Tuesday, July 17, 2012

My Purse

This excerpt from the late Nora Ephron - celebrated film maker/screen writer (of my all time top ten movie Sleepless in Seattle) struck me as both funny and poignant, as all good writing should.....it gets you laughing and then hits you square between the eyes with the truth.  

I did not get the purse gene and in not doing so I somehow feel I have let down the sisterhood.....those women who stand in line outside Coach stores to get a good deal or the latest purse......those women who have closets full of purses for all occasions, all outfits, all seasons.....those women who can spot a brand name vs a knock-off at 50 feet.

I know many of those women, I love some of them, some are close friends but I so do not get them on this topic.

This is my purse......all purpose black, capacious enough to hold a solid amount of rubbish...$25 at Target.  I do have one other purse - its red and I never use it - it's too much work to transfer all the crap into it.  I know..... I know....I see the sad shake of your head.....
Does it help at all that I have a cute red Fossil wallet?  Well it was cute before the uncapped pen in my purse attacked it.....one of 12 pens/pencils that commune in my bag lest the desire to write my memoirs strike me far from my desk.......sigh

SO here's Nora to expose the dark truth.....

"I hate my purse.  I absolutely hate it.  If you're one of those women who think there's something great about purses, don't even bother reading this because there will be nothing here for you.  This is for women who hate their purses, who are bad at purses, who understand that their purses are reflections of negligent housekeeping, hopeless disorganization, a chronic inability to throw anything away, and an ongoing failure to handle the obligations of a demanding and difficult accessory (the obligation, for example, that it should in some way match what you're wearing.)  This is for women whose purses are a morass of loose Tic Tacs, solitary Advils, lipsticks without tops, ChapSticks of unknown vintage, little bits of tobacco even though there has been no smoking going on for at least ten years, tampons that have come loose from their wrappings, English coins from a trip to London last October, boarding passes from long-forgotten airplane trips, hotel keys from God-knows what hotel, leaky ballpoint pens, Kleenexes that either have or have not been used but there's no way to be sure one way or another, scratched eyeglasses, an old tea bag, several crumpled personal checks that have come loose from the checkbook and are covered with smudge marks, and an unprotected toothbrush that looks as if it has been used to polish silver....

This is for those of you who understand, in short, that your purse is, in some absolutely horrible way, you.

Because here's what happens with a purse.  You start small.  You start pledging yourself to neatness.  You start vowing that This Time It Will Be Different.  You start with the things you absolutely need - your wallet and a few cosmetics you have actually put into a brand-new shiny cosmetic bag, the kind used by your friends who are competent enough to manage more than one purse at a time.  But within seconds, your purse has accumulated the debris of a lifetime.  The cosmetics have somehow fallen out of the shiny cosmetic bag (okay, you forgot to zip it up), the coins have fallen from the wallet (okay, you forgot to fasten the coin compartment), the credit cards are somewhere in the abyss (okay, you forgot to put your Visa card back into your wallet after you bought the sunblock that is now oozing into the lining because you forgot to put the top back onto it after you applied it to your hands while driving seventy miles an hour down the highway)...And there's half a bottle of water, along with several snacks you saved from an airplane trip just in case you ever found yourself starving and unaccountably craving a piece of cheese that tastes like plastic."  -- 

Nora Ephron in her book, I Feel Bad About My Neck


  1. I can relate to Nora Ephron in many ways but my biggest peeve is that I can never, ever find things in my purse that I know for sure I put there!! I think there is a purse gremlin who secrets things away just to torture me!! Thank heavens for my new phone tether - at least I can now find my phone when it is ringing!!

  2. Ha ha Mom - so its YOUR fault!! And don't say tether - say "bungee" its much hipper......and I have lost my bungee already....its probably in my purse!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Oh dear. The apple really does not fall far from the tree. I unpacked my purse to pack things in a backpack for a trip last November. Now...in July of the following year I have yet to repack my purse. I just carry my wallet everywhere. It is a wallet I bought for 99 cents when I was pregnant with Amy 14 years ago. The clasp had the audacity to break last month....now if I could just find my purse I could use it to protect my broken wallet so it would last another 14 years.....pockets are for cell phones...what's a bungee?

  4. google Container store iPhone bungee - genius invention if only I could find mine!!!