Are You There Blog? It's Me CaraghThe State of My Purse, the State of My SoulCaragh Poh

I wish I could be the type of woman who grabs her clutch and goes on her way. I wish I could be the type of woman who, when asked for a lighter, can immediately and effortlessly pull one from my purse. But I’m not. I’m the type of woman who has a purse inside of a purse and I’m still not sure why. I’m the type of woman who will tell you that yes, I probably do have a lighter you could use, just give me a minute to fish around and – no, that’s chapstick. I swear it’s in here somewhere, it – okay, no, that’s the same chapstick. If you would just – here it is! – Oh. That’s a curler. From the curler set I have never used on my hair.

The way you store your items can say a lot about you. The clutter in your room points to the clutter in your life and the state of your car is a window to your mind. Me? I have an entire closet worth of clothes in my back seat. A shocking number of Dunkin’ Donuts iced coffee cups obscure the floor of my ‘94 Buick Regal.

In high school, it was popular for girls to dig through other girls’ pocketbooks. I’m not sure why, but I recall the intense anxiety that I felt whenever someone asked to snoop through my purse. I would say yes and then pray I got rid of that half of a pop tart I threw in there two Sundays ago.

It’s been awhile since my purse has been snooped through, which is why I dumped my purse out for you, Internet. We can parse my life together.

Tweezers: Every 5 weeks I would drive to a mall 30 minutes away because I liked the eyebrow threading place better than the one housed at the mall 15 minutes closer. The former brow beauticians were kind, quick and offered to rub lotion on the places on your body that just had hair torn out by the root. The latter ladies often left their kiosk abandoned for 10 minutes at a time, gave me a month long “OH MY GOD, I AM VERY SURPRISED AT WHAT YOU ARE SAYING RIGHT NOW” look and did not even offer to gently and lovingly rub baby lotion on my mutilated eyebrows. If I’m paying you $12 and giving you a $3 to $5 tip, the least you can do is offer to massage my freakin’ eyebrow region. And yes, I realize exactly how suburban, spoiled and disgusting that complaint is.

Now that I’ve matured and realized how poor I am, I only get my eyebrows threaded every 10 or 12 weeks. I maintain my eyebrows intermittently with tweezers. A lady tip you learn yourself is that you always need to keep a pair of tweezers with you wherever you go in case you find an errant hair. God forbid we let others know we’re mammals.

Revlon Colorstay: I was a Clinique junkie for years and thought it was well worth it to drop a cool $65 on concealer, foundation and powder about 7 times a year. Two weeks ago I bought the exact same formula in the exact same shade from the exact same Clinique counter and it was several shades too dark. Since it is biologically impossible for me to get any paler than my nearly transluscent Irish skin already is, it must have been either an old or mislabeled bottle. Running low on time before work and refusing to be the type of person who walks outside with an orange face and a white neck, I made my way to my personal Mecca, CVS. Which is how I rediscovered drugstore make up. Revlon Colorstay is, unarguably, a BOMB purchase for its price. The staying power isn’t revolutionary, but it works well enough for me to continue buying it to save hundreds of dollars a year.

Make up brush: A make up tip that was kept secret from me for years is that you should never use that white pad that comes with powder compacts. I recently traded in that little, white pad for an actual make up brush and it makes a world of difference. The make up is applied more evenly, it feels more airy on my face, and my make up doesn’t get caked down with the oil from my t-zone that transfers from the pad to the powder. Gross — I know. Oily ladies, holla at me, I know you have the same problem.

Fish antibiotics: I don’t want to talk about it, but I swear I’m carrying it around for a reason.

Loose gum: I am a disgusting individual. I can’t tell you the number of times gum has gotten lost in my black abyss of a purse, only to be found bound to 37 cents worth of change and some strands of hair.

A pad of paper: I’m a blogger, of course I carry around a pad of paper. What happens if I have a very important thought and forget to blog about it? Carrying around a  pad of paper ensures that all of my important thoughts will make their way to the Internet where they belong. God forbid I have a thought and don’t share it with thousands. I blog, therefore I am.

