Thursday, July 9, 2009

Why yes I have a hardboiled egg, a tacking hammer and 15 red buttons in here.

I head off to lunch. We're getting an upgrade to our office Internet service and it's coming through the boss's office so he's gone for the day now. I had to "nip along smartly" to get some viands for luncheon and dashed over to Subway. Two people in front of me in line, one male, one female.
Orders go quickly down the line. Even with the guy wanting his sub toasted, Subway employees pride themselves on getting you in and getting you out with minimal wait time. The guy whips out his wallet, locates his debit card and is finished paying in less time than it takes for me to type this sentence. The woman opens her purse and...




If you are a certain age, you remember Monty Hall and "Let's Make a Deal". People dressed outrageously for a chance to receive prizes. You could trade the proverbial "bird in hand" for what was inside a large box on the stage or for what was behind one of three doors/curtains. Sometimes you got something fantastic, like a complete set of kitchen appliances. Sometimes you got the goat, the real thing. I do believe there were consolation prizes for those getting 15 pounds of composted cow manure, but the whole appeal of the show was who would trade the brand new bedroom set for a 33.3% chance at getting a new car, a trip or a mule. Sometimes, that mule turned out to be an all expense paid trip to Yellowstone, for instance. More often than not, it was a mule.

One of the schticks was to point at a woman and ask if she had three very disconnected items in a handbag. Women used to show up with these almost suitcases bulging with a variety of items in the hope they would be chosen and could then produce the title of this post. As the woman in front of me dug deep into her purse for her wallet, she pulled out, in order, a scarf (looked to be silk or silk-like), a package of dental floss, two packages of tic tacs, one child's light blue Croc shoe, 3 pacifiers including one that looked like the dog had enjoyed it, and the top off a sippy cup. Yes, although most of my life consists of trying to remember why I walked into this particular room, I was astounded that she pulled these items out of her purse and set them on the counter, so I made a mental note that this was, most definately, a blog post.

The errant wallet was under these things. The corners of bills stick out of this wallet, along with sales receipts. She opens it up and a small stack of papers slide out of the wallet and into her purse. She is now fully aware that there are 3 people stuck behind her and this makes her nervous and embarrassed. She picks through the money to get exact change but finding the change part of the wallet empty, she says, "Um, just a sec. I know I have the 53 cents in the bottom of the bag."

I didn't say a thing. I don't think anyone said a thing. But I do believe the universe sighed at the thought of her spending more of our lives rummaging in that bag of holding for 53 cents. I heard the guy behind me fumble in his pants pocket, the jingle of coins clearly audible. Instead, she handed the clerk $10 and started shoving everything back into this purse.

It must be a hold over from ancient times when women had to take the children everywhere with them because men didn't handle child rearing duties. We were not coming back to the hovel any time soon and therefore, needed to take whatever we might need with us. The advent of bags just made carting everything easier.

I used to be a "bag mom". I used to look upon outings as if they were trips to northern Canada where only polar bears and not McDonalds would be. Hence you needed to take anything and everything your child could possibly want in the event she aged 3 years in the 2 hours you were slated to be gone. I took great pride in being resourceful and planning ahead. I was the woman in front of me.

Now days, if I could pare down what I carry, I would. I looked at my purse when I got back to the office. I don't NEED half of what I carry, but there is a security in having it. Carole teased me during my Puyallup visit in May that I was still using the purse I bought 3 years ago. I don't see any reason to change right now. It works. I know where everything is.

I will take what's behind Door #1 but all I can offer is a tea bag, an unused nail file and 4 cherry flavored Ricola cough drops.

Beverage: Coke/Rootbeer mix


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