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A SNACK AND A SWEATER
The secret to stress free mornings...
That’s it! I finally figured it out.
The reason it doesn’t feel right to leave the house empty-handed is because for years we couldn’t. It was ingrained in our minds not to forget school bags, lunch bags, briefcases, or diaper bags. There are no more diaper bags or school bags hanging on the hall tree, and now that our offices have gone digital, we don’t need to carry files back and forth to work. But still, as I’m leaving the house each morning, I have the feeling that I’ve forgotten something.
“A woman is always prepared.” I think that was a line Shirley MacLaine said in one of her movies. She claimed that older women were more together than younger women because she carried a scarf in her handbag to tie around her hair when riding in a convertible. I have a convertible … and I might need a scarf, lip balm, sunscreen, something to drink, a snack, and maybe even a sweater.
That’s the joke about “old people,” isn’t it? Old people can’t leave the house without a snack and a sweater. I haven’t decided yet if I accept the title of “old person,” but I’ve always carried a handbag or a tote.
Until I couldn’t.
After my accident and surgery, there was no way I could sling a bag over my shoulder. I had been reduced to carrying a wristlet, which sounds cute, and even looks cute, but it’s not the type of bag anyone like Shirley MacLaine would carry. The wristlet was also a cause for anxiety … I was feeling like I was forgetting something every time I left the house.
The smell of leather brings back the memory of my first purse. I can still picture the heavy magnet that automatically snapped the top closed and the shiny metal buckles that secured the shoulder strap. I was sure that carrying a purse made me look sophisticated and grown up.
A recent cold night and a growling stomach reminded me of how much I was missing my old friend. Hours of planning had gone into the outfit I would wear. I had been hired to emcee a night of the paranormal event. I settled on a bright orange sheath dress with a patterned scarf, mostly black with orange and green concentric circles, to drape around my shoulders. Some attendees were wearing costumes, but I wanted to be comfortable and classy. Adult Halloween costumes for women are ridiculous.
Halfway through the program, I was sitting in the wings after stumping on stage, trying to fill time for presenters who were running late and the one who failed to show up, when a friend came to my rescue. The auditorium was freezing, and the bar offered drinks but no snacks. I was contemplating making a run to a nearby convenience store when, thankfully, a friend had come prepared. She was obviously aware of Shirley MacLaine’s advice, dug into her bag, and shared her resources.
The night was saved, at least for my comfort. We smiled at the parade of sexy young French maids and witches in their corsets and fishnets.
I guess I don’t mind being the brunt of a joke. I’ve always said the day I stop laughing at myself is the day I know I’m taking life too seriously.
That night, I vowed to resurrect my trusty shoulder bag and never leave the house without a snack and a sweater.