Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Black Hole

I spent my lunch hour cleaning out my purse. And, yes, the process did, in fact, take the better part of an hour. So much for my plan to return a couple phone calls, write out a list for the grocery store and read the library book that is imminently due back at the library.

Not to mention actually getting the opportunity to eat my lunch!

Nevertheless, it was a chore that was long overdue. It’s amazing how stuff can accumulate in a purse. I’m sure this has been written before sometime, somewhere, but a woman’s purse is seriously like a black hole – it swallows up everything in its path. I was not in the least surprised to find a birthday card I meant to send a friend last November and coupons that had expired last August.

I found receipts for grocery store shopping trips that took place over a month ago and gas station receipts for gasoline that is long gone from the tank. I found old gum wrappers that were – disgustingly – used to wrap up chewed pieces of gum. There were so many little wads of these gum wrappers that I felt like I should start a collection.

And there were no less than three silver chains and pendants in various pockets inside my purse. I was amazed that none of them were tangled or broken. And, because I wanted to keep them untangled and unbroken, I put them around my neck for safekeeping until I got home and could put them away. If they’d been bigger chains, I could’ve looked like a rapper. Yeah, just call me…um…Gum Rappa.

(Ooh. Sorry.)

The thing is, I even have a “purse organizer” inside my purse. You know those things that are supposed to keep women’s purses all organized and stuff? And that, if I want to change purses, I simply pull out the organizer and transfer it to a new purse with no muss and no fuss?

Yeah, not so much. The stuff in my purse manages to spill out over and around the purse organizer so that I need another organizer to organize the organizer. Or something like that.

Actually, the purse organizer does tend to keep my belongings a tiny bit more organized. I mean, I know where my ring of loyalty cards is stored and can usually find it fairly quickly without resorting to dumping my purse upside down on the conveyor belt at Kroger’s trying to find the darn card. Believe me, I’ve had enough of cranky store clerks who shoot me dirty looks while tapping their foot impatiently as I dredge the recesses of my purse looking for my card so I can get my loyal customer savings of maybe a dollar and forty cents.

I was also happy to discover that I actually put my lipstick back in the same spot in the organizer so that I can find the tube of “Rose Passion” without even looking anymore.

My keys, however, are another story. I got one of those clever decorative “hooks” that are kept on the key ring and are supposed to hook inside the edge of the purse where it zips. The theory is that I need only to pull that hook and – voila! – I have keys in hand. This handy invention means I should never again have to scrabble around inside the black hole searching for my keys. Unfortunately, the decorative hook I bought is a little too small and doesn’t seem to hook over the edge of my purse where it zips shut.

Thus, I still find myself digging in my purse for my keys. When I don’t find them at first, I move on to my coat pockets thinking I may have put them in there. When I come up empty, I go back to my purse, hoist it up near my one good ear and shake it to try to hear the jangle of my keys. Sometimes I hear the jangle, but surprisingly still can’t locate the big wad of keys. In desperation, I yank out the darn purse organizer, and there, nestled in the bottom of my purse, are my keys.

So I may have to rethink the whole purse issue. Vince probably has the right idea – he went out and bought several pairs of cargo pants – and he has enough pockets to keep all his stuff, including his big wad of keys.

The only drawback to that solution? Vince is constantly asking ME for things like gum, eyeglass cleaner and tissues…things he doesn’t seem to keep in his cargo pants pockets. Naturally, he assumes I’ll have those items inside my black hole of a purse.

Hmm. So I guess for now I’d better keep my purse. But maybe I should plan to clean it out more than once every quarter, though. Those gum wrappers filled with chewed wads of gum are just nasty.

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