the world of a woman’s handbag

Handbag L

Handbag L (Photo credit: dunikowski)

Like many women I feel absolutely naked if I leave home without my trusty bag. The female handbag is a mystery to most men, who only leave home with a wallet, keys and a some shrapnel for the toll. But I would be absolutely lost without the contents of my bag.

Within my bag lies my wallet, of course, containing cash, bank-cards, medicare cards, ID, loyalty cards, library cards, and so on. Then of course I have my phone so that I can be contactable. I have a notebook for writing down any books I see that I might want to add to my wishlist (I can’t walk past a bookshop without browsing) and several pens, in case one runs out.

My toastmasters badges have permanent home in my bag to ensure I don’t forget them on the night. I also keep two clean hankies in there – one for my nose, the other for cleaning my glasses.

Some of the consumables I keep in my bag and replenish as needed are spare pads (sanitary napkins), chewing gum and headache tablets. Occasionally I’ll add extra items like shopping lists or receipts but these aren’t permanent fixtures.

By far the most important thing in my bag, however, is my book. Whichever happens to be the smallest (and lightest) of my current reads lives in my bag. I never leave home without a book. It makes the day so much more bearable – queues, bus-stops, lunch alone – and it comes in handy if there is an unexpected delay. There is nothing more boring than being forced to wait for someone or something for an hour or two with nothing to do but just…wait.

I know that most women tend to have make-up or something in their bag, but I don’t wear make-up – I never really learned how to apply it tastefully, so there is none in my bag.

A few years ago, I was unable to leave the confines of my home. I was terrified to be outside. I was terrified of people. I was terrified of animals. There was little that didn’t frighten me. After years of intense work on the part of myself, my husband and my family (as well as the occasional therapist) I can now go out alone, but I feel very uncomfortable if I forget any of the things I keep in my bag.

It’s like a crutch, I guess, and I never leave home without it.

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