Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Things They Carry

I have heard that you can tell a lot about a woman by looking at the contents of her purse. Some women carry their lives around with them. Cell phones, lipstick, perfume, car keys, house keys, snacks, gum, pictures, travel-wine bottle openers... the list could go on and on.

To see what others would get if they looked into my purse, I flipped the camera on myself. I quickly had to change my approach because I happen to have an affinity for miniature things. All of my purses are about the size of a salad plate and can barely hold a wallet and cell phone. I chose instead to look at my backpack. It travels to and from campus with me and on every trip I take. Functional, yes. Glamorous, not so much.

The first pouch contains all things school related: my textbooks, folders, capstone sources, and a planner that is so riddled with writing, it is beginning to look like a topographical map. This pouch is also home to a variety of wrappers. There is plastic wrap from muffins eaten in my early classes, coffee sleeves that I grab and promptly remove in order to warm my icicle-esque hands, pop-tart wrappers exclusively of the brown sugar and cinnamon variety, and the labels of water bottles that I habitually peel off during long lectures.

I move on to the slightly smaller front pouch. This is where the layers begin to peel off and you get down to the core of my existence. We have running shoes and yesterday's running outfit. Underneath that lies my gym lock, a picture of me with my two brothers and dad, and a piece of paper with Andersen myth? written on it (note to self: take less cryptic notes). I finally reach the bottom where there is an empty, label-less water bottle and more muffin wrappers.

The front of my tote has a small compartment with a miniature perfume and deodorant. It is large enough to fit full sized toiletries but where is the enjoyment in that? There is a reason small things (be they candy or deodorant) are called "fun size." I also find some pens and the elusive missing hoop earring I have been looking for since Christmas.

So if you truly can judge a woman based upon what she carries with her, I would be a running, muffin-addicted, water bottle peeling, miniature-obsessed, cold handed literature major. With one earring. Some things are better kept zipped up.

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