I love the “What’s in My Bag?” page in Us Weekly, because it’s always such a shameless, manufactured attempt at product placement, and a totally homogenized version of what purse contents actually look like. According to Us Weekly, the only thing starlets carry in their bags are whole bottles of perfume and LV planners.
A couple months ago, I caught a glimpse of the inside of my friend Michelle’s bag, and was immediately inspired to write a post about what a real woman’s bag looks like. To look at Michelle from the outside, you’d think she was a put-together, vivacious, beautiful mom of three. But if you caught a glimpse of the inside of her handbag, you might think the bag belonged to the Unibomber. I suspect most of our bags look like Michelle’s. If yours doesn’t and you’re jealous, here’s a tip: for the perfect mess, it helps if the bag is completely without structure and has no compartments or pockets, like my Clare Vivier, above. Then everything can just tumble around together in one horrific, roiling mix.
Below: the true, unedited contents of my bag, and a handy key, as of April 26, 2012.
1. Wallet filled with carefully clipped coupons, all expired.
2. Target gift card, received by Finn at his 5th birthday party (12/17/11). Stolen from Finn (12/18/11).
3. Kleenex, never there when you need it.
4. Cleaning cloth for sunglasses, covered in dirt and particulates from rolling around the inside of my bag. Dwight Holton button, because Dwight’s the man. The button pricks me every time I reach into my purse, but I don’t blame Dwight. Don’t forget to vote.
5. Burt’s Bees original lip balm. I have 37 of these stashed in various places.
6. Lego keychain. Rather cruel, turns out. Tate has spent about three tortured hours trying to get the storm trooper (clone trooper?) off the keys, to little avail.
7. Halls wrapper. Why throw wrappers away when you can keep them for always?
8. Lens Crafters protection plan for Finn’s glasses. The best $29.99 I’ve ever spent, because he’s already broken them four times. Why I keep the hard copy in my purse is another question.
9. Mystery item.
10. Part of Heath wrapper. Suspect I ate the rest of the wrapper.
11. Emergency food, for emergencies. Like 4:00.
12. Price tag from new sunglasses, which, as far as Tom knows, are old sunglasses.
13. Friend Amara’s recipe for s’mores bars served during the Super Bowl. In February.
14. Large post-it pad, with Tate doodle. Effective at keeping a child diverted, for exactly three seconds.
15. Highlighters in five colors. Because having just the yellow one is for amateurs.
16. Emergency tampon encased in cardboard packaging that I have no clue how to infiltrate. But don’t worry, I work best under pressure.
17. Tape flags, for flagging stuff.
18. Grand Central coffee card. Only 7 more cups to go until I get my free $1.25 cup of coffee.
19. Rubber finger, for flipping stuff.
20. $5.80 Forever 21 bracelet, for power lunches.
Phew. No decaying banana peel or wet boy socks. A pretty organized day, all told.