I bought a new purse today.
I do that about once a year, though I think it’s been about 18 months since my current pink number hit the scene. The new one is a rich brown crocodile bag, a little bigger and definitely more sophisticated than Mr. Pink.
I both look forward to and dread migrating my life from the old purse to the new one. On the negative side, it’s never just a dump-and-go job… it takes FOREVER. My purse, near the end of its useful life (meaning near when I’m just dead sick of looking at it, since I’m not a change my purse with my outfit type; I carry one purse until I’m ready to burn it) has usually accumulated a veritable smörgåsbord of an historical record of the life the purse has joined me through. There are papers of all sorts to sift through; 95% of them will hit the recycling bin or shredder but I’ll look at every one and remember when I acquired it, and what I was doing, and who I was with. Oh, sure, the more mundane ones, like the gas receipts, tend to melt together into a general memory of standing there pumping and making goofy faces at the kids through the car window, but they often have dates and locations printed on them that remind me of road trips taken. There will be tons of other receipts in there, too, many with specific memories represented. And all the odd crayons I’ve collected off restaurant tables after boisterous meals with my kids, those will be deposited in the miscellaneous crayon bin for further enjoyment and artful purposes. All this stuff, these remnants, sort of get bound together by time in my purse, and to go through it the whole thing must nearly be peeled apart, like peeling away the rings of a tree and seeing the history written inside. Granted, my purse barely rivals the remaining Civil War-era trees at Gettysburg in the historical significance of the events unfolded in their presence (yet), but it’s still pretty historical in the grand scheme of me.
Future purses will yield unto me yet untold treasures: movie stubs, graduation programs, used tissues, unused coupons for products not yet even dreamed up, business cards of people who will come and go, invitations for parties yet attended, doctor’s appointment reminder cards for pregnancies and babies yet conceived. I’ll hopefully find it all… and with any luck, many times over.
And yet, it’s just a purse. A vessel for carrying the sundry things that life sometimes necessitates. When Frank realizes I’ve bought a new purse, he will roll his eyes at my frivolity… because, spending $27 (thank you Marshall’s!) to replace something I bought for $24 a year and a half ago (thank you, TJ Maxx!) is naturally frivolous in his eyes. (I cannot get him to grasp that a purse is more than functional. He seems to compare it to his wallet, which since it’s not falling apart at the seams he sees no logical reason to replace it.) So, yeah, he’ll roll his eyes and question what is wrong with the dozen other purses accumulated in my closet, and I’ll just roll my eyes right back at him and tell him he just doesn’t get it… just like I do when he mentions the mess in my purse.