Did anyone ever tell you that the eyes are windows to the soul? Well they were right…with one caveat: though it’s true that the window to a man’s soul is found somewhere amid all the muscle tissue and optical nerves, the window to a woman’s soul is actually located in her handbag, which often contains telling tokens of her housekeeping and beauty regimens.
My go-to bag right now is a woven tote that I found at a church thrift sale, and it's adorned with an indigenous woman surrounded by palm trees on the front. I really enjoy this imagery because it reminds me of the colonialism that made my beachy vacay possible. Nothing says “summer” to me quite like systematized oppression! I also really like this bag because it has a small zip pocket sewn into the interior. It’s really helpful for keeping little items in place! Usually, I toss my keys, and spare change in when I’m on the go. I also always keep a list of my allergies for emergencies (#haters, penicillin) and a moist towlette that I found in an airport bathroom in 2007 because I’m a huge freak about keeping things neat and tidy!
This tote is great for days on the beach or out and about around town because it is surprisingly spacious inside. Since I have an unhealthy preoccupation with apocalypse legends of yore, it’s super important to me to always leave the house prepared. For a night out with friends, I’ll always bring along my little first aid kit stocked with band aids (so handy when someone gets a blister!), as well as a rock the size of a small child’s head to hurl at potential attackers. My phone battery has been draining more and more quickly these days, so I make sure I've always got my phone charger and wall adapter, along with every other electronic cord I’ve acquired in the last ten years. Better safe than sorry!
I tend to get a bit peevish if I’m hungry so I make sure to keep a healthy snack with me on the go. Some people like granola bars or trail mix as a good source of protein, but I prefer barbecued turkey legs. There is something about ripping meat off a bone in public that curbs my hunger jitters in a way that rolled oats and chocolate chips just can’t compete with.
I’m cursed with feeling perpetually dehydrated, and to combat this I’m pretty vigilant about carrying water (in a reusable, eco-friendly, anti-global-warming, anti-conspiracy, anti-hole-in-the-ozone bottle) and lip balm with me everywhere. I have loved the EOS brand lip balms since I first saw them a couple years ago, and I came to love them even more once I realized that if you purse your lips while applying the balm, eventually your cute little egg turns into a little white nipple that soothes chapped lips. Anyway, I told my aunt how much I liked the EOS brand and she generously offered to make a lip balm for me herself! (My aunt is super hands-on.) Though it turned out her version is just a vaguely spherical glob of petroleum jelly wrapped up in Saran-Wrap, I love it so much because it is such a creative way to combat the power of capitalist marketing in convincing young girls like me that the best way to apply lip balm is using something that resembles a cheap white-chocolate truffle.
Like I mentioned before, this bag has tons of room, so some stuff tends to sink to the bottom where it is promptly forgotten by yours truly. This stuff is usually just little odds and ends like old gum or a button I never sewed back on my pants; I’ve since stopped wearing pants. Oh, and my pet gerbil. Sorry about that, Simon.