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What Does Your Purse Say About You?

Posted by Kara Baskin  November 28, 2012 01:00 PM

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Mine indicates the following: I let my son play with tampons and I知 a candidate for the show Hoarders.

A couple of weeks ago, I went out to brunch with friends and we did that thing where everyone dumps out the contents of her purse. (Does anyone else do this? I知 assuming it痴 a common bonding experience, but let me know if I知 wrong.) Anyway, everyone else痴 purse contained totally ordinary things: wallets, shiny cell phones, lip gloss, keys, maybe some loose change. Mine contained a half-eaten Nature Valley granola bar, a pacifier, a cracked-up iPhone, an unwrapped tampon with the string half-attached, a Lego man, and a faded coupon for something unidentifiable.

Ever have one of those moments when suddenly you realize: Oh, man, I知 a mom? As I watched the tampon slowly roll across the table and come to rest against my water glass, this was mine. (A note about the tampon: Andy found it in my bag, ripped it open, then pretended to conduct an orchestra with it. Should I be alarmed?)

This purse-dumping was a telling moment. The friends I was with are currently childless, and it was hard not to compare the contents of my bag with theirs and liken it to the state of my life versus theirs. My friends' lives: purposeful, streamlined, primarily devoted to their own desires. Mine: sticky, slightly disorderly, and filled with things that aren稚 even mine.

No, I知 not one of those people who thinks that having a kid automatically entitles me to excuses to be slovenly, messy, or too 澱usy. I do not wear my mangy purse like a badge of honor, as a way to say, 徹h! Poor me! I知 so harried, I don稚 even have time to clean out my purse! I do not think that my tampon orchestra party with Andrew is more important than my friends extracurricular activities. It was just a very visible mark of how much my life has changed over the past two years since Andrew was born葉hat I literally take him with me wherever I go.

Everything in the purse was somehow connected to him. The granola bar? His. The cracked-up iPhone? I broke it when I tripped entering his room in the dark. The Lego man? I hid it from him so he wouldn稚 choke on it. The coupon? Probably Gerber. The pacifier? No, not mine from a long-forgotten rave. And we already addressed the whole tampon thing.

Usually we realize the gravitas of parenthood in those big moments悠 knew I was a mom when I sobbed as my daughter left for Kindergarten, I knew I was a dad when I realized I didn稚 mind waking up in the night to feed my son, and so on. But parenthood is full of small, poignant moments, too. This was one. Lucky for me, it came with an iced coffee.

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About the author

Kara Baskin (@kcbaskin) is a Boston-based writer, editor, and mom to Andy. She thinks Sriracha and garlic make everything tastier. She loves Steely Dan and "Murder, She Wrote." Her More »

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