Handbags are for Girls
After becoming a mother a few years ago, my handbag situation evolved from the pre-children era. In days of old, I had an everyday handbag (carefully selected for size, strap-type and zipper to pocket ratio) as well as an overabundance of other handbags to match a variety of occasions/outfits.
I now have a box of unused, much loved, handbags and a bag I use every day, which can be seen from the International Space Station.
When I had my first baby, I did what most of us do and purchased a baby bag. The everyday handbag became a bit redundant and popping the phone, wallet, and keys into the baby bag was a natural progression. Sure, there were times when you don’t have the baby with you and you scrounge for your previous everyday handbag, curious to find discarded coins, tissues and receipts. These times are as regular as the pedicure you aren’t getting or the massage you strongly desire. The baby bag is here to stay.
I decided to ‘update’ to a baby bag which was more handbag-like – somewhere between a traditional baby bag and an everyday bag. When I found one, I thought it was the perfect compromise. It had a cute matching bottle bag and plenty of space, without being too big or too small.
The problem is, by this time, I had produced baby number two. With two under two, the original baby bag had to come back into circulation – and quick. I needed every nook and cranny for two nappy sizes, two sets of spare clothes and the usual nappy bags, wipes, bottles and snacks.
So guess what? This bulk relegated MY personal items to the giant handbag-like baby bag. And this thing is big.
Now I carry the traditional baby bag AND the other handbag/baby bag. Girl fail.
Why didn’t I just go back to an everyday handbag? I asked myself this question. The reason is, as my handbag got bigger, so did the collection of shit I carry around. I could no longer operate with only a mobile phone, wallet and keys, slung into pre-prepared pockets of a mini-bag. It might be partly my parental status and partly my anxiety/mental health issues, but there are some things I just can’t leave the house without anymore.
My handbag now includes (besides the usual phone/wallet/keys); spew bag in case anyone decides to vomit, an assortment of medications, large water bottle, extra baby wipes, three thousand pens (I always put one in when going out. Always forget the notepad), twenty fruit bars (I always put one in….well, you get the idea), toilet paper (bit sensitive down there), hair bands and comb, sun hat, small umbrella, spare pair of undies (despite the fact I haven’t shit myself since I was toilet-trained) and panty liners (despite the fact I haven’t wee’d myself since…well, you get the idea).
I wish it was filled with makeup, I really do. I have the bare necessities to make a rough night’s sleep look less Bride of Frankenstein, but that’s about it.
Did I mention my Chiropractor just bought a boat?
I long for my everyday handbag. Carrying the ‘baby’ bag is enough without an additional handbag/baby bag the size of Texas. Surely I can whittle this thing down. I do fear I’m now attached to these extra items. What if I need them?
I was discussing handbag contents with my Aunt the other day and she is also very boy-scout in her handbag contents. I was the beneficiary of this preparedness one day, when the top I was wearing exploded. It had two straps which connected above the breasts and one of them had a blow-out, leaving one boob exposed. I had a bra on. Everyone in the shopping centre gawked anyway. My Aunt’s sewing kit thankfully had a safety pin inside…phew. Now my Aunt insists on the continuation of carrying said sewing kit, because of the time I needed it ten years ago. I don’t disagree. What if I need it?
My Aunt also confessed that until recently, her handbag carried the immunisation card for her son. He is twenty-eight.
What is the dodgiest thing in your handbag?