Over the years, boyfriends have asked me for things.
Like, you know, a tissue. Or a piece of gum. Perhaps a quarter for a vending machine or a parking meter. Inevitably, I’m distracted with something else — or reading (of course). I usually wave a hand dismissively, barely looking up from my cell phone or novel.
“It’s in my purse,” I’ll say, gesturing to my overflowing handbag nearby. “Just go in and get it.”
Inevitably, the boyfriend’s face will morph into a mask of unmitigated horror. “In your bag?” he’ll squawk. “I’m not going in your bag. That’s your girl stuff.”
While I’m not exactly sure what terrible devices of torture men expect to find in women’s handbags, I will say that I’ve had this exact conversation with at least three different boyfriends — and countless male friends, too. It’s like the purse is a vacuum of embarrassing girly products and they just don’t want any part of it.
And though I’m pleased to know that the men in my life aren’t, you know, wantonly pawing through my personal belongings, it is occasionally annoying to have to hoist myself out of a comfy chair in order to grab my purse and find that sliver of paper or pen they need.
But friends, it’s time to draw back the curtain. The lovely Erica recently asked me to reveal the contents of this, my hulking shoulder-breaker of a handbag . . . and since I love you guys, I’m just going to put it all out there.
Gentlemen, get ready.
1. Cupcake coupon holder — a little pouch I purchased on Etsy (where else?) and use to hold my coupons, gift cards and other random things I use to get stuff cheap or, occasionally, free.
2. A book — Like any steadfast reader, y’all know I don’t leave the house without a novel. At the moment, I’m heavy into Balancing Acts.
3. A pen and a Sharpie — because just having a pen isn’t enough. Sometimes I need to write on strange surfaces like, say, the top of a white styrofoam to-go box from a restaurant.
4. iPod Touch — which also functions as my personal calendar and way to keep in touch with the world! I’m lost without it. And, strangely, really don’t use it to hold any music . . . which is probably why I’m never without No. 6.
5. Cell phone — Have to be able to text, you know.
6. iPod Nano — which holds my music collection. And it’s pink, naturally. I listen to music a lot at work and feel pretty crazy when I accidentally forget it!
7. Lip gloss — I’m never without several different types of beauty products, but this Sephora clear lip gloss is my favorite!
8. Blog business cards — these are the little guys I got last year from Moo and have all my information for this here blog! I also give them out to dates because they give boys a way to contact me . . . but don’t actually have my phone number. Helps me screen out the crazies.
10. Anti-bacterial hand cream
11. Gum and mints — I’m a freak about mints and chewing gum . . . in that I always have some, and am always popping one or the other. Pretty sure that’s not a bad thing!
12. Face powder — So I’m shiny. What?
14. Wallet — money and ID are two things I wouldn’t leave home without!
15. Makeup pouch — where the rest of my six varieties of lip gloss are kept! I usually have a hair tie and a few bobby pins in there, too.
16. “Business” pouch — my work business cards, jump drives, a Tide To-Go Pen and other random little things are usually in here.
And what else is in my purse? The very pocket camera I used to take that photo! I don’t ever leave home without my Panasonic Lumix and love taking random shots on my lunch break. Like that one.
Hope this gives you a little more insight into the enigma that is Meg — and, if you’re a dude, that you won’t be quite as freaked out the next time I tell you to get your own piece of gum. Nothing will bite or humiliate you, promise.