Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Unloading Baggage

For the first time in recent memory, I rolled in early for a dental appointment. Much like my being super-early for an outgoing flight, it felt unnatural and I didn’t know what to do with myself. The waiting room’s TV was too loud to focus on the book I brought, I’d already dealt with my e-mail and read the morning news, everyone I’d want to text with was somewhat hard at work, en route to work, or still asleep. And joshing around with this uptight waiting-room crowd was out of the question. I flipped through a magazine that had been tossed onto a chair across from me, and grew particularly enthralled with its “What’s in My Bag?” feature, where a celebrity dumps out the contents of her handbag, for all to see.

I’m cleaning out a huge, black, and timeless Liz (my mom called her Elisabeth) Claiborne bag I’ve kept in rotation since college. The interior lining is in tatters; one strap has stayed attached to the body of the bag with the help of an industrial-sized stapler. We’ve endured so much for so long, and I dread the day I have to put it to sleep. What’s in it?:

1. A great beauty of an umbrella. People can’t help but smile through the rain when this little number is up and at ‘em. It lifts moods. Most of my T.J. Maxx purchases turn heads.

2. Crumbs

3. 1 pleated white ankle sock

4. My office ID badge, the electronic-access swipe function of which hasn’t worked in at least 2 years.

5. Chopsticks

6. A sheaf of scrap paper, where I jot down any ideas/thoughts/lines that stop me in my tracks while I’m on the go, away from my computer. (The most up-to-the-minute jotting: I don’t trust people who are politically correct at all times.)

7. A travel-size bottle of hand sanitizer that’s gone unused because I always forget it’s there, underneath the weightier matters.

8. A tube of lip balm that cost too many euros and doesn’t hit the spot nearly as well as my Bonne Bell Lip Smackers.

There had been an empty plastic produce bag in a side pocket. It’s been passed on to a bagless lady whose dog made quite a mess on the bridle path in the park. She needed something quick, and it’s a good thing I had that bag on me. Otherwise she would have gotten the ankle sock.


  1. I have three Liz Claiborne bags, all same style, different finishes. Got them for 70% off. Love them! They are all empty right now, because I am not ready to let go of my summer bag. Navy with white stripes. In Florida, summer lasts forever. If you don't watch it, one of these days you may find a living thing in there. Just be prepared!

  2. For years I carried around a medium-to-large sized bag with a ton of stuff. Finally, my back began to break down from it. Now I have a very small bag with a quick-to-open flap for the cell phone, plus a little space in the bag for keys, a couple of ID cards and credit cards, and a few dollars. I ditched the make-up. Ah, freedom from weight and clutter...

  3. It's always fun to see what's in other people's purses! I have a plethora of broken crayons at the bottom of my purse. I've had chopsticks in there before, too, with little faces drawn on them. They disappeared one day, and ended up under my daughter's bed.

    Visiting from SITS!
    Lemon Drop Pie

  4. I once did a "what's in the bag" feature on my blog - about 3 years ago. And wow, the crap I had accumulated! Among the contents: 2 cellphone chargers (because one isn't enough) and duct tape!

  5. I'd be afraid to see what's in the bottom of my bag. My kids hand me all kinds of crazy stuff all the time that I just shove in and forget about!