Friday, August 20, 2010

The contents of my handbag

Like a lot of women, I like bags. In fact, I don’t just like bags, I love ‘em. I simply can’t pass up a shop that sells bags without spending at least a few minutes window-shopping no matter how rushed I am for time. And if I have the time, I can while away an hour or so looking at all the bags – the colours, the shapes, the sizes, the textures, the *gulp* prices – and wondering what it would be like to buy them all. Out of necessity, naturally, not out of greed - although non-bag-lovers might see it as greed. But, as they say, one person’s necessity is another person’s greed. (Or the other way round.)

Unlike a lot of women, however, I only own one handbag. I don’t need or want more than one, and if I find one I like, I tend to use it everywhere all the time until it’s threadbare or worn down to near transparency. At that point, with a heavy heart, I am forced to go to a bag emporium as an unhappy buyer instead of just as a happy wanderer.

The problem with having to buy a bag is that a lot of them look nice, but most of them don’t have the qualities I desire - low price, good looks, medium size but with optimum-storage-and-plenty-of-compartments. Or rather, these qualities do exist, but not as applicable to any one bag. This problem is further compounded by the fact that any bag I buy, no matter how perfect before I buy it, immediately loses all lovability the moment the sale is final. At that point, any sort of bag carried by any random woman – short of an actual bag lady – takes on all the desirability that my bag had possessed just micro seconds before.

However, these reasons, although important, only partially explain why I only own one handbag. The most important reason of all is that I cannot afford to own more than one handbag. It’s not the handbags themselves that are ruinously expensive, it’s their contents. I will explain in a moment.

I’ve always wondered how other women manage as the owners of multiple handbags. How do they manage to take a different bag each day? How do they have the patience and the will to transfer the contents of one handbag to another that matches their outfit/is appropriate to where they're going/whatever other reason they change bags? What if the bag being transferred from is bigger than the one being transferred to? How do they manage to get all the things in the smaller bag? If they don’t, how do they manage without the things that didn’t get into the smaller bag, given that the same things were necessary in the bigger bag? Is the importance of the handbag’s contents in inverse proportion to the size of the handbag? If this is so, why do these women lug around things of lesser importance – and, I assume, lesser necessity - merely because the handbag is bigger? Do the less important things gain more importance just by the fact that there’s more handbag room to carry them? I just don’t get it.

When I have one (medium-sized) bag, I carry in it all the things that are important and necessary to me on a daily basis. (If my single handbag is bigger than medium, things tend to collect in it, making me lose track of the contents after a while, in turn making it difficult to find the few things that I might actually require.) If I have two bags, I tend to duplicate the contents of the first bag for the second bag as well, so that no matter which bag I choose to use, I would still have all my important items. But if you’re forced to do this for every single bag you buy, the process begins to get extremely expensive, not to mention inconvenient.

Transferring the contents from Bag 1 to Bag 2 (or 3 or 4 or 5 or 10, limited only by the number of bags you own) is a possibility, yes, but in the past I’ve tended to overlook certain items by mistake, to discover their absence in Bag 2 only at the psychological moment – for instance, searching fruitlessly for the keys to get into my house when they (the keys) were inside Bag 1 which was inside said house. On one such occasion I was forced to walk miles to find a public phone from which to call Pete and ask him to come home ASAP – why a public phone? Because my mobile phone also happened to be in Bag 1.

So you see why I own only one handbag.

The contents of said bag:
- Cheque book
- Pen
- Another pen (in case I can’t find the first one)
- Address book
- Spare passport size photographs (I don’t need those any more but they’re a habit left over from the days when every official form I had to submit to anybody required at least one photo)
- Glue stick (ditto as above, to be able to stick the photo onto whichever form)
- Purse (containing debit card, credit card, library card and Boots Advantage card, and postage stamps, plus cash and assorted coins plus emergency cash and spare house key)
- Contact lens case (with lens liquid)
- Glasses + case
- Cell phone (when I remember)
- Headache pills
- Inhaler (as a precaution for me and Pete)
- Lip gloss
- Lip balm (roller type)
- Another lip balm (in a tube)
- Yet another lip balm (medicated) (A girl can never have too many lip balms!)
- Eye liner (in case I might need it to glam up – HAHAHAHA!)
- Little Post-It pad for writing reminders to myself

- An emergency tampon (for me)
- Another emergency tampon (on the off chance that someone in dire straits might ask if I have a spare)
- Fluff (this collects by itself, it’s not something I choose to put in my bag)

And there you have it. The list of contents of my one and only handbag.

What’s in yours?


CW said...

My jolnapai aka handbag has these:
Wallet with ID, cash, cards.
A book
Sanitary napkin

I can't possibly imagine spending big bucks on a handbag. Plus, most of these LV/Gucci bags look old and boring to me.In a situation where I can't/won't carry the bag, I make do by stuffing the wallet and keys in my jeans' pockets. Makes a dandy handbag, if you ask me :-D.

rads said...

haha, good one and see, how interesting this post was! :-)

I also am one at a time handbag person. When i change, I change for good, and yes, you have so many lipbalms, my daughter would love you! :)

Maybe I should re-do this tag, pictures included! But then since I don't socialize much on blogland, I doubt anyone'd care for the tag :-))

Uttara said...

Someone who carries as many lip balms as I do!

I do have a lot of bags-love em. But am lazy about changing them often and can't help but admire those who do.

Lekhni said...

I save on carrying a checkbook by slipping a few check leaves in my purse for the odd day that I may need one - it's usually once every few months..

Shyam said...

CW: I used to carry a jholna for a while back in Madras, as a college student and then a journo, but got tired of that style of bag because: 1. My purse kept getting stolen. 2. I could never find anything I put in it and everything bulged irritatingly at the bottom :) Nowadays I carry a bag with a flat base that doesnt collapse the moment I set it down.

Rads: I'D care for the tag! :)

Uttara: 's why I stopped buying handbags. They just sat around occupying space and collecting dust!

mim said...

i hate carrying a handbag... am a more wallet in my jeans pocket person.

and so much has erm expanded ... since my jeans days.

so i buy kurtas with pockets.

*but i can admire a handbag just as much as the next gal*

radhika from chellamae carries the absolute awfulest

Anonymous said...

Ah! I just saw this post. Mine isn't half as organized as yours. Will do this tag by this week :)