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Let's Make A Deal

Women tend to change their handbags like they change their underwear.  Many of them have as many handbags AS they have underwear.  Not me though.  I do have the underwear (and I promise, I change it regularly), but I tend to use the same bag until the handles are ready to fall off.  Which tends to pose problems, because things go into the bag that have a hard time finding their way out. 

A couple of Friday nights ago, a friend of mine was the opening band at a local club.  Following his set, I joined him, his wife and son at a restaurant for something to eat. My friend was having a difficult time reading the menu, what with being a vain rock-and-roller and all, so I slipped him my reading glasses knowing I had a spare pair in my bag. As I felt around, I came up with a pair...but it was missing an arm.  So I fished some more and came up with a pair of sunglasses.  Then another pair of sunglasses. Plainly embarrassed, I continued looking in my bag, while their son was looking at me incredulously, and I located yet another pair of readers sans arm.  Now I'm perspiring, and I duck my head under the table, so no one can see what else might be in there. I finally found the pair that I knew I had, and as I emerged from under the tablecloth, three pairs of eyes were staring in silence while the waitress stood waiting patiently to take my order.

"Just coffee please and a slice of cheesecake."  I was too embarrassed to put the glasses on and look at the menu.

The following morning I emptied that lovely leather bag that my BFF brought me back the year before from Florence Italy.  The contents were frightening: my wallet, checkbook, date book and car keys followed by my cellphone and the earpiece I hadn't seen in weeks. There were assorted receipts from gas and grocery stores, the 3 pairs of sunglasses, 3 pairs of readers plus the 2 pairs missing an arm, a rubber baseball from the Lakewood BlueClaws, $8.71 in change, a white screw, 4 pens, a magic wallet filled with gift cards, a knife, fork and spoon, MAC blush, eye shadow, lipstick and brushes and some "Happy" temporary tattoos from The Color Run. Emptied directly into the garbage went the sandy unwrapped gum and beach sand.  Some of those things would either get me on the show floor with Monte Hall, or on a couch with a therapist.

And I wonder why my shoulder has been killing me.

I use to have what was affectionately referred to by one of my old bosses as a "Psycho Bag" which held everything from my lunch to coupons to contracts.  I weaned myself off of that before my kids started calling me Bag Lady instead of Mom, but over the past year, have returned to my bad ways.  While I was changing everything into my name after Wingman passed, I had a business bag where I carried a death certificate, surrogate's letter, even a copy of his will.  Following the flood, I added FEMA forms, insurance policies and lists of phone numbers of contractors. Job searching forced me to carry multiple copies of my resume. Now that I'm back home I've added warranty cards for new appliances, instruction manuals for build-it-yourself projects and more screws (to match ones missing from the do-it-yourself projects which sit incomplete in the garage). And grocery coupons.  And magazines.  Stuff I keep thinking I NEED "just in case" know-psycho stuff.

Today, I pulled out a smaller summer bag. One that comfortably fits my necessities including only one pair of readers and sunglasses. I threw away the broken glasses, put the make-up in a bag, stored the baseball with some other toys. And I made a deal with myself. The bag I carry stays small.

But some of the extra stuff I'll keep in my old psycho bag in the car.  Just in case... 


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