Saturday, January 28, 2023
what’s in my purse (aka: SERIOUSLY, what’s in my friggin’ purse?!)

I’ve always wanted to do one of those “what’s in my purse” posts, but 95% of the posts I’ve seen on other blogs are all Fendi clutches and eyebrow pencils and maybe, if the purse owner’s feeling extra-kooky, a few Hello Kitty bandaids, meanwhile —


I’m kind of a hoarder.

Like, the only reason I can’t say I’m surprised my apartment doesn’t have roaches is that I’m not totally sure it doesn’t have roaches.

Joke! That was almost definitely a joke! But when I change my sheets, I do always have to shake out the comforter for tape measures, screwdrivers, errant candle sconces, comic books about Freud, and at least half a dozen paperbacks. In my defense, when I was growing up, my mom had a refrigerator magnet that said: “Dull women keep immaculate houses.” Is it my fault I learned how to read before I understood the concept of hyperbole?

So, that said, the purse in question:

You get me, Etsy. You really GET ME.

And what exactly is in said purse?

If you scaled it to human-size, it would make a perfect dystopian amusement park.
  1. A dozen or so receipts, mostly for clothes and sushi, though there’s one from a fortune cookie factory. The earliest goes back to September 5, 2012, and is from my first proper date with my boyfriend, to the Japanese dollar store. 
  2. A pamphlet explaining the history of the ghost pianist at the Magic Castle.
  3. Car keys! Keys to: apartment, office, graduate student lounge, mailbox, old mailbox in Boston (whoops!), parents’ house, my sweet friggin’ ’04 Corolla; 8gig flashdrive filled to the brim with ’90s jamz.
  4. Some sort of seedpod or husk. (???) Almost definitely something boyfriend picked up off the ground and handed to me.
  5. Inside label ripped out of a pair of magic zebra gloves.
  6. Wampum: a tiiiiiiny zipper pull, seashell, Trivial Pursuit pie wedge, bread twist tie I used as a ponytail holder the day after Thanksgiving (I had my reasons).
  7. My well-camouflaged cell phone.
  8. Former wallet that I apparently still carry around. Contents include: more receipts, various expired school and city library IDs, three and a half overcoat buttons, and subway cards from four major metropolitan areas.
  9. Tampon.
  10. New wallet! I like to think of it primarily as a sheath for my frequent-sushi-buyer rewards card, but my credit cards and stuff hang out there too.
  11. I — I just have no idea.
  12. ID badges and plastic clips.
  13. Attempted list of 100 ideas for truth-or-dare-style drinking game challenges, to be attempted in a blanket fort. (I made it to 26. Yes, at least half of them involve singing and/or dancing.)
  14. $11 in bills; $3.47 in small change (I scraped most of the gum off the pennies)
  15. Accessory zone: one sparkly silver barrette from the Japanese dollar store; one cupcake barrette from Gymboree (my hair’s too thin for adult hair clips); handmade cupcake earrings I was suckered into buying to support Cystic Fibrosis research (awwww); gaudy-ass ring shaped like a tiger; Regal Beagle pin.
  16. Fortune: “Yes, do it with confidence.”
  17. Nicotine patch, electronic cigarette, four books of matches.
  18. Set of magnetic screwdriver heads.
  19. Ticket to the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
  20. Black and orange permanent markers.
  21. Bright orange 20-sided die I found in the laundry room and now use to make most of my spur-of-the-moment decisions.
  22. My more interesting trash: Godiva chocolate wrapper, paper clip, yellow plastic Goodwill tag, cigarette butt (yikes)
  23. Candy! More Godiva chocolate, two peppermints, and a bag of toffees made from the leaves of the coca plant (a souvenir from a colleague’s trip to … somewhere in South America)
  24. Earbuds. Which have presumably broken in the hour since I took this picture because MY EARS ARE MADE OF MAGNETS AND WIRE CUTTERS.
  25. Actual trash.

I’ve got to say, the contents of my purse really do tell you pretty much all you need to know about me. Or at least as much as any normal person could stand.

A brief, boring coda: My boyfriend asked me the other day why I was rebooting my blog (he was understandably anxious because I wrote so much about dating back in the day) and I told him I wanted to feel more joy; he asked what that entailed, what my project was, and it was difficult to explain that I don’t want to do anything differently, necessarily. But my last twelve months have been pretty lackluster because I’d grown deaf to myself, indifferent. I want to go on dates with myself and have inside jokes with myself and just, you know, hear my own clamor and cacophony. What’s the point of really and truly liking yourself if you don’t do a damn thing about it?

Anyway, after the pictures, I cleaned the hell out of my purse and Purelled until my fingerprints were rubbed away. The receipts are recycled and I put the change in my private-island-fund jar. But the Dungeons and Dragons die and blanket fort drinking dare list? Those I left, by jove. They know where they belong.