Bag Lady



Nora Ephron in I Feel Bad About My Neck and Other Thoughts on Being a Woman:

“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…tampons that have come loose of their wrappings…leaky ballpoint pens, Kleenexes that have or have not been used but there’s no way to be sure one way or another, scratched eyeglasses, an old teabag, several crumpled personal checks that have come loose from the checkbook and are coverd with smudge marks, and an unprotected toothbrush that looks as if it has been used to polish siver.

This is for women who in mid-July realize they still haven’t bought a summer purse or who in midwinter are still carrying around a straw bag.

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

I picked up a bag from Target the other day (on clearance) in the questionable shade of green I tend to keep revisiting. 

It is huge.  My entire laptop and accessories, 3 days worth of clothes and all the hair products I own fit in it.  It is THAT big!  I was a little embarrassed until I leafed through Stormie’s latest copy of  Vogue to discover that the current trend in bags is to have one big enough you can camp in it – if ever the weather goes bad and your clothes get wet and you are forced to cover your entire existance with it. 

When I was young, I enjoyed the whole bag thing.  It was fun to have many of them and change often.  But now?  Not so much.


pictured: left, my current bag in that “questionable” shade of green; right, Amy Jo’s bag-notapurse.  Those are not flowers in the pink and green camo on her bag-can you tell what they are?  That’s right: skulls! 

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Pictured: Vogue images from the current issue, December 2008 

Tote, carryall, pouch, pocketbook (my grandma’s term), billfold, handbag, wallet, sack…

I try to update at least seasonally now, but have been known to allow one handbag to go a little longer if it is holding up well.  And I now know, because I have compared myself to others who are better,  I am bad at purses.  Maybe it is the word “purse”?  It just sounds so – pursed.  Because as a verb it can mean to pucker, to gather or to contract into wrinkles.  I don’t like that at all.  Amy Jo says hers may be called a bag or a handbag or a satchel or whatever, but never, ever a purse!

What should we actually be carrying in these things, anyway?  What if I just quit using one?  I can’t. I carry a large personal bag AND a computer bag and I Still have other things to carry.  I am, unwillingly perhaps, yet nonetheless – a bag lady.

The yellow-green color is my guarantee that no one will ever steal it…Jeanie

NOTE TO SELF: Watch the red one on clearance at Target – to hold my entire wardrobe…


UPDATE 10.09: I have since used both large and more compact in shades of teal, black, red, mimosa and back to black.  Ever on the search, though, for the ONE that will keep me organized and perfect and reflect the whole of who I am…do you have any idea where I might find such a bag?

5 thoughts on “Bag Lady

  1. I just love your handbags! I’ve alway wanted to get the most wild, colorful, large bag but have never done so. I’ve alway worried it wouldn’t go with everything I wear. And I’m not one to buy a dozen handbags. Not sure why that is. But lately I’ve wanted to do just that and I plan too. Im learning I don’t have to be matchy matchy — BORING! :)

  2. The green one TOTALLY rocks! I’m a HUGE fan of HUGE purses! My favorite sounds a lot like yours…laptop, Bible, journal, wallet, makeup bag and huge can of hairspray fit with room to spare!

  3. I call mine The Suitcase. And it does REALLY have to be a suitcase with four monkeys. It carries all manner of greatness (and not so greatness) in its interior, but my favorite is dollar movie candy, 20 oz. drinks AND paper bags to divvy up the popcorn–even though the big sign on the door says “No outside food or drink.” Call me a rule breaker. :)

    The green is fabulous!

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