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Whenever I switch purses, which is rare, there’s great pomp and circumstance involved, just like the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. (Oh, yeah, there’s a website or two for Changing the Guard because of all that pomp and circumstance. Now there’ll be at least one blog post for the Changing of the Purse.)

I bought my Old Purse (OP) about a year ago, after having used a smaller purse for several years. OP was much bigger than Even Older Purse (EOP) because I was tired of cramming stuff into EOP and I really wanted to be able to add a paperback and small notebook to my purse without always carting a book bag along.

Old Purse

Old Purse, October 2, 2010

While I enjoyed the larger size of OP, I found myself perpetually annoyed with its two large middle sections and seven pockets.  The two middle sections are like black holes. With their loose black fabric, I was forever spelunking through both pockets to retrieve things. Now, which pocket was the black cellphone in? All those other pockets didn’t help matters any.

Old purse, cavernous middle pockets

Old purse, cavernous middle pockets, October 2, 2010

Another problem with OP was that the straps were breaking.

Old purse, broken strap

Old purse, broken strap, October 2, 2010

It was definitely time for a new purse, especially since I’d seen and been jonesing for some handmade purses (made by Crikside Creations) I found at Thistleberry Gift Shop in Motley, MN. Hubby and the kids gave me a gift certificate to Thistleberry (which I may or may not have hinted at wanting) as an early birthday gift and Hubby, Young Son, and I stopped there yesterday so I could pick out my new purse (NP) . Ta-da!

My new purse from Thistleberry, created by Crickside Creations

My new purse from Thistleberry, created by Crickside Creations, Oct. 2, 2010

Isn’t it beautiful? And check this out … it’s got a cellphone pocket on the back.

Welted pocket on back of new purse

Welted pocket on back of new purse - good for a cellphone, Oct. 2, 2010

NP has eight pockets, yet their arrangement seems more manageable than those of OP. There’s the cellphone pocket on back, a double pocket on front (which is delineated by the contrasting fabric shown in the first picture), and one large middle section with four smaller pockets off to the sides.

Last night, I emptied the contents of OP on the bed so that I could sort through them and put them into NP. (With NP in my hot little hands, I wasn’t inclined to wait another day for the Changing of the Purse.)

The contents of my purse

The contents of my old purse, Oct. 2, 2010

If you’ve ever wondered what a woman keeps in her purse, here’s a list of what this woman keeps there:

6 writing implements, bandages, ear plugs, Dave Matthews Band ticket stub, 3 tea bags, 6-foot tape measure, nail clippers, cough drops, 4 fortune cookie fortunes, 3 emery boards, 2 combs, cellphone, checkbook, 3 flash drives, Orbit Perfect Peach gum, calculator, dental floss, Carmex, store receipts for recent purchases, car key, 2 Famous Dave’s towelettes, tiny address/phone book, loose change, Burt’s Bees Replenishing Lip Balm, feminine products, wallet, business & info cards, including the W3C guide to making websites accessible and a tick-borne diseases guide, small notebook, 4 paperclips and another paper binder, a Great River Writers public reading announcement, the book I was reading (N.M. Kelby’s “A Travel Guide for Reckless Hearts” – finished today), and the first draft of an essay I’m writing for work.

In order to keep things tidy inside the large middle section on NP, I bought a black clutch for my money, checkbook and credit cards. I had two smaller zippered bags on hand (in complementary colors, if you can believe) that helped me separate and organize other items.

The black clutch

The black clutch for inside my new purse, Oct. 2, 2010

I can honestly say that while I was involved with the Changing of the Purse, I was completely focused and in the zone – the same zone I go into when I’m writing or making art. It was a Zen experience.

I took NP to the grocery store with me today and, so far, am having an easy time finding things in it. There’s still some mental remapping I have to do in getting used to the clutch over the wallet, but that’ll come.

Goodbye, OP. Welcome, NP!


Ladies, what kinds of things do you keep in your purse(s)? Do you have more than one? How often do you switch purses? Is the Changing of the Purse as big a production for you as it is for me?

Gentlemen, do you carry any kind of a bag that might be considered a purse if a woman were carrying it, or do you depend on your significant other to carry the stuff you need?