I was 15 when I got my first purse. It had a long strap that allowed it to hang at my waist. It looked like something a hippie, flower child would have. My grandmother bought for my trip to California. A small wallet held my new driver’s license, a card with emergency numbers and $10.00 emergency money. My passage into womanhood had begun.
As a young wife beginning my working career, I made the switch to more grown up and conservative purse. It held a wallet along with a brush, lipstick and my checkbook. As I added children to my life, my purse became much larger. Style was not important. Cheap vinyl and many pockets were all that mattered. It held the basics and crackers, a small bag of Cheerios, Kleenex, band aids, and an assortment of small toys. I always had paper and pen to entertain the kids. The onset of panic attacks in my life added a bottle of Valium to the mix.
As my life became complicated and I slipped into addiction, my choice of purses changed as well. I needed much larger bags now. Style wasn’t as important as functionality. The wallet held the usual items as well as rolling papers. Mini bottles of booze along with cigarettes and a lighter were required items. Breathe mints, eye drops, bottles of pills, and spare deodorant were needed items. Organization was lost and things were thrown into the bag without thought.
After sobriety, life changed along with my purse. I still preferred larger bags with lots of pockets. Over time, I became more courageous and chose vibrant colors and designs. Now the more essential items were my meeting schedules, antacids, and candy. My wallet once again contained money, a checkbook, pictures, and credit cards.
Today I carry a smaller satchel type bag. I have a huge wallet that holds all the basics along with 20 key cards for discounts stores. The wallet comes with a detachable strap so I can carry it alone. A pill box is a necessary addition. One of the most important things in a purse is an outside pouch for my cell phone. Inside the purse is a phone charger, extra hidden car keys car, a small notebook to capture ideas for writing and a variety of pens. Since I am a college student now, I also carry a huge backpack/book bag .
I wonder what my purses will be like in the coming years. I am getting older and I am sure the changes in my life will bring changes in my purse and the treasures inside. I imagine I will always own a purse even if I don’t get out much. It holds so many things that are important in my life. They say that to dream about a purse represents secrets, desires and thoughts that are being closely held and guarded. It symbolizes your identity and sense of self. You know, I think that might just be true.