Friday, May 31, 2013

Mary Poppins Has Nothing On Me

Full Purse
Have you always wondered what other people keep in their purse? I have. For years, I refused to carry a big purse. My reasoning was that men didn't carry a purse and still did fine, so why should I?

I never claimed to be a genius. Of course, that meant keeping brushes and makeup in my desk and car. Do you have any idea how many times I looked in the mirror on a rainy or windy day and screamed? So about five years ago, I gave up and purchased my first big purse since I was a hippy teenager. (And I’m not talking about how wide my hips were . . . quit laughing.)

Anyway, here’s what I keep in my purse since I've become published.

First, the normal stuff, a red billfold that looks like a miniature purse. It comes in handy at conventions and conferences. I can place it on my wrist and not drag the two-ton back-breaker with me. My car key stays in my billfold/tiny purse along with the house key on a separate ring with those strange little cards used at the grocery store for discounts.
Extra stuff taken out

Then being an organizational freak that I am, I have my checkbook, payment book, business cards, mirror, pen and old fashioned pictures in the black with white polka dots case.  In the side pocket, I keep lipstick, lip balm, and a tube of touch-up makeup.
Postcard with blurb on back

There’s also my bag filled with an iPod and accessories . . . love it!  And the plastic bag is my lunch.

Bored yet?

No - not this many in my purse
Then I usually carry a book or e-reader, but the newest addition is swag. I have pens, car cup-holder coasters, bookmarks, and postcards to hand out. And yes, I give them to cashiers, waiters/waitresses, people who stand in line with me, etc. In other words, if you’re nice and talk to me, you get something to take home (or throw in the trash). On some days, I'll even have a book or two of mine.

Another postcard
Okay. Did you notice anything? Yes. My swag is not contained. I’m on the lookout for a small bag or case to put them in. I can’t stand looking in my purse and seeing loose items (with the exception of my small hairbrush) or having to search around for something.

Are you an organizational freak like me? Or are you a free bird and throw it in to land where it may? And for those published, do you keep swag with you at all times and hand them out?


Debra Glass said...

Love the idea about giving out pens everywhere!! I keep my purse as light as possible, but had a friend who we called Mary Poppins because if you needed something, she "just happened" to have it right there in her bag.

Meda White said...

I constantly dig into my purse for the things I need. I do have items organized by section but they lay loosely and flit about at will. Have you ever tried to reach for something in your bag only to chase it around the bottom? Argh!

I'm waiting on my business cards to arrive. When they do, I'll add them to the purse fray.

Stephanie Jones AKA Alicia Hunter Pace said...

I know this will surprise no one but I am very organized. Like Carla, I have a lot of little bags in my purse. I have a medicine bag for everything from triple antibiotic to ibuprofen and band aids. I also have a make up bag but I keep my lipsticks in a side pocket because you never know when you are going to need a quick touch up!

Jean and I have matching business card holders so I always have it full of business cards but now I also keep a manila envelope full of promo post cards. Then pens are a great idea...who doesn't need a pen. I will have to get with Jean about that idea!

I am sure there is a survey somewhere that would tell us what our purse organizational style says about us. I am pretty sure mine would say that I am anal retentive...on the other hand I once made a shade pavilion for a woman and her small child out of just the things that I had in my bag. I guess the moral of that story is if you need anything at conference, just ask me. :-)

Louisa Cornell said...

I think having swag in your purse is BRILLIANT, Carla! I have an envelope in my purse with extra bookmarks from my favorite authors. Anytime I see someone standing in the book section at Walmart moaning that there is nothing interesting to read I ask them what they are looking for or what authors they read and I whip out a bookmark and say "Well, why don't you try this author?" I do the same if someone sees me buying books and we get into a conversation in the checkout line.

My Mom's purse is LEGENDARY in our family and amongst my niece and nephew's friends. Nana's Purse is like Hermione's bag in the last Harry Potter films. She has separate little bags, usually meant to be makeup bags, in there with different selections of items.

1. Triple antibiotic, band aids, alcohol wipes, aspirin, benadryl, pepto, tums, immodeum, cough drops.

2. Sewing kit, safety pins, hem tape, scissors, fingernail files, nail clippers, bobby pins, hair ties.

3. Juice boxes, raisins, snack cracker packs, granola bars, a sleeve of Ritz crackers, packs of saltines, chewing gum, peppermints, candy.

4. A collapseable cup, a Swiss army knife, kleenex, napkins, wet wipes, a wash cloth in a ziplock bag.

5. At least one Harlequin romance novel, a small Bible.

6. Pens and notepads. Duct tape, scotch tape, and electrical tape.

7. Her wallet, checkbook and cellphone with car and wall chargers.

See! Is it any wonder if I am ever lost in the woods or trapped in my car after an accident I hope I have Nana's purse with me??

Not to mention the fact that it can be used to bludgeon to death anyone foolish enough to try and attack her. And a purse snatcher would wrench his arm out of the socket trying to snatch. After which she would bludgeon him senseless, tie him up with the duct tape and patch him up with her medical kit.

Carla Swafford said...

LOL! Debra, when I get to work, I take out the bag with my iPod & accessories, computer glasses, book/e-reader and lunch. Makes me think of Mary Poppins too.

Pens come in handy because people rarely turn them down.

Carla Swafford said...

Meda, yes, I have and drives me nuts. LOL!

Carla Swafford said...

LOL! Too funny, Stephanie!

Carla Swafford said...

Louisa, your Nan is awesome!! And you too - handing out other author bookmarks. One day those will be yours.

Chris Bailey said...

I am fascinated. I'm not a purse carrier, but I do have a backpack for serious occasions that require electronics on hand. I love the idea of categorizing and bagging the various items.

Suzanne Johnson said...

I love the idea of swag! Strangely, my house virtually qualifies for an episode of Hoarders, but I'm a purse-minimalist: wallet, keys, cell phone, pen. That's it. My car, on the other hand, is my "purse on wheels"--if there's ever a vehicular episode of "Hoarders," I'm a shoo-in! Think I'm going to pop in some swag, though!

Carla Swafford said...

Chris, I've been seriously thinking of a backpack. They have some cute ones out there.

Carla Swafford said...

Suzanne, I understand completely. I use to carry three bags (purse, lunch bag and "electronic" filled bag). And then I decided to get a bigger bag and get rid of two of them.

Lexi said...

God, I am hopelessly unorganized and the worst at swag! My hat's off to you!

Carla Swafford said...

Lexi! No, you're not hopeless. You're saner than me for sure. LOL!