Betty Says: What’s in Your Handbag?

It appears that I hoard lipsticks.

This was the most entertaining and surprising question that I’ve been asked lately. To the front of the queue with you!

Dear Betty,

I love The Hairpin column, “What’s Actually in Your Handbag Right Now?” So… what’s in there?

– Curious in Columbus

I should probably start by saying that it depends on the season. Ladies, you know as well as I do that you’ll live to the size of your handbag. I carry a much smaller bag in the spring and summer without issue, yet somehow when I switch to my larger winter bag — purchased when the Tiny Kitchen Assistant was a baby and still needed to carry an arsenal of diapers, wipes, snacks and spare clothes every time we left the house — I immediately fill the bag to the brim. I’m not quite sure how or why this happens. I’m also consistently amazed by how much crap can fit into one bag.

If nothing else, I think that this is a purse that says, “I’m prepared for any eventuality.” Either that or, “I never clean out my purse.” Maybe a little of both.

Contents include:

  1. The empty pouch that once held my headphones before I left them on a Swiss Air flight from Zurich.
  2. The armband for my iPhone, I guess in case I feel an urgent need to run and don’t have time to stop at home?
  3. My Road ID. Also handy for an urgent run, although I should just invest in the one that attaches to my shoe.
  4. A packet of peanut butter. Usually I carry these in my running bag, so I really don’t know why I have one in my purse.
  5. My massive wallet. I’ve had this thing since we lived in our old house, so more than seven years now; the leather is stretched to hold everything. In addition to money and credit cards, it also holds every membership/club card/discount card that I’ve ever been issued. It’s been the best, most durable wallet that I’ve ever owned. A friend gave me a beautiful new wallet for Christmas, but I’ve opted to save that for travel to prevent it from being stretched out and ruined by all of the junk.
  6. Prescription sunglasses. Don’t leave home without them.
  7. Crayons and a small notebook. Because you never know when a restaurant will lack ways to entertain your kid.
  8. Approximately 35 hair elastics (only 3 pictured), which I yank out of my hair immediately after a workout. No wonder I can’t ever find one in my bathroom.
  9. A combination lock for the gym. No, I haven’t been to the gym lately. No, I don’t know why I’m carrying it.
  10. An orange pen, in case of an editing emergency. Yes, sometimes I do need to edit at a moment’s notice.
  11. 11 different lipsticks and lip glosses, because I never remember to put it on before leaving the house. Then again, I don’t remember to put it on when I’m out, either. But thanks to this arsenal of cosmetics, I could!
  12. Lactaid. Because there’s nothing worse than finding a great menu option and having to decline because of the cream content.
  13. The key to my husband’s Chevy Volt, attached to a Tiffany & Co. leather keychain from a Nike+ half marathon.
  14. A bag of quarters in case I need to feed a parking meter.
  15. The program from the Tiny Kitchen Assistant’s musical performance last week, in which our last name was spelled wrong.

What’s in your handbag? And if you cleaned it out for a photo shoot like this one, would you be surprised by what you found there?

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3 Responses

  1. I did this once on my blog, inspired by having discovered that I had a jar of peanut butter in there. http://superfantastic.blogs.com/weblog/2010/05/only-missing-a-hat-rack-and-a-magic-tape-measure.html
    My current purse is much smaller and only gets carried on non-school days, so it’s generally pretty well under control. My school bag on the other hand…yeesh.

  2. Alisa says:

    At least I can comfort myself by knowing that I only carry the single-serving peanut butter and not the full jar? 🙂

    Oh, let’s not even discuss the work bag. I recently discovered that in my work bag I was carrying (drumroll please) Tylenol PM. In. My. Work. Bag. Was this in case I needed to render myself unconscious during a client meeting?

  3. Gina says:

    I cleaned out my purse this weekend. My husband took one look at the kitchen counter that overflowed with crap and said “Are you kidding me?” It was quite the bottomless pit.

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