stuff i carry

Author: angiem, 11 08th, 2011

When I was a little girl, I loved sneaking looks into my mom’s or aunts’ purses. Treasures awaited. Every little scribbled note was a mystery, a secret message. The backs of wallet photos were especially important. I was looking for hearts and xo’s and I love you’s. Zippered compartments with their spare change, ticket stubs, receipts, and discarded candy wraps were scrutinized with suspicion. Perhaps I was just looking for candy. Or perhaps I was looking for something more, something deeper. A look inside the hearts of these women so dear to me.

I was remembering all this as I cleaned out my purse today. It was starting to weigh me down, starting to slow my walk. And I got to thinking about the things I carry with me and within me. How much is treasure, and how much is trash? Hoarding wrappers and unacknowledged addictions, receipts and guilt, lists and forgotten dreams, photos and great love, love notes and memories. Getting rid of the junk, and keeping the real.

It was surprisingly easy to let go.

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purse love

Author: angiem, 04 10th, 2011

My love affair with purses started the summer before first grade.  Upon one of our Sunday afternoon outings in the city center, I was struck by one of the most beautiful sights my young eyes had seen thus far: a red patent leather purse on the shoulder of a little girl my age.  Round in shape (this was the seventies) and with an outside pocket containing a little doll, I just had to have one exactly like it.  For the following weeks, I was an obsessed child imploring my parents nicely, and sometimes not so nicely, about my need to get one.

Eventually my wish came true, and with my red patent leather purse I also received a pair of red patent leather Mary Janes.  Imagine my joy!  I wanted to wear the shoes and the purse everywhere.  I suppose that was the origination of my showing off, although it’s hard to tell as I’ve been a show off as long as I remember.  Yet my mom wouldn’t allow it.  They were only for church and visits to friends and family, where they could be properly appreciated.  And because we lived in a communist country and things were difficult to come by, her reasoning made sense.

Over the years I’ve accumulated a variety of purses that have been objects of intense love at one time or another, but which have lately been gathering dust on the shelves.  Yet, I can’t bear to part with them.  The memories they hold are many and precious.  Girlhood, womanhood, motherhood.  Specific moments and specific contents within, are ingrained in my mind.

I suppose there’s plenty of psychological explanations for my love and need of a beautiful purse, yet who cares about all that?  I’m too busy enjoying and loving.

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for the love of purses

Author: angiem, 09 23rd, 2009

My love affair with purses started the summer before first grade.  Upon one of our Sunday afternoon outings in the city center, I was struck dumb by one of the most beautiful sights my young eyes had seen thus far: a red patent leather purse.  Round in shape (this was the seventies) and with an outside pocket containing a little doll, I just had to have one exactly like it.  For the following weeks, I was an obsessed child imploring my parents nicely, and sometimes not so nicely, about my need to get one.

Eventually my wish came true, and with my red patent leather purse I also received a pair of red patent leather Mary Janes.  Imagine my joy!  I wanted to wear the shoes and the purse everywhere.  I suppose that was the origination of my showing off, although it’s hard to tell as I’ve been a show off as long as I remember.  Yet my mom wouldn’t allow it.  They were only for church and visits to friends and family, where they could be properly appreciated.  And because we lived in a communist country and things were difficult to come by, her reasoning made sense.

Over the years I’ve accumulated a variety of purses that have been objects of intense love at one time or another, but which have lately been gathering dust on the shelves.  Yet, I can’t bear to part with them.  The memories they hold are many and precious.  Girlhood, womanhood, motherhood.  Specific moments and specific contents within, are ingrained in my mind.

I suppose there’s plenty of psychological explanations for my love and need of a beautiful purse, yet who cares about all that?  I’m too busy enjoying and loving.

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