First step, I came up with a list of pros and cons for condensing. For the most part my cons became my pros:
#1 Con - smaller purse means less space which means carrying fewer items
Pro - Fewer items means a more simplified life, I will know exactly what is in my purse
#2 Con - smaller purse means there's only room for MY stuff
Pro - only room for my stuff means I don't have to carry around everyone else's crap ... freedom!
#3 Con - every other woman uses suitcase style bags, I might stick out like a sore thumb
Pro - my little purse will be unique, just like me.
In the end, I decided it was definitely the right thing to do and off I went to search for the perfect little purse. I came up with this cute little baby.
I actually just took this photo today, the color is pretty faded from it's original hue. (yes, I kept the old purses, more on that later) It's "peachy" and small. Maybe you can tell the size from the comparison to the chapstick and the computer mouse. The little pockets in the front are big enough for a chapstick and lipstick on one side, coins on the other. Inside it has a built in wallet with places for cards, license, etc. and room in the middle for my cell phone and not much more. It has a handy little strap that I slipped my hand through and wrapped around my wrist. I named the purse Just Peachy and she became my constant companion. For the record, yes I name my purses. I figure if a guy can name his car, a girl can name her purse.
This was my purse for about a year, year and a half, until finally I conceded that it was just a little too small. Fortunately it was around Christmas time and I received a gift card from Eddie. Off I trotted to Kohls to find a new little purse.
This is what I came home with , about twice as big as my other one and RED, my favorite color!
Lot's of pockets. Cell phone and lip gear (four lipsticks plus a chapstick!) in the front. Built in wallet section, room for lots of cards, money, and coupons. A middle space where I can conveniently stow away a hairbrush, pocket-size kleenex, a tin of Ice Breakers, eye-glass cleaner bottle and cloth, a small bottle of Tylenol, and a mini tube of hand lotion. Yep, all that and not an ounce of space to spare. This purse was called Betty. Short for Apple Betty. 'cause she's red ... like an apple .... Gosh, do I have to explain everything?
For two years, I carried my cherished Betty and only decided to retire her when one of the inside pockets started to rip and the outside began to show wear. In January, on a lark, I returned to Kohls to see if they still carried this little gem and much to my delight they did! In addition to red there were other colors too ... lime green, black, and bronze. This time around I chose the bronze purse. At least that's what the tag said. To me it's more of a champagne color - thus she ended up with the name Spumate. Do I have class or what?
Everything about Spumate was the same as Betty except the color. All the same items were stashed away inside and I was content once again. This is important seeing as how I don't usually adjust well to change. And, the older I get, the hard it is to accept change.
Speaking of getting older ... One thing that happens to many of us as we age is that our eyesight begins to play tricks on us. For some reason the books and papers that we are used to reading suddenly become a blur. We find ourselves holding things further and further away from us, trying to find the right spot where suddenly everything comes back into focus. It happens to the best of us. It happens to our husbands too.
I've worn glasses since I was in the third grade, having been cursed with bad eyesight from both parents. I have a more than healthy dose of nearsightedness with a dash of astigmatism on the side. If you've ever seen one of those commercials where they blur the screen and then state, "if your vision looks like this you are probably legally blind," then you know what life looks to me. My husband on the other hand has been blessed with perfect vision, both near and far .... that is up until a couple of years ago.
He works a lot with blueprints and tiny print. He first started complaining of eye strain and finally conceded that his arm just wasn't long enough to create the distance needed to see what needed to be seen. He trotted off to the nearest drugstore and purchased a pair of "reading" glasses. Yay! Everything is clear again. For awhile anyway. As time marches on he's finding it necessary to up the magnification of his glasses. It's ok for now because the cheap drugstore reading glasses are readily available and affordable enough to be able to have more than one pair. He currently has a pair at work, a pair at home and a pair in his car. (We won't mention the half dozen pair that are MIA. I guess they've ended up with unmatched socks in Never-Never-Land).
Where we run into trouble though is when we find ourselves in a restaurant and he's trying to read a menu, something extremely hard to do when you don't have a pair of reading glasses with you! It happens all the time and drives me nuts as I see him squinting and pushing the menu across the table into my face as he's trying to get it into focus. I actually succeeded in getting him to wear a pair on an eyeglass-chain but it didn't last long. When he would actually remember to bring it with him he kept getting it all tangled up in the seat belt, and if the truth be told, I think it made him feel a little less manly. I've also tried to convince him he should carry a man purse which would solve the eyeglass problem AND give him a way to carry his wallet other than in his back pocket ... something the chiropractor says is a major no-no for people with back problems. All to no avail though. That would be even less manlier than the eyeglass-chain!
