In my opinion, there are three ways to get to know a woman without ever meeting her:
A | Walk through her home and/or bedroom
2 | Read her handwriting
iii | See what’s in her purse
Many women, I feel, won’t reveal the contents of their purse for several reasons. It might be embarrassingly cluttered with Tootsie Roll wrappers and tampons, or too personal an arena. My mother’s purse has always been both a mystery and a fascination; it’s contents are packed as precisely as a game of Tetris. The several glimpses I’ve caught throughout my life have revealed an intricate filing system of coupons and clippings (arguably organized by the Dewey decimal system), a gum and mint section, and a portion reserved for phone numbers, handwritten on the back of business reply mail envelopes since 1981.
I used to carry big purses, but changed my ways after too many “You-could-fit-in-that” comments. The reality came to light when a security guard doing a routine search through purses came to mine and pretended it was Mary Poppins’ bag (which, you might recall, is deep enough to house anything).
These days my purse is smaller, much less amusing, and certainly no secret. It boils down to the essentials that I carry with me day-in and day-out, these can’t-live-withouts that I choose to lug around the city on my right shoulder.
01 | Pepper spray because hey, it’s New York City. And it helps my mom sleep at night.
02 | Headphones to block out the sounds of baby-momma drama, car alarms, every person on the train that decides to have an outdoor voices conversation about their relationship issues, and the sounds of other people listening to the album Hearing Damage (usually featuring Rihanna).
03 | MetroCard the amazing little paper rectangle that gets me everywhere, but nowhere in under and hour.
04 | A book because sometimes you can’t tune out the world enough (see #2) I’m currently reading Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell.
05 | Something good smelling because the city makes you stink like stank! I bring a roller of Kate Spade’s Twirl with me (thanks to Estelle + Amy!)
06 | Journal + pen for ideas, inspiration, quotes, doodles, grocery lists, or just to write ‘HOME’ on over and over and over. I’m faithful to Moleskine journals for their ruggedness and practicality. Also, their pocket in the back holds all of life’s little scraps.
07 | Lip care because a woman can’t be running around these parts with naked lips! I carry Sugar by fresh.
08 | iPhone for every step I take. Because let’s face it, I’d be in Malaysia by now if I didn’t have some directional force guiding me through this urban jungle. It also goes hand-in-hand with #2.
09 | iPad because the power of the iPhone just isn’t enough to keep me alive here. I dress mine in a rigid and classic DODOcase to shield it from the asteroids (not pictured) in my purse.
10 | Wallet because apparently things cost money, and I’d be wise to carry some (library cards, too).
11 | Keys to the kingdom so I can keep things on lockdown, or unlock them. (Fun fact: I came here with zero keys and now have six.) Please note my “Cookey,” a key cover that looks like my favorite, the Oreo cookie!
And if you catch me before noon, there’s a peanut butter sandwich in there, too. If you carry interesting things with you, I want to hear about it! Especially if it involves piranhas or household appliances — but anything else, too!