Kendra over at Catholic All Year wrote a post titled, "The Big Purse Dump," and I've found myself stumbling upon a few of these, actually caring what people kept in their purses! The first time I saw one of these posts I hesitated and thought, "Wow, that seems narcissistic." But then I kept reading what these women stow in their purses and it's yet another way to creepily connect with people I've never met--but now I know the ins and outs of one of their most purse-onal possessions. (Pun clearly intended.)
So now, for those interested, I will show you what I keep in my very own purse. First, a picture of the emptied out, yet stylish leather tote that I love having handy:
And for it's contents... beware, it might get messy. As Jane said, "Wow, that's a lot of crap." But hey, it's a big purse!
Let me break it down for you, and you will learn just a few more unnecessary facts about yours truly and what I'm really toting from place to place throughout the day. You might be surprised at what you see!
1.) Coffee cup cozies. I have yet to meet another person that carries around as many of these as I do, but I guess some old habits die hard. This is a feeble attempt I make at saving small bits of cardboard wherever I can mixed with a slight hoarding tendency. I regret not making a tally somewhere of each time I use one of these and save a new one. For as much coffee as I drink these really add up! The fact that there's more than one shows that clearly, at times, I forget to bring one with me. However, now I keep one in my wallet, one in my coat pocket, and at least one in each purse I have. It might be a little overboard, but when I'm with friends and they get to use one of the decorative coffee cozies from Babb's, or a Chesterton-quoted cozy from Ave Maria's coffee shop, it adds a little spice to our coffee date.
2.) Bible and journal. Along with my current spiritual read, a small book by Fulton Sheen that I'm thoroughly enjoying. I highly recommend it to anyone struggling paying attention during the Mass and/or believing that God loves them. It's pretty spot-on. Also, I try to keep a pen in my journal at all times, which is why #5 might seem pretty surprising and unnecessary.
3.) Chapstick. These were found scattered in the many different pockets and compartments throughout. It appears that every time I think there's no chapstick in my purse, I grab another from my larger-than-I-thought-it-was collection. Oops, that's embarrassing. But hey, there's one for every occasion! And let's be real, NoDak winters are super dry.
4.) Holy Cards and Examination of Conscience. The St. Faustina one in the top left I got when I studied in Chile, and there's a prayer for sinners on the back in español. The icon is a prayer card from our pilgrimage to Rome two years ago, and the medallion in the middle I received from a dear friend after leading a retreat when Ephesians 6:11 was the theme of the weekend. Her mom is in the military and she gave it to me as a gift to take with me when I studied abroad. I have kept it very close ever since and am reminded of the graces I received from that retreat often. It's always found a place either in my car, purse or bedside table. Thanks, Betsy!
5.) Pens. Similar to the lip balm debacle, it appears that whenever I think I don't have a pen, I grab another. These, too, were found scattered in different pockets, and one I even had to reassemble because it's pieces had decided to disengage.
6.) Rosaries. A staple for any Catholic girl's purse, and one of the greatest spiritual weapons of our time. I designated a special rosary pocket in the back of the purse so I always know where to look first when I'm in need. I like having Mama Mary close, and really like what St. Josemaría reminds us of, especially since there are many days when I choose not to pray the Rosary, usually because I am ready for bed and want to sleep. The times I have persevered I have never regretted the extra 17 minutes!
"You always leave the Rosary for later, and you end up not saying it at all because you are sleepy. If there is no other time, say it in the street without letting anybody notice it. It will, moreover, help you to have presence of God." -St. Josemaria Escriva
7.) Mail. I got a few things in the mail on Friday that I didn't take care of right away, so I put them in my front pocket, which is where things like this usually find a home. This is also where I keep recently-received notes of encouragement as a reminder that there are people that love and care for me! It's nice to run across them once in a while.
8.) Wallet, post-its and business cards. Pretty self-explanatory here, but I like to keep extra business cards on me just in case I'm on a plane and meet someone that might be interested in joining my support team. Unfortunately, I learned this the hard way after a few too many flights earlier this year when I had nothing to leave with them except for a good impression. Also, the rubber-banded cards are all the different punch cards for Fargo businesses and restaurants. They are plentiful and having them in my wallet was a nuisance, so I cut that out and just slapped a rubber-band around them so I can just grab the stack when I go somewhere. When I leave Fargo these will need a home, and most of them are close to filled up! If you want dibs, holler at me. Cards include but are not limited to: Atomic Coffee, Teaberry, Cherry Berry, Gloria Jeans and Josie's Corner.
9.) Miscellaneous. Oh hey, there's that pair of earrings I've been looking for! That's convenient. Also, It's nice to be reminded that I do, in fact, have bobby pins, band-aids and a paperclip in my purse. There have been a few times recently when I needed one or more of these things and didn't think I had them! The more you know.
So there it is, the great purse dump. It's a good feeling to have had a fun and creative opportunity to clean out my purse. Now if you're ever with me and ask for a pen, lip balm or bobby pins, if I say no you know I'm lying. By the way, now that I've used this opportunity to clean out my purse, there's a 99% chance that a lot of this stuff won't make it back in. So this is the real Kelsey, raw and unfiltered...almost. I did cut out a few feminine products. But I'm a woman, some things are just a given. And now you know.