He suggested I carry a pair of reading glassed for him in my purse. Well fine and dandy honey. Only problem is there is NO ROOM in my purse for your glasses. Remember, I have this tiny little purse packed for ME ... go back and read CON #3. And so, we continue to find ourselves out and about and his arm getting longer and longer as he stretches to read.
I started feeling guilty. Maybe I'm being a little selfish and should come up with a way to carry a pair of reading glasses in my purse. Sigh, guess it's time to buck up, be the bigger person, and move on to a larger purse. So, off I trot to Kohls again in search of a new one.
Wouldn't you know they still carry my cute little purse and in lot's of new colors?! Sadly I passed them by and kept searching. I must have walked around the purse section half a dozen times seeking out a replacement for I was really excited when I found one that seemed perfect for me. Another red purse! Bigger than what I have but not huge. And, it's on sale. Sounds like a deal to me.
But wait. There's something I hadn't considered. Giving up my little purse meant no more built in wallet. If I buy the new purse, I'm also going to have to buy a wallet too. Bummer. I trudge over to that rack and see a sale sign there too. Cool, maybe I can catch two bargains today. But wait a minute. What kind of sale is this? "Buy one, Get one 1/2 off." That might be a good deal when you're buying jeans or towels or books but for wallets? Really? Who buys more than one wallet at a time? I quickly scan it to see if it's like Kroger where they still give you the sale price for one. Nope. Not at Kohls. Well phooey. This puts quite a crimp in my plan.
I'd like to say that I am prudently cautious when spending money. What that translates into is ... I am a cheapskate. First off, I'm not going to pay full price for it and second, no way am I going to buy a wallet and pay more for it than the purse! That's just W.R.O.N.G. ...So, I place the lovely red purse back on the display and run sobbing from the store. Ok, not really. No sobbing. More like resigned disappointment. Part of me wanted a salesperson to stop me and ask me if I was finding everything ok because you better believe I would have told them exactly what I thought of their silly sales gimmick. But alas, no one stopped me. I returned home to tell my dear hubby, "sorry bud, you're own your own with the reading glasses."
Life goes on. I feel bad for the Mr. but oh well, in the grand scheme of things, this isn't exactly a life altering event.
Yesterday I had an unexpected day off. Eddie was going on a field trip and his dad took the day off to accompany him. With a free day ahead of me I decided to strike out in search of a cookbook that caters to diabetics. What's that for you ask? I guess maybe I forgot to send out the memo. Unfortunately my darling husband has been recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes ... all those brownies and bowls of ice cream finally paid off. Wait. That doesn't sound right. It's not like it was something we were anxiously anticipating. Nope. it's just one of those dastardly curve balls life like to throw at you. Anywho. We're early in the process of figuring out what to do here. The medication is helping tremendously but
Now. where was I? Oh yeah. Getting ready to go out the door.
Wouldn't you know it?
I grab my purse and the strap snaps right off!
Welllllllll, I guess there's a new purse in my future after all. While
I could probably take it somewhere and get it repaired, but it would probably cost as much as the new purse. Besides, I think it might be divine intervention rearing it's head. Maybe I am supposed to really be carrying those eyeglasses around, along with a new wallet, in a shiny red purse.
Before making the big purchase I decide to swing by Walmart and see if they have more reasonably priced wallets. Who am I kidding? It's Walmart! Of course they have cheaper wallets. For all you folks out there thumbing your nose at my retail option ... if you want to buy me something nicer, feel free. Meanwhile I came away with a cute wallet for nine, yes, NINE dollars. And, bonus ... guess what color it is????
She's red! I think I'll call her Rose.
From there I trucked on over to Kohls and picked up the purse I'd found earlier. Isn't she cute?
I think I'll call her Ruby. She comes with lot's of room inside I've filled her up with everything from my old little purse and there's plenty of room for the Mr's glasses.
So, I'm happy. Dale's happy. And Ruby and Rose are especially happy they're now part of a loving family. Win-win for everyone. The only thing that would make it better? That would be a squishy, furry kitten to carry around in my brand new purse. Again, a girl can hope, right?
Meanwhile, Spumate has joined Just Peachy and Betty in the Purse Hall of Fame. You never know when one of them might be called up out of retirement.