Pictured is the first page. I wrote it in a parking lot of a grocery store, scribbled it out and wrote the F-word in giant letters. Believe me, that one word was more intelligent than everything else penned on that page.

Nail polish: You never know when you can give yourself a manicure. I’m a little disappointed in myself with this display of purse polish; normally I carry around a base, at least one color and a top. Pictured here is Essie’s Eternal Optimist, which is a nice neutral for fair skin, and Hard Candy’s Matte-ly in Love.  Dudes. Dudes. DUDES. Get on the matte train. One quick drying coat over your nails turns any common, shiny manicure into a cool, modern, flat look.

My dog’s rabies tag: 3 months ago, with two dogs in the backseat and my cat on my 8 year old brother’s lap, I made my way to the rabies clinic to get my animals up-to-date with their shots. On the way back, my cat pooped all over my brother. All. Over. My. Brother. It was hard not to laugh between the gags, but I suspect in a moment of feces-induced panic to find paper towels, I threw this rabies tag into my purse.

Not highlighted: the numerous bobby pins and hair clips, the loose change and dollar bills (why waste all of that time using the wallet that is already inside your purse?), a second purse within my purse (INCEPTION), a bottle of water, a copy of Mary Roach’s Stiff, several different kinds of cosmetics that either get used daily or not at all, sunglasses, a busted eyelash curler and a piece of one earring.

What’s in your purse, Gigglers? How accurate do you think it represents your life?

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  1. I have a very organized chaos style to every space in my life. My purse is no exception. I have a piece of my currently disassembled futon in my change purse because that’s where I put it when I last moved, and I know I won’t lose it as long as I leave it there. The same goes for several bobby pins, scrap paper with really important notes on it and so on. Every attempt to organize or relocate these things causes me to lose them forever (I lost a Marshalls gift card the last time I cleaned out my purse!). The only thing I can kind of easily grab out of my purse is my Epi pen because I don’t buy a purse that doesn’t offer an easy access spot for that pen since dying of a disorganized purse would mean my mother really is right about my organization system not working.

  2. Alright, friends. Here is the contents of my purse:
    -a second purse, smaller – which houses my most important wallet items and my keys since I can’t find them in my big purse
    -strapless bra for later
    - brush
    - cover girl outlast lipcolor in blossom berry
    -gold bond ultimate skin wash (for washing my new tattoo 3 days a week)
    - two eyeshadows
    -purple eyeliner
    - a washcloth (for washing my tattoo)
    -”I was Told There’d Be Cake” by Sloane Crosley
    -wallet
    -band-aids
    -pink head band
    - dry shampoo
    -various medications (oh, there’s where I put my allergy meds!!)
    -leave in conditioner
    -organic lip balm
    -3 musketeers bar
    -toothbrush/toothpaste
    -sunglasses
    -two plastic spoons for yogurt on the go
    -tons tons tons of coupons from Jewel-Osco receipts
    -Netflix to return
    -a post-it with my passwords for my graduate school website
    -two necklaces

    ….it’s really a scary, deep abyss in there. This by the way is the purse that I got from out of the country somewhere (some Caribbean island) as a gift, and I managed to throw some applesauce in there as a last minute “I might be hungry later” type thing months ago… purse went onto carseat… picked up purse… saw a bright indigo stain all over my seat…and saw that everything in my purse was soaked through with cinnamon applesauce. I am now pretty good about bringing a lunch box along with me if I think I might be hungry later. LOL

  3. i have most of the things that most of us have described: small notebook, always some novel, 2 clicker pencils, my favorite pen, other backup pens, earrings (except right now they all match! yea!), some coins, usually half a bag of peanut m&ms and a luna bar, a sheet of bobby pens, lip gloss, chapstick, eyeliner, eyeshadow, etcetcetc. But i like to top mine off with a sprinkle of creole seasoning. Yes, until this last week my purse spent months full of creole seasoning because i was convinced for a few weeks that if i didn’t have creole seasoning with me i would have to endure boring unspicy food far too often. But the creole seasoning betrayed me and seeped all through out my purse. What does that say about me? Oh and mints.

