Just when you think you know a girl, look in her purse.
Here’s what went down.
Last weekend was the 10th Annual Sisterhood Mother-Daughter Christmas Tea Party. Are you doing the math? It was JANUARY last weekend—NOT December.
Ten years ago, when we were young mothers, we thought a tea party would be a grand idea—one more chance for the sweet babies to wear their pretty Christmas dresses! We even had little tea pots, and there was, and still is, a book exchange among the not-so-little-any-more girls (yep, we started the love-of-books-brain-washing young!). This year, an evil virus took down one of the families over Christmas, hence, the post-holiday date. With our combined schedules, we are oh-so-lucky we weren’t singing yuletide carols by the pool in June, but, whatever, on with the Fa-La-La-ing.
We were all just sitting around coffee-klatching it up. Yes, we know we JUST said it was a TEA party, but it was decided about 3 seconds into the first tea party that the tea was really just for the girls. (And really the “tea” was water because we’re not insane.) We Moms require something with a little higher octane. The lovely afternoon hummed with the sounds of old friends catching up and the girls playing oh-so-beautifully when . . .
Ellen: Why on earth do you have a paper towel roll in your purse? You don’t even use paper towels.
Erin: embarrassed giggle
Ellen: I feel like I just walked in on a vegetarian devouring a Big Mac.
Suddenly all eyes are on Erin. The Sisterhood all know The Big Secret, but most people do not: Erin’s family does not use paper towels. They broke their Bounty habit about 4 years ago and haven’t looked back. The only negative is when people find out. Nothing gets a room whipped into a frenzy faster than a woman who has abandoned her paper products. They start sputtering, “HOW can you do that?” Then they belligerently berate, “But what about raw meat juices and vomit!?!” And it goes on and on.
So Erin is quick to go on the defensive when someone shines a spotlight on it— like lightning-fast, hair-trigger defensive. You CANNOT believe how crazy people get over the No-Paper-Towel lifestyle. Or can you? Calm yourself. It’s not like she doesn’t use toilet paper.
Ultimately, this was not a grand confessional moment. She was only the runner! Erin was ferrying the paper towel rolls to a neighbor to be transformed into swords for a birthday party. Can we all just agree now that Pinterest is going to be the death of us all?
But it definitely got us to thinking about what other secrets might be uncovered in the great abysses known as our purses. So here’s . . .
10 Things Our Purses Reveal About Us
Erin is not the only environmentalist in the Sisterhood — her with her radical No Paper Towel Policy. My purse shows that I’m trying to save the planet by keeping the world’s garbage in my purse instead of sending it to a landfill. Here are some highlights.
1. Same red bird ornament as Erin.
The first rule of Red Bird Club is do not talk about Red Bird Club.
2. Sunday School ornament nestled up to some screws.
Can we take a moment to respect the character that is my baby? In church, my 12 year old sunshine created a Christmas decoration hashtagged YOLO and SWAG. While SWAG might be fitting for my Savior, He definitely was THE exception for “You only live once.”
Can we not talk about why I have not one, but
two five Christmas ornaments in my purse in February?
By the way, matching up those screws is what is standing between me and a finished laundry closet. That and 13 hours of labor.
3. USB cord.
I’m a gal who is always prepared. In the countryside that I call home, it is not uncommon for internet to drop out. When you do something as important as blog for no profit, you need to be prepared to tether your cell phone as a hotspot . . . that is, if you happen to have any bars. I should blog with smoke signals.
4. Two wallets are heavier than one.
See that super cute Coach wristlet on the left? That was going to be the answer to lightening my load – only the essential cards and cash AND I could just grab it and go when I didn’t want to drag around my whole garbage can, I mean purse. The reality? I haven’t cleaned my wallet out to make sure I have all of my essentials, so now I’m dragging them BOTH around.
5. A card is worth a thousand words.
This trio of cards landed together. It was like a tea leaves reading: a Dunkin’ Donuts card, a Lego card, and a Kohl’s coupon for Black Friday. (Once again, I know it is now February.) Make of it what you will.
I kind of suspect that this is what the inside of my head looks like.
6. Same Red Bird as Ellen
First Rule of Red Bird Club is do not talk about Red Bird Club.
7. 400 Speed Film
Hmmm. I don’t even use my film camera any more since I took up with the fabulous DSLR Nikon. Yes, ladies, sometimes shiny and new can sway you from tried and true. I suspect I found these when cleaning out a drawer and said “Wow, I should really get that developed”, but I have no recollection of having this conversation with myself. Perhaps the person who swiped my camera bag left these in exchange. It’ s a Nancy Drew mystery.
8. Business Cards
Super important to have on hand when you are blogging for no profit.
9. Survival Stockpile
Purse or Suburban Mom Survivalist pack? You decide. You can’t really see it in this picture, but there’s even an emergency medical kit hidden in an Altoids tin, complements of my little Cub Scout. With this bag in tow, just grab a great hat, put on your best Indiana Jones swagger, and pilot that mini-van towards your next adventure. You could survive for days in the suburban jungle with this mess.
10. Birth Certificate and Social Security Card
All apologies to my mom and dad who actually spent one Saturday morning looking through THEIR files for these documents. I found these nice and safe in an envelope in my purse.
Who carries around their birth certificate, you ask? This girl!! You see I am going away with my husband for the first time in a long time. Not away, like “Hey, kids, we are hanging out in the basement. Go destroy the rest of the house” away, but more like “Hey, we’ll send you a postcard. Please don’t kill your grandparents before we get back” kind of away.
We are going on the kind of away that requires a passport and about 40 mom-hours worth of work before the magical, hanging-out with my husband sans kids can happen. Super-excited for the trip AND that I found these documents!
Of course, our souvenir from the last trip like this is in kindergarten now, which reminds of a few more things that I should put on my to-do list.
PS– Do you see that I carry my husband’s old swiss army knife?? Wasn’t kidding about that Survivalist pack.
So, in the end, this look inside the purses doesn’t end up being a grand confessional either. Just more of what you have come to expect: a little silly, a little sensible, a little sweet.
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Thanks! Erin and Ellen
By Ellen Williams Erin Dymowski