a sampling of the contents if my purse includes:

– Sunglasses (stripped from their case)
– A McDonald’s Happy Meal parrot-like toy (I actually think I have two if those buried in there)
– Car keys, complete with my sparkly Iguana keychain from Aruba
– My security badge for work
– A notebook, with one or two torn pages adorning my 4-yr old’s artwork from Saturday-night dinner at a restaurant
– my wallet, the big wallet with my checkbook inside
– reading glasses (rarely used)
– Advil
– some mail, mostly bills which I must remember to pay today.
– An assortment of pens, pencils, and lipsticks (When I reach in my bag, I am never sure which I will pull out.)

Of course, there are even more odds and ends, receipts, sticky notes, my phone. One of these days, I will clean out this bag, and probably find that earring I lost last week.

2 thoughts on “Evolution of a Bag Lady

  1. Once you have become a bag lady your goose is cooked. There is no return. Best shot at reducing “portfolio” is when the kids grow up and leave the nest. If you try to clean house(bag-hmmmm, wonder if house is more appropriate than bag now) you will not be able to part with anything. That is because the things are now umbilicalized to you. Maybe that stick of crushed and bent gum. And the grocery store coupons from 2006…But that’s it.

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