My handbag hangup…

purses

I did a terrible thing last week.

I changed handbags. I moved selected items from one purse to another. It wasn’t even my change-of-season switch, when I put away the black leather bag and dig out the sunny straw weave. I just wanted to carry a smaller purse, so I sorted out the stuff that usually weighed me down and took up lots of space, and off I went.

Welcome, valued customer…

My first problem was that I didn’t have the necessary grocery club card with me, which I found out when I made it to the register with my cart full of semi-monthly shopping. They were so kind, though, offering to look up my account via my phone number. That was my second problem. I ran through all of the recent phone numbers that I could recall, including a couple of mobile numbers in two cities. None of the numbers matched. The line of shoppers behind me was getting restless as I asked the checker to try just one more number. With a sigh, the checker scanned a store card to give me my valued customer discount. I was appreciative for the grocery savings, but even more grateful for the gas credit points I would receive with such a large purchase!

Now accepting credit cards…

Next, when I arrived downtown, I realized as I squeezed into the one available parking spot remotely near my destination, that all my cash and coins were in the bottom of my other purse. I did have one of my credit cards, so—out of necessity—I paid the premium surcharge for an hour of parking.

Next, when I arrived downtown, I realized as I squeezed into the one available parking spot remotely near my destination, that all my cash and coins were in the bottom of my other purse. I did have one of my credit cards, so—out of necessity—I paid the premium surcharge for an hour of parking.

My life is calling…

At the end of the week I went on a two-day road trip to mountain bike in the Rockies. With no time to combine the two handbags, I grabbed them both, stuffing my make-up and computer modem into one, and my pens and journals into the other. On the way home, we planned to stop by my storage unit where most of my clothes and all of my household goods still lived after my recent return from Peace Corps training in Central Asia. It was hot in Colorado and I needed to find my shorts and tee shirts, flirty skirts and sleeveless tops…not the down coat I had taken for winter in Turkmenistan. I also needed to find my books and some shoes. Some files and financial papers. In short, I needed to start finding my life.

Everything but the kitchen sink…

Before we exited the Interstate, I began to get squirmy…where were the keys to the locks on the unit? In which purse? Trying not to betray some mounting anxiety, I reached casually for one of the handbags—and found the tissues, Band-Aids, hand lotion, highlighters, Tums and Aleve, coffee discount cards, book club discount cards, my PADI scuba certification card, my backcountry search-and-rescue card, gift cards, expired gift cards, business cards, and my grocery cards. But no keys.

As we neared the exit for the storage unit (which would take us about an hour out of our way), I grabbed the other bag. Reading glasses, sunglasses, flash drives, pens and journals, camera batteries. Lifting handfuls of change I could have used earlier in the week, I touched lipsticks and safety pins. My wallet. But no keys. I was getting panicky.

My handbag hang-up…

I suddenly shoveled all the contents of both bags onto the floor mat in front of me. I turned the two purses over and shook them violently. My companion, who was driving my car for its cargo space, watched in amusement but not surprise. With the bags now empty, I ran my hands around the inside of each of one more thoroughly than the TSA. One and then the other and back again to the first. I unzipped all the pockets. I felt for holes in the linings. I shook both bags again.

Then, success! There they were: my padlock keys dangling from the paper clip where I put them, wedged into an inside pocket of the biggest of my things as we could stuff into my car once we reached the storage unit.

***

The contents of both purses are still on the floor mat of my car. I figure that if I want something I don’t have in any one of the handbags I’m carrying, I’ll still have whatever it is I need with me. I’m just waiting to move everything to my summery straw handbag.

It’s probably in the storage shed.

AWD 7.8.11

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