    • aaaannd library card in the wallet that only holds my library card and voter registration because i don’t have the patience to keep my money type items in a wallet.

  4. gawdddd i laughed so hard at this. also, i wish i could upload a picture of my purse abyss. caragh — WE ARE THE SAME PERSON! lol so here’s what’s in my purse:

    - a roll on perfume, Marc Jacobs Lola
    - five, count em, FIVE lipglosses that are basically the exact same, CO Bigelow minty flavored, barely tinted tubes
    - seven bobby pins
    - my wallet that’s bursting with Target receipts, a wadded up dollar and random pictures of my brother at prom and my boyfriend as a child (WTF?)
    - a pink claw clip that my friend hanna gave me from a 12 pack of clips from Sally’s
    - $2.35 in loose change, plus my HEAVY change purse that’s filled with all pennies
    - a compact mirror, which is actually one of the five things that should actually be in my purse
    - MAC longwear lipcolor in “loyal”
    - MAC “ruby woo” matte lipstick
    - a notebook
    - four Micron pens. one is pink, the rest are black ink. no idea why i need four of these at any given time, but apparently i do.
    - an empty pack of orbit sweet mint gum
    - a half full pack of orbit sweet mint gum
    - about 15 orbit sweet gum wrappers
    - that necklace i thought i lost
    - a HARMONICA

    yeah. insane. i’m insane.

  5. That was so funny! that´s exactly happens to me.. xD I can´t stop laughing …

  6. I switch back and forth from a North Face shoulder bag to a purse, so the only thing that really stays in my purse are a few necessary girl items and some chapstick.

    My North Face bag, however, carries many more things since it’s the bag that I take to work with me on my long commute. I’ve got: Ipod, Ipod charger & cord, Vitamin C drops that are ancient, gum (I don’t particularly like gum – so I don’t really chew it, but every once in a while I buy it for some odd reason and it stays in my purse for, like, a year. Hmmm…I should throw that away…), contacts I haven’t transferred into the house yet, a brush, hand lotion, random pens, staples, paper clips, sunglasses, a book (I carry one with me everywhere), a nail file + nail polisher, hair ties and my bus pass. Yep.

  7. Giirl my purse is your purse only 3 years less evolved

  8. First of all – I’m so thankful I finally know what that matte nail stuff is called!! Yippee!!
    Secondly – I love these posts, I’m so nosy! In my bag, I just have standards – wallet, phone, charger, mp3 player, sweater, and receipts. However, two things that ALWAYS end up in my purse for reasons beyond my fathomability – coffee sleeves and this pair of earrings that belong to my ex-assistant manager.

  9. I have so many receipts and coupons I don’t know what to do with them all. Whenever I need the coupon, I can’t find it or I forget about it and whenever I need the receipt that is the one time I cleaned out my purse and it is long gone. I also have a pull up, crayons, umbrella, lip gloss and a bunch of other “necessities”.

  10. Loose gum runs rampant in my purse. The sad part is I’ve resorted to eating a piece…and it was grainy for some reason.

    Also, let it be known that my boyfriend teases me for my ginormous purse, but he never complains when the ginormous purse provides him with Advil, hand sanitizer, or a One A Day multivitamin.

  11. gee whiz these girls have quite a lot of BAGGAGE

  12. I think a bag says ALOT about a persons organization & well life in general. In my 20′s (not in my 20′s now Thank GOD) my bag sounded like most of yours but with more matches. I didn’t smoke but collected match books. Now my bag has become a ginormous Coach & virtually empty compared to it’s size. Maybe it’s time to downsize. See my sons 13 so I don’t carry nor want to touch any of his toys these days. God knows where those grubby fast food eating dirty handed kid have been. My hubs has pockets so I’ve never needed nor wanted to carry his things. So now it’s just me in my bag. Here it goes…
    Advil, cherry chapstick, 2 Chanel glosses night/day, gum-watermelon, 3 pens (all from resorts I’ve stayed recently on summer vacas), sharpie, sm hand sani that smells like red velvet cupcakes but sadly doesn’t taste like them, store receipts in case something doesn’t work, iPod for gym tonight, my fave Oakley shades, Android, coin purse I have over stuffed with all of those pesky debit, cc’s, frequent shopper cards to stores I’ve been to once and yup that’s it. See the bag doesn’t warrant the size of it’s contents.

