"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.
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?