Flint Township View

What’s in your purse?



I watched a co-worker digging through her purse for something the other day and I wondered aloud “how much stuff do women keep in their purses?”

I posed the question to her and she went through and showed me the contents of her purse. The typical stuff was there: ID, essential cards, keys, etc. But there was also a never-ending stream of items I was shocked to see.

“It’s all necessary stuff,” she asserted, clutching a handful of at least 10 or more pens and pencils, hand sanitizer and other assorted items.

I went home and asked Anita the same question and found much of the same stuff. I know she runs a tight ship, so there was nothing too unnecessary in her purse. So I had to dig deeper and I turned to the best form of networking I could to find answers – Facebook.

I asked the same question of my female friends on Facebook over the weekend and came back with a plethora of items contained in the purses of these ladies.

Lisa, Anita’s sister-in-law, said she had the usual assortment of cards and identification, but then there were other anomalies found, like an empty eyeglass case. Where are the glasses? Then there were the “girlie” items — brush, hand sanitizer, lipstick, nail polish and hand lotion. She then had a few strange items, like a paint sample card from Sherwin-Williams, a packaged moist towelette, one of her children’s camp name tags, empty 3D glasses packaging from the movies and a purple plastic magnetic equal sign (from another child’s magnetic letters).

“I must have cleaned recently,” she said.

Right, I thought.

Kathy, a former co-worker, said she can’t stand to carry everything in her purse. There wasn’t too much there: keys, a pen, hand sanitizer, discount cards on a keyring, hand lotion, lip gloss, a pill case, Band-Aids and sometimes her Kindle or Nook.

Beth, a nurse, said her purse can get “pretty interesting” at times (i.e. pretty scary). Among what she calls her “bizarre stuff” is a “Pocket Guide to Emergency and Critical Care”, stethoscope, N95 respirator, Saline flush, Nivea hand cream, pens by the million including a couple of red ink ones, reading glasses, a notebook for making “notes to self”, disposable resuscitation mask, pulse oximeter.

No Beth, this is not a purse – it’s a doctor’s bag. You’re ready to do surgery.

Kelly, a friend from high school, said he was recently at lunch with a co-worker who emptied the contents onto the table looking for her credit card.

In addition to the usual items was an unused diaper and a full size cork screw — with cork still attached!

“She had recently had her third child and am sure those two items were interrelated,” he said.

Another high school friend, Julie, said she too carries a corkscrew. Purses are apparently like a Swiss Army knife.

Moms have the most stuff in their purses. Everything from the extra diaper to teething rings, Spiderman water goggles, wet wipes, video games, Lego figures, sunblock and crayons. These ladies are mobile playpens, changing tables and medical care all rolled into one.

I asked the women if there was a science to what is in a purse and was told it is not only a science, but an art.

“There’s a method to the madness!” said Jena, another former co-worker.

I don’t know about that, sometimes it just sounds like plain old madness. No wonder you all need corkscrews for your wine. ggould@mihomepaper.com

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