When I was in junior high, I swore to my mom that I would never, ever carry a purse. I’d continue to stuff that ratty, Velcro surf-brand wallet into the back pocket of my (likely LEI) jeans until the day I died. Purses are for old ladies! And through most of high school, I managed just fine without one — Cover Girl compact in one back pocket, wallet in the other, lip balm in the front pocket, keys in the other. If I couldn’t stuff it into a pocket on my person, it stayed at home.
But then I hit college, and I got a pager, and I had to carry lots of books back and forth to class, and all of that gear went into the front pocket of my backpack. (Not the pager, though. I proudly wore that eyesore on the front of my jeans like a badge. You know, in case MY MOM had to get a hold of me.) And then I started caring what I actually looked like. Gone were the days of old-man thrift store pants that never really fit me anyway. College Me shopped at Express (and racked up a wicked store credit card bill in the process, thus starting a since-then battle with debt), and ordered cheap (but cute!) clothes from Delia’s. Somewhere along the line, I became a girly-girl, and during that transformation, I suddenly needed a purse to carry my crap.
Still, I was never really a purse girl. I never cared what brand purse I used, but I often opted for those of the smaller variety, with just enough room for a few personal items. I remember watching my mom often struggling to find her keys (wallet, cell phone) in her purse wasteland, and I swore to Roth I’d never carry a purse bigger than my head.
Except, then I had a baby. And now I was supposed to carry a purse AND a diaper bag? Gah. I tried just using a Skip*Hop bag as a diaper bag and a purse, but the compartments were never quite big enough for my wallet and cell phone, and I hated fishing around for my lip balm and keys. Recently, I admired a co-worker’s adorable, much-larger-than-my-current-purse, canvas tote, and soon I got myself the same one (from Target for $12!). I cautiously introduced it to Roth for the first time, quickly demonstrating to him that it could hold all of my AND Rowan’s crap, never mind its freakish size. I mean, look! I can put a sippy cup in the side pocket and my water bottle in the other!
For weeks now, Roth has suspiciously eyed that bag every time it’s on my shoulder, reminding me time and time again of my small purse promise as I, too, struggle to find my keys (wallet, cell phone). To him, the size of my purse is directly proportional to the size of my underwear which is directly proportional to the size of my vehicle, and before he knows what has happened, I’ll be rocking full-on granny panties while driving Rowan to soccer practice in a minivan.
But the issue now is my wallet, which is dangerously close to reaching Costanza proportions. The other day, Roth needed to grab a few dollars from my wallet, and he was shocked to see just how obese it has become. He joked that if it were a sandwich, he wouldn’t be able to bite it, it’s so stacked. I mean, I can barely keep it closed, and it’s already on the fat snap.
So, today I got a sandwich for lunch, and lo, my wallet IS bigger than the Bacon Turkey Bravo from Panera.
I’m curious — mom or not, how do you carry all your stuff?