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The Mystery of a Woman’s Handbag

Last spring my son had a baseball game that finished a little later than normal.  My husband was away on business, so it was just the kids and I.  We hopped in the car to head home to do the evening rush of dinner, homework, and bathing.   Upon arriving home, I parked the car and unconsciously we all let out a “yay!  We are home!” sigh.  I start to dig in my bag for my house keys and I could not find them.  I looked all over the car, in all the bags we had and my keys were nowhere to be found.  I was beyond irked.  It was late and we were all cranky, hungry and tired.  Luckily my parents, who lived about 30 minutes away, had an extra pair of keys.  (Yes, I should give a copy to neighbors!) I called to let them know that I was on my way down to pick up the extra pair of keys.  I’d take a chance and worry about the locksmith in the morning.   We just needed to be at home!  Before we headed down to my parents, I decided to head back to the park  – maybe they are in the parking lot or maybe near the ball field? The kids stayed in the car; and as the sun was setting quickly and I sort of retraced my steps from the lot to the field using the flashlight on the phone.  No such luck.  No keys.  Huffing and puffing from anger back to the car, I get in and give a last ditch effort around my handbag.  Low and behold – MY KEYS!  Thankfully I didn’t have to drive down to my parents and we didn’t have to sleep with one eye open all night knowing that some stranger might have my keys.

But seriously – where were they? I turned around to the kids in the back seat to ask if they secretly had them this whole time and threw them into my bag as I was walking through the park in the dark.   Cause they certainly were NOT in my bag when I looked the first 300 times.  I swear.

My key ring is not small.  It’s a nice sized key ring, with at least 10 of the little club cards (but only 3 keys!)  Why does it seem that a woman’s handbag is a black hole?  I don’t know about you, but I simply never, ever find what I’m looking for on the first try.  Although 9.9 out of 10 times, it’s actually in there.

It’s My Bag and I’ll Cry If I Want To

Many women love handbags.  I do too – and certainly have plenty to show that love.  But on the flip side, it is one of my biggest daily frustrations.  Pretty snazzy on the outside, but a complete hot mess on the inside.  These are examples of what I call The Murphy’s Law of a Woman’s Bag:

  • The minute you clean out your bag, you wind up going to the store you had the gift card for, which you had been carrying around in the bag for the previous 3 months
  • The receipt to the item I want to return is nowhere to be found – even though I checked 3 times before I left the house. Luckily I found that 7-11 receipt from 5 months ago
  • If for some reason you take out the band-aids – your child will get cut
  • If you run out of tissues, the public toilet will not have toilet paper
  • 7 lipsticks that are all the same shade
  • At least 12 pens/pencils – who needs that many?
  • Need quarters for a parking meter? You guessed it – you took all the change out of your wallet the day before
  • Then there is the classic – you removed the umbrella from the handbag just prior to the rain beginning

What’s in that THING?

Most of my handbags are on the big size and they do get heavy.  The husband or child attempt to find something in the bag is pretty comical.  If I can’t find what I’m looking for – then there is no way that they will l find it.  As often as they may ask me “What do you have in that thing?” – there is a slight expectation that I store household items in it. Sort of like Target, women should have a little bit of everything, I guess.  These are a few requests I’ve received:

  • Mom, do you have a stapler?
  • What do you have to eat in there?  (As toddlers, yes, we had snacks – now at 11 and 8, not so much)
  • Mom, do you have a spoon?
  • I can’t find the stylus for the 3DS…do you have one in your bag?
  • Mom, do you have a ruler?
  • My socks got wet.  Do you have an extra pair?
  • Mom, do you have any batteries?
  • I’m bored – do you have anything to play within in there?
  • Hey hon, any chance you have that small screwdriver in your bag?

Oh! There’s that nacho that I was looking for!

But you’ll ALWAYS be lucky enough to find a bunch of stuff that you do not need, weren’t expecting or are just plain nasty.  I put the question out there to my friends. Tell me some of the most random items you’ve ever found in your handbag?

  • Happy meal toys
  • Melted crayons
  • A wine cork
  • Those little pantyhose things that you try shoes on with
  • My son’s cup from baseball
  • Random Lego pieces
  • A dead spider
  • Barbie Doll shoes (never a matching pair)
  • Chewed gum – no wrapper
  • A cookie cutter
  • Sugar packets
  • Tampon – no wrapper (Stop – it was new!)
  • Playdoh (no container – just the playdoh)
  • 17 hairclips – although neither my daughter nor I actually wear them.
  • That signed permission slip that you swore to your daughter that you handed in
  • Used straws
  • Stamps (unpeeled and stuck to the bottom)
  • Chocolate milk bottle caps
  • Swedish Fish (out of the packet)
  • A piece of a hot dog (we just went to a baseball game)

I’m Born Again!

Once in a while you have to give in and clean the darn thing out.  Cleaning out the bag is like starting anew. Take out all the junk, empty out all the crumbs, remove the old receipts from the wallet, spray it down with Febreeze and you are ready to repack.  It is a beautiful thing.  You are thrilled with your organization skills.  You promise yourself that you’ll never let it get so out of control again.  You head out of the house feeling like you’re on top of the world!

Sadly within the hour, you head to a store, pay for a small item with a large bill and proceed to throw all the change and receipt in your handbag.  As those gum wrappers and receipts start piling up, you think to yourself that you should go home to clean the bag right away. Once you reach your door, you start digging in your bag – only to discover that your keys seem to be missing again in your black hole of a handbag….

Vicious cycle, my friends….

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