Quantcast
 
Picture
"Don't go in there!" I yell when Equis dips his thick hand into my purse. Not only are there small items in my purse that he can choke on, but there are precious items, such as my wallet or my glasses, that I don't want him ruining with his sharp teeth, drinkable yogurt or crushing fingers.

Only select people in my life are granted access to my purse (and that excludes my toddler); but today, I am baring it all for you, my reader.

When a friend recently posted a photo on Facebook of what was in her purse, I thought to myself, "I could NEVER do that. My purse is not that organized or full of such cool contents." However, the images in Strollerderby's "Artists Explore the Secret World of Women: Their Purses" of the belongings women carry intrigued me. After seeing the images, I first admonished myself for not including my iPod or a compact camera in my purse too (as if my tiny purse weren't stuffed enough!). However, seeing everyday objects, such as tampons, ticket stubs, ID cards, shoes, wallets, phones, iPods and cosmetics, displayed as art made me feel a little less embarrassed about what the contents of my small purse may look like when photographed.

I welcome you inside.
Picture
My purse and its contents minus my Kindle, tampons, credit cards and cellphone.
In surveying the items in the picture, I can see flashes of events and people in my life as well as places and activities that are important to me or hound me. For example, the movie ticket stubs remind me of a fun night out with my friends, the Saint's Alp Teahouse card takes me to countless memories drinking bubble tea with my best friend, the receipts tell me I should stop spending money, the redemption card for a threading salon makes me excited for my upcoming free session, the laundry card stirs up an image of overflowing dirty laundry in my apartment, and the purse and wallet make me feel grateful for the people who gave them to me.

I also think the toy car, baby nail clipper and used wipes taking up space in my purse clearly reflect that I am a mother. I find research sociologist Jean-Claude Kaufmann's assertion that "women carry so much in their bags" because "they act as 'resource persons" to be true. He notes, "For the benefit of children, their partner, friends, relations or even workmates, their [a woman's] bag is full of comforters, items such as biscuits, wipes, sweets, tissues, water.” I can see my mom's purse now. As long as I can remember, it has been heavy with tissues, medicine, bandaids, pens, napkins, papers, a Bible, important documents, lipsticks and snacks. If I ever needed something, she had it; and I find myself attempting to follow in her purse-steps.

What is in your purse? How do its contents reflect who you are?
 


Comments

Janene Yazzie
04/15/2012 2:28pm

Love it. I like how you eloquently explore an everyday topic. Most people may think the contents of a woman's purse is merely another glimpse of the mundane but you capture the mystery and charm of taking a different, more meaningful look. My purse is mostly filled with books, a planner (that I'm still trying to use efficiently), maybe some makeup pieces, almost always earrings, and at least three journals of different sizes. I would have never thought about how these contents reflect upon me or what sort of impression they would leave on a stranger attempting to unravel the mystery of me by looking through the contents of my purse. Kind of makes me feel like I need to be more conscious (or proud) about what I carry around, kind of like making sure you wear clean underwear just in case you are rushed unconscious to the hospital...lol.

Reply
04/16/2012 1:02am

Janene, thank you for commenting! Your comments are always so eloquently written and make me feel good. I've always admired you and your earrings. I have to ask why three notebooks and not just one?

Reply
Mom
04/16/2012 12:34am

HaHa. This is such a funny yet poignant blog. I remember one time some one said "you got everything except the kitchen sink," I pulled out a toy kitchen sink and toilet from my daughters doll house. The person laughed and said "Only You Judy, Only You."

Reply
04/16/2012 1:03am

Mama, I will FOREVER remember that story... it is SO HILARIOUS. What a perfect anecdote for moms carrying around EVERYTHING. <3 I love you.

Reply
Janene Yazzie
04/16/2012 2:15am

I ended up carrying around three for different types of thoughts. One for everything and anything I learn in Navajo, another for quotes I come across while reading, and another for spontaneous bouts of inspiration and mental ramblings. I always start mixing them up or sketching in them instead...lol. But now that you made me think about it I'm going to try to not carry them all around at once, I don't know what I would do if I lost my purse with all of them in it.

Reply
04/16/2012 9:58am

Janene, I now write my phone number in my journals in case I lose them... I thought I lost one once with letters to Equis for his first year of life, and I cried hysterically. Of course, I was flooded with relief when I found it squished in the back of a closet. I actually love that you have three notebooks... I often end up adding quotes from books, transcriptions from lovely texts and poetry to the journals meant for describing motherhood. I think we just can't help it! I have a feeling people may be gazing at the sketches and ideas in your journal under a glass in a library or museum one day.

Reply
Janene Yazzie
04/16/2012 2:16am

BTW Mama Maldonado, that story is hilarious! Carrying around everything is often an indication of an awesome mom.

Reply



Leave a Reply