The Purse Curse: worn leather and other unwanted changes

Purse ExplotionEverything in life changes, and I suppose your purse should change every once in a while, too. That doesn’t mean I have to like it. My purse was just what a purse should be. Why change? I had downsized it when I’d downsized my life. Extra Kleenex? Lipstick? A comb? Who needed it? Give me a driver’s license, credit card, ten bucks, my sunglasses and keys. The small shoulder bag my Mom handed-down to me was perfect. For a while.

Our county has entered that enlightened no-plastic bag era, an era I approve. And when I go to Trader Joe’s, by habit I reach for my three bags. But those other shopping trips, the ones I hadn’t planned to buy but one or two items and ended up with an unexpected sale of ten necessary boxes of loose tea, those times were driving me wild. I could purchase a reusable bag each trip, but I had a large selection already.

Some of which I keep with me at all times. Well, sort of with me, if locked inside the trunk of my car while I’m in the store is close enough. But, you know it isn’t. Yesterday, I’d skipped into the store with my tiny purse, carefree, for a bagged salad mix. Then added ten items to my basket. A store clerk asked if I wanted to buy a paper bag. I didn’t want to buy one, but I had to. It simply adds to my supply at home, since I will not throw out bags by themselves. They must accompany something with a purpose, like our diminishing amount of refuse. Even if they carry an item away from the house – returning a food favor to a neighbor, for example – they always seem to come back with the next gifting. 

I was in favor of this no-plastic change, but the third time in a week that I’d forgotten my reusables made me think again. If I was going to survive, I would need to change my purse.

With great reluctance, I handed-down my handed-down purse, and brought back the big guns. Now, I run around with a large open shoulder bag. Big enough to handle those surprising tea finds and a bargain or two, I am hoping that I’ve side-stepped the bag crisis. If only I wouldn’t yearn for those care-free days of a small and simple bag-ette.


8 thoughts on “The Purse Curse: worn leather and other unwanted changes

  1. We have this new regime too – I approve and usually remember to take suitable bags. The only thing is, when I come across a need for a plastic bag in the house, I can now never find one!

    On another note, I always have to think twice when I see the word purse where I would say handbag – you couldn’t make nearly such a good headline with that though, could you?

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  2. I always carry in my shoulder bag a little folded up nylon bag in its own pouch. (Very tiny, little weight.) So, when the unexpected happens on an outing – we’re prepared. That’s the easy part. Carrying a camera and sunglasses case adds weight and bulk beyond the wallet. I hand-sewed a lightweight bag (substitute for a purse) which works for now but I’m always looking for something better.

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    1. If I’m telling the truth (wink), I’ve actually moved on to another very small purse, and – like you – added a micro nylon bag that collapses. I am thinking of buying a ‘real’ camera, and that will complicate things. Maybe we can let each other know if we find the perfect hand bag!

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  3. Great title! I’ve never really understood women who have a handbag for every occasion and traveling narrows the choice even more. Most times when we’re on the road I like to cram my small, all season/all occasion baggalini purse into my backpack or suitcase to minimize the things I have to keep track of. My little purse may be BORING with no fashion flair but it usually has what I need including a little nylon bag folded up in case I forget the not-so-easy-to-remember grocery bags. Anita

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  4. I so get this Susan. I wish we didn’t have plastic bags in the stores anymore. I have an arsenal of reusable bags, but every time I load them on the counter in the grocery store (I shop only once a week, so it’s a lot) I get the “difficult customer” look, and they don’t know how to pack these bags as the packers are used to through in just a couple of items in one plastic bag. And yes, I have an open shoulder bag….

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