What is it about a purse that sends women to thinking like an ADHD kid who has been devouring pounds of chocolate and chasing it down with a few quarts of Red Bull? Even the sanest, most organized of women fall woefully short when it comes to what lives inside that handbag.
I knew I was a candidate for an intervention when, while I shopped at the mall, I stuck my hand in my purse to get my wallet, and instead pulled out a pair of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle underwear. They weren’t mine. In my defense, they were clean. A matching action figure was keeping it company at the bottom of that dark abyss I lugged around day in, day out.
What’s that you say, Mr. Police Officer? There’s been a prison break? Seven inmates are missing? Sure, you can check my purse. I’m all about being helpful.
Nowadays, I’m more grown up. Still, if you had reached inside the denim bag I carried to work each day for three years at my last workplace, you’d find…another purse. No kidding. Literally, another purse.
Wait. As Ellen DeGeneres always says: “Here’s my point, and I do have one.” The powers that be at this workplace do not allow denim of any kind. In this workplace, grown women run the hallway barefoot and wear flip flops, the kind with those big obnoxious flowers on them-and that’s okay. Just as long as their feet or the flip flops are not made of denim.
The exception to the no-no list involves hoochie mama mini skirts. Those are on the approved list as well. Don’t try to figure this out. The minute you think you have a bead on it, the same powers that be will change the rules. My guess as to the thumbs up on the hoochie mama jean skirts is that the powers that be are male. Old men who have a high hoochie mama threshold. I digress.
The no-denim rule at this place was irrational given the setting of this workplace and the conditions in which we worked. We referred to ourselves as “The Flowers in the Attic.” It’s a reference to the story of children who have been locked away in the attic so no one knows they exist. That denim purse served as my personal revolt against “the man,” or old men, as it was in this case. I’m a big fan of civil disobedience. I’m fairly certain that Gandhi carried a denim purse.
The thing about civil disobedience is that it only works when people know what you are doing and why. As the lowly worker bees at this place are more or less invisible to the power mongers in this workplace, no one in authority noticed my silent, denim blue protest.
Clarence Darrow once said: “The objector, and the rebel who raises his voice against what he believes to be the injustice of the present and the wrongs of the past, is the one who hunches the world along.”
Given the size and weight of my big denim purse, it’s safe to say I’ll continue to hunch along.
That other purse I spoke of, the one inside the denim hobo sack, is a tiny, black leather compact purse that has slots for a billion cards. I have lots of those: license, ATM, insurance info., credit cards, discount cards, my all-important Moose membership card, etc. You get the picture.
But it’s not denim. So, during the week, I slipped the highly-organized black leather purse inside my blue denim, hippie throwback purse. Then I filled it up with things I needed for the day. I guess that’s where it all went to hell in a handbasket. Extra sugar packets from fast food joints, pens that don’t work and I meant to throw away, slips of paper with all sorts of important data on them. This and more made up the lining of my bag inside a bag.
My purses should be much more organized than they are. I’m an organization-aholic. I’m that crazy person who sorts the spices by alphabetical order and places them on the shelf with the labels facing forward. My clothes closet is a marvel as well. All white hangers, all facing the same way. Clothing is separated by function (pants, shirts, skirts), then color. Stripes put me in a quandary. I’m still working on a system.
And yet there’s the jean purse with the purse inside. Not quite a testament to the uber-organized woman. Then again, maybe it is a testament if you are, like me, a rebel with a cause.