On my way to a movie and then later the graduation of a few friends, I needed to stop at an ATM on Saturday afternoon. I took a minute to reach in my purse to pull out my debit card and was struck by the myriad of items in my purse. What assumptions would a stranger make about me based on these items? I began to look at them objectively.
1. Mindy Kaling’s book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns). If the purse itself wasn’t enough to indicate that I am indeed female, this book may help with that assumption. Also, it says something about the type of sense of humor I have: by my estimation, a good one.
2. Three CTA cards. Instead of just one bus card (which works like a debit card, for those non-Chicagoan readers), I had to grab all three on my way out because I didn’t know which one had money on it still. This could lead a stranger to assume that I was a poor planner and/or disorganized. This would be reinforced by the state of chaos in my purse– cords from ear buds hopelessly tangled up with keys and a pen. Physically, I may not always appear to have it together, but most of the time, in my brain, things are filed away and stored methodically. I swear.
3. My iPod, whose ear buds, as mentioned, are always tangled up in themselves and usually with something else too. Someone might assume (correctly, I might add) that I need music daily. If they actually perused my music library, they would see that I am a folk junkie with an appreciation for 80’s pop music, other than that they would not be able to draw any other conclusions, though they might judge me harshly for my collection of music by popular male acoustic guitar-playing singer-songwriters from
my youth last year. So be it. Judge me. I will never take them off my iPod.
4. A pen and notebook with blog ideas written in it. This includes such title ideas as “Things I Have Said to Myself As I Get Ready in the Morning”, “How I Play Scrabble: A Metaphor”, “How to Be a Jerk” and “The Reasons I Know Things Are Not Going Well: Products and Services that Should Never Have Been Invented”. I’m working on a shorter title for that last one. This notebook would make the person examining my life through my purse assume that I spend a lot of time by myself. This is true.
5. A guitar pick. This might give this hypothetical person the sense that I might be cooler than I actually am. I’m not. I’m just as cool as I am, not a drop more. I take beginner guitar classes and I had left my pick in my purse after the last class, that’s all, nothing to see here.
6. Select make-up items. I have never once reapplied any make-up, so I don’t know why I continue to drop a lip gloss into my purse before going out. I just need to come to terms with the fact that I don’t really care that much. The person would see that I prefer natural colors, but would wrongly assume that I am the kind of girl who excuses herself to powder her nose.
Even though I just gave you a detailed list of the things in my purse, I would never let anybody take a gander in there. Typically the things we carry are private because they do say something about us that we don’t usually put into words. What do you carry? What does it say about you?