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November 6, 2013


I always envy those women who carry teeny tiny little purses that look like they hold maybe a folded hankie and a quarter for a phone call.

I call my purse the Mary Poppins bag. It isn’t black, but it holds an endless amount of everything. It must be like the TARDIS – bigger on the inside than on the outside.

I want to be someone who can be a minimalist, but it’s just not me. The real me insists on having a pen and a back-up pen. And a Sharpie just in case I need to label something. A couple of pairs of earplugs in an old prescription pill bottle. A little flashlight. A tin box of various kinds of medications – Advil, Beano, antihistamines, and Tylenol just in case a friend can’t take Advil and needs a pain reliever. A nail file and nail clippers. Probably a little pair of scissors, too. Plus all the usual hair brush, makeup, phone kinds of things.

It goes on and on, and sometimes it’s so annoying, having a purse that weighs as much as some carry-on bags.

It’s not annoying, though, when I can swoop down and save the day. My friend needs a throat lozenge? Why, I believe I have one right here! Hand sanitizer? No problem, my friend, your germs are now dead!

So tell me, which are you? The person with the tiny purse or the wallet with only one credit card, or a Mary Poppins like me? And if you’re Mary Poppins, what’s the weirdest item in your purse? C’mon. You can tell me.

  1. November 6, 2013 20:52

    As a former D&D nerd, I can tell you there’s actually a name for a Tardis-like bag: a bag of holding. And that’s the kind I have. My current strangest item is a hex tool — essentially an allen wrench in 12 different sizes.

  2. Gretchen permalink
    November 7, 2013 04:09

    I can’t do the tiny bag, but have resisted the big carry-all until now. The most recent addition that made me move to a bigger bag (still in mourning for the great smaller bag I had) is a pair of glasses for driving. The weirdest thing in the bag is probably the tiny, cushy zipper bag with a tassel carrying my favorite dog’s tags.

    • November 7, 2013 08:39

      I still have Goldie’s tag on my keychain, as well as a little framed photo that Kizz got for me after she died.

  3. Gina permalink
    November 7, 2013 05:50

    Oh I’m definitely a Mary Poppins. I carry the usual suspects like Tylenol, ballpoint pens, lipstick, and nail clippers, but also have hand sanitizer, fine pt and ultra fine pt Sharpies, dental floss, sunscreen, vitamin B12 (?), nasal decongestant, eye drops, ear buds, and 3 pairs of reading glasses. I am down to 1 pair of sunglasses, but I used to carry a back-up pair. LOL

    • November 7, 2013 08:38

      If I could afford backup sunglasses (mine are prescription) I would totally have them.

  4. November 7, 2013 07:06

    Mary Poppins all the way. I am a “just in case” not a “just in time” by any stretch of the imagination. The weirdest thing I have in there today is a complete set of vet records for all my pets. The weirdest thing I have in general is sun screen since I’m also wearing a winter coat.

  5. November 7, 2013 08:13

    Keys, wallet, hairbrush, sunglasses, kleenex, pen, tiny shopping bag. Hey, that’s not too bad. I used to carry around a lot more but I changed to a smaller purse for a trip this spring and decided to keep it that way.

    • November 7, 2013 08:37

      I have tried to switch to a smaller purse, but then it just ends up getting overstuffed. The first step is admitting I have a problem, right?

  6. Ruth permalink
    November 7, 2013 08:54

    I’ve tried many times to switch to something smaller, even a fanny pack, back in the day. No go — all I need to add is a change of underwear and sox and I can live for quite some time out of my bag. My kids refer to me (when someone needs something quick) as “the bag lady” as in “go ask the bag lady” Which doesn’t stop them from razzing me between needs, HA!

  7. November 7, 2013 08:56

    I generally carry matches even though I am not a smoker. I like the idea that I can make a fire if I need to. I never have, but I have used them to light the candle on my table at a restaurant.

  8. November 7, 2013 11:55

    Big bag for sure! In addition to all the regular stuff I have a pair of gloves in there, year-round, because I spend so much time in ice rinks.

  9. Lisa C permalink
    November 7, 2013 20:55

    I would like to be the small, dainty purse lady, but I carry four Epipens, one bottle of Benadryl, and two inhalers for my kid at all times, and they take up a lot of space, so…larger purse it is. It gives me a back/neck ache, honestly. I have given up all pretense at youth and hipness and invested in a fanny pack for the allergy accoutrements when we do family outings (its hard to crawl around a ball pit with a forty pound purse). But I confess that I make my husband wear the fanny pack when possible.

    • November 9, 2013 07:34

      I think the kid thing compounds the problem exponentially. Plus the meds. Oy.

  10. November 8, 2013 08:29

    I kind of have a big purse, but there’s not much in it. I carry my Olympus Pen every where, a small wallet (shaped like an elephant), sunglasses, a couple of different lip balms and small tablet with a pen. Sometimes I carry my iPad in the side pocket. Sometimes I remember to pack a couple of tampons. I am never prepared for illness, lost buttons, or wind (no hairbrush).

  11. November 9, 2013 20:28

    Big one for me, too! I usually have my daughter’s cast-off backpack with wallet, keys, lactaids, tums, Swiss Army knife, pens, an umbrella, my phone, kleenex, and a book. On the weekends I may swap out for a smaller bag, but it’s still big enough to get a few things from the store along with the wallet, keys and phone.Oh, and my knitting project du jour…

  12. November 11, 2013 12:28

    I was a little purse person — or, better, a no-purse-I-have-pockets person — until my 30s. Then, suddenly, I needed a wallet. Then a cell phone. Then diaper bags and/or purses that could double as diaper bags. I usually have a toy or three, several pairs of earrings, and paper galore. Right now I have an armored van (toy) and a pink fairy. My son plays with both.

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