1,354 Things You Find in the Guts of a Mother Purse

With Halloween fast approaching I am all about gross and scary, and there is nothing more disgusting and frightening than the innards of a mother purse. If you are like me, you won't change out purses for occasions (as our grandmothers used to). 

Each event called for a new pocketbook: fancy pearl encrusted handle purse, casual and practical navy blue number, white bag with matching white shoes (but never after labor day). We don't have these. This art of tailoring things to events is lost on our generation (at least it was once we had children).

Our purses contain all the pieces of our lives we need with us all the time, and our childrens' trash, which they (or you) toss in to avoid littering. Because while we may no longer stick to the past generations tradition of the great and constant pocketbook swap, we do want to save the environment one GoGo Squeeze pouch at a time. 

We often talk about cleaning out our purses as we search through the frightening mountain of junk we've so lovingly accumulated in our daily travels. We get annoyed when a child or husband goes to search for something and says, "Mom, you really need to clean out your purse."  Our response, "Stay out of there, you'll mess it up. I know exactly where everything is." You do not. But it is a lie you must tell yourself because if you were to believe the truth, you would actually have to do something about it. 

You will finally (and only) do something when you find an item missing. This item of course must be important and necessary (cell phone, ATM card, check book)--it can't be an old barbie doll with a ratty hair do filled with goldfish crumbs and some sort of liquid you can't identify. An item your four year old,  apparently, can't live without. Of course, Barbie is in there, but you can't begin to think about rescuing her when your ATM card is missing. 

There are ways to handle a lost item. You search around the area where you last noticed it, you call the last place where you had said item (if you are cognizant enough to remember such a thing) or you can skip these steps and dump your filthy, scary, disgusting pocketbook out next to you on the passenger seat while your 2 year old looks on in horror. He steps away from you when he realizes he is alone in the car sans siblings with you and the innards of your Mother Purse. 

What you find in there may include (but is not limited to) the following: 

1. Two bright pink winter gloves with a witch on them.

2. 3 summer reading lists that you couldn't find when it was time to actually turn them in.

3. A pamphlet about dog allergies because your dog has skin issues and cost you a small fortune this summer.

4. Paint samples. Most are bright pinks and purples the kids picked out, and will never see on their walls. 

5. One Book Page magazine from the library--unread. You can't make it through a book. Why would  you think you could read a magazine talking about books?

6. A pink Barbie cell phone. 

7. Receipts for Target, the gas station, the grocery store, the movies, the vet, the doctor, the plumber, the candlestick maker... 

8. Several pieces of paper with what look like ancient cave writings, but are actually 'letters' the four year old is learning, not at preschool but, from her pushy helpful big sister. 

9. A dragon bookmark the 10 year old had to have, but hasn't seen or asked about in months. You contemplate making him pay you back for said bookmark. 

10. Two sanitary napkins because perimenopause means no more regular cycle. You could begin bleeding at any moment. This isn't the sort of excitement you were hoping your 40's would bring.

11. Bug spray with child's initials on the front in permanent marker. 

12. Fold comb.

13. 2 almost empty lip glosses. The top to one looks as though it has been eaten. Ask  two year old and four year old about it later. 

14. A pathetic looking toy from Wendy's.You rarely eat fast food so that's been in there forever.  

15. A pair of jazzy 1980's style sunglasses with missing attached mustache. Maybe the mustache will show up....FYI, found it!

16. Chocolate cereal bars smooshed, semi-open, once melted but now, with cooler weather, firm again.

17. A decapitated yellow crayon. 

18. 10 lists for either groceries or errands. Some things still haven't been done. 

19. One wallet overflowing with receipts, but strangely lacking any cash. 

20. Various metal hair accessories held together with magnets. Don't ask...

21. One checkbook. 

22. The top piece to cover an asthma inhaler. 

23. A broken spoon. Did it break in your bag or did the two year old bite it? That is a question for another time. Moving along...

24. A bent straw.

25. 2 pens, 1 dull pencil with worn down eraser.

26. One LifeSaver with dirt that you wonder if you can dust off so you can eat the damn thing. You've spent most of the morning cleaning your purse, and ask yourself questions about the contents...you're hungry (and too lazy to walk to the kitchen). 

27. Score! One still in package LifeSaver. This one is a keeper...

28. Several things that look like balls of poop. They are hard, they are brown and the kids throw things in your pocketbook all the time. 

The one on the bottom, is that poop?  And the one on the top: kid tooth or popcorn? 

29. What appears to be a child's tooth, but upon closer inspection may just be a hard piece of popcorn.

30. 3 wrappers--1 to a cereal bar, 2 to superhero fruit snacks, and one to a mini package of soup crackers. Soup, you could really go for some soup. Stay focused.

31. A little person of the toy 'Little People' fame. This one is an elephant--a dirty, but still smiling, elephant. Hang on buddy, you'll get him back with his people. He may need therapy after spending months in the darkness of your purse...you're not paying for it.

32.  A Cat in the Hat eraser. 

33. 4 dimes, 2 quarters, 2 nickels and five pennies. They are all dirty, but your husband will put them into his crayon piggy bank, the contents of which he will eventually roll and bring to the bank. The money will be used for a haircut (which he gets once every six weeks, to your one haircut a year) or beer. Maybe you should start collecting change. Why should he be the one looking clean-cut and getting drunk? Stop asking yourself questions.

34. A large pile of dirt that has settled to the bottom of your purse. You shake it into the trash can. 

While you clean, your kids pick through the trash like tourists at an open-air European flea market. You want to fight with them, but you don't. You're too mentally exhausted from the cleansing....that's what these purges have come to be known as. 

The following day you walk around the grocery store feeling ten pounds lighter. You will not let this happen again you vow. You've put only the necessities in your now clean purse. You will be better. You will be cleaner, more organized.  

"Mommy, what do I do with my lollipop stick?" 

You search around frantically. Why the hell isn't there a trash can anywhere? This is the grocery store surely there are other mothers with children who make refuse. Where on Earth do they put it? You open your pocketbook recalling that you put a plastic bag in there for just such an occasion. At least you meant to. You hold the two straps open and close your eyes as the two year old throws the sticky remains of the lollipop in your bag, as though he's been waiting. 

Tomorrow, you'll get better. Tomorrow you think as you vaguely remember the large plastic bag of crap from the pocketbook you no longer use. The one that is the predecessor to the one you just cleaned out and are carrying now. The plastic bag sits tied tightly in your closet...just another thing to do when you get home!

1 comment:

  1. The melted chocolate bar is the best if you can get it right at the time when it's still warm and mushy!


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