Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Excess baggage: my handbag

My handbag is too big and too full and too heavy. I bought a new one just before Christmas, and it’s been annoying me since just after Christmas. 
Once upon a time I used to just carry my wallet, phone and keys in a tiny little bag.  During the semester I would also have a pen and my student diary, but I’d leave them at home during term breaks, and would usually change handbags on weekends.  If I didn't need it while I was out, why bother lugging it around with me! 
When I had my first baby my handbag contained:
  • wallet
  • phone
  • keys
  • travel size baby wipes
  • one disposable nappy 
  • glasses case (I now wear glasses full time and prefer to wear sunglasses when I’m outside, and obviously need prescription sunglasses) 
  • pen 
  • a muslin wrap which I used as a breastfeeding cover, or a change mat, or a light blanket, or to wipe up spills.  
  • when the baby was a bit older I also kept a small container with a couple of biscuits in it, and a drink bottle, and left the wrap out because I didn’t really use it anymore. 
I kept two more spare nappies and a change of clothes in the car, and if I knew I would need more than that I would take it with me. 
But, seeing as somehow in between babies I’ve managed to make my whole life incredibly more complicated, I’ve now ended up with a huge handbag with far too much in it.  Well, I think it is huge.  Apparently it’s not that big.  
In my handbag today I have:
  • wallet
  • phone
  • keys
  • glasses case
  • small notebook for writing things down when I think of them at the shops
  • larger notebook for when I want to do some writing at a coffee shop while Big Boy is at Kindy and if Small Boy is asleep
  • a disposable nappy
  • a slightly larger travel case of baby wipes (but it is refillable, so I don’t mind too much that it is bigger)
  • muslin wrap
  • spare clothes for the baby and spare underpants for Big Boy. 
  • a folder with crayons and a notebook for Big Boy’s amusement
  • a small pencil case containing a pen, lipgloss, lip balm, an emery board, and a tube of Pure Wipes
  • A small stack of loyalty cards for various stores all tied up with a rubber band (it means I don’t have them all in my wallet and can have a smaller wallet but still have the loyalty cards)  
My bag is twice as big because I have twice as much stuff in there. I don’t hear my phone ring, and I have trouble finding my keys.  And guess what. I don’t even need it all. I don’t need the Pure Wipes when I’ve got baby wipes anyway: they’re left from when I only had a toilet trained but still messy toddler. I forget about the lip balm because it’s tucked away inside a case, and don’t really use it that often anyway.  I don’t use either notebook enough to warrant carrying them all the time.  I managed without spare clothes in my bag when my first son was a baby, I’m sure I can still manage now. 
Sadly, I spent a lot of money on this bag.  I wanted a nice leather handbag that would see me out five years or more, and had been looking few a weeks weeks at different bags and had narrowed down between two or three bags. I had a 30% off voucher for a particular bag store, and had decided I would get a bag there.   But then I saw this other bag, one that I hadn’t seen before.  It would definitely hold all I needed (or didn’t need, as it turns out), and it was very stylish bag.  It was black, not the red that I was hoping for this time, but it was very nice.  It also cost somewhat more than what I had intended on spending.   But it was ‘perfect’ and i had to have it.  And the kids were getting grumpy and my husband was starting to get that ‘just make a decision’ look in his eyes.   It was an impulse purchase.
It is still a lovely bag.  It’s just too big for me.   I might try selling it and getting something smaller and a little more wieldy.  But first I need to get all the unnecessary junk out of it!

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