  13. wow. i love all the purse description! and the tweezers? definitely. i even have a pair tucked into a compartment in my dashboard for the hairs you only find when you are on your way someplace. even after you have scoured your face with a 5x mirror at home.

    i am only carrying a small purse right now. all the makeup had to come out, it’s too hot. i did keep my mirror, tweezers and a chapstick. i also have a bandana, 2scrunchies and a hairbrush. this is followed by a mini deororant. don’t judge me. you know you’ve forgotten sometimes too. i have a little spiral notebook, 2 plain mini notebooks, a full sized composition book and a date planner. round that out with the wallet, misc recipts and bandaides and a few pens. then top it off with not one, but two novels(in case i finish the first one) and thats that.

  14. omg you’re like my purse soulmate. i love you.

  15. OK… I’ll have to take an inventory of my purse, because we may be the same person based solely on our purses. Except you’ll find Maybelline’s FitMe foundation rather than revlon. The new line from Maybelline is AMAZING!!! And I have an alarming number of lip glosses and computer/camera/phone cords.

  16. i change my purse often, but not as often as i used to, and i have proudly managed to keep all of my little neccesities in one small zip bag inside my purse… in other words, the purse within the purse! the neccesities bag has everything i could ever need, well almost: a lighter, wine opener, lip gloss, carmex, nail file, a migrastick, more chapstick, a pen, one wrapped toothpick, bobby pins, safety pins, two hair ties, one halls cough drop (fairly old) half a pack of ricola (fairly new) saline nasal spray, a pack of plaque removers (given to me by a friend who after seeing my neccesities bag thought i needed them) an old pin that says “i heart unicorns”, a cheap fold up handfan given to me on fremont street in las vegas, two barretts and last but not least a rock given to me by my dad, he said its an “apache tear” which you are supposed to carry with you always for protection. my dad passed away in january, so all the more reason to keep it. sometimes i also keep a needle and thread, but i always end up taking it out b/c the needle always ends up poking thru the bag and sticks me when im digging for other items. the rest of the purse contains my wallet, last nights grocery list, business cards for my husband (he’s a tattooer), work keys and a 1976 little twinstars mirror compact with tiny unusable comb :)

  17. I have a purse inside my purse as well! It basically goes back to me needing a slightly larger purse for an occasion, so I dropped my cute, small crossover into the larger tote-like bag. Three months later and I still keep the (relatively empty) purse inside the purse, as well as more junk than I ever thought I needed. But I can’t downsize! WHAT IF I NEED THIS AT A LATER TIME? I even had a t-shirt in my bag for about a month (I went to a baseball game where they were giving away tee’s, so I stuffed mine in the bag… and didn’t take it out for about a month). I would say that the contents of my purse do represent my life, especially my laziness.

  18. My bag…

    • iPad (You might appreciate this, fellow Inception fan. My iPad’s name is Arthur.)
    • Pen (I usually have a Sharpie in there, too.)
    • Camera (um…not pictured)
    • Two AA batteries (extras)
    • Notepad
    • Makeup purse (blush, two tubes of lip gloss, compact mirror, brush, hair clip [that is usually clipped on a pocket inside of my bag for easy access], hair tie, and a little peace-sign medallion thing that my folks bought for me)
    • Cell phone
    • Keys
    • Wallet
    • Driver’s License

    I have, at many times throughout my life, carried huge bags. I’m talking Mary Poppins bags. But I was so sick of losing things, I started to go with medium-sized bags, with pockets. I usually try to keep the things I always need in specific compartments, that way I don’t have to go nuts looking for them.

  19. I have a ton of junk in my purse also, including 12 lipglosses! Who knows what color I’ll want to wear when I leave the house?! A girl needs options!

  20. My purse is usually neat and clean but just contains far too many chapsticks and gum packages.

    “INCEPTION” = lol