“Do you have any gum, Grandma?” asked one of our granddaughters a few years ago.
Mary Helen searched in her voluminous purse and shortly came up with gum which she shared. I join our grandchildren in expecting her purse to have anything I need at the time. Finger nail file? Check. Change for a coffee? Check. Kleenex for my runny nose. Check. Lipstick, credit cards, sunglasses, reading glasses, pads of paper, 26 ballpoint pens of dubious origins, her little address book…the list is endless. There’s a brush, a pair of tiny scissors, her wallet, an extra plastic bag, some candy and a pill box.
If I have a cut, I can always ask, “Do you have a plastic bandage in there?” The answer will always be, “Of course!”
Lozenge to help endure a rather dull sermon? Oh, yeah it’s down there somewhere. It may take her a while to find it though. Before she finds it, my eyes may glaze over, especially if it’s a 3 lozenge message that goes on for forty minutes.
Her purse has three main compartments and a million little crannies. How one could find anything there is beyond me. Young women must go to some mysterious weekend seminar on how to buy and organize purses. Sadly, the buying they never forget, but the organization is quickly lost to mind. Not that I’m being judgmental it’s just that when I ask for something it takes her lots of time to find it. And, of course, I like to deflect attention from my own foibles. You see my desk drawers are chaotic and the garage is…well, let’s not go there.
I may have been a boy scout and learned to always be prepared, but it’s Mary Helen who is really prepared—for everything, except nuclear war. After all she has a purse. All we men have, unless we’re European, is a wallet and some pockets.
Every man should have a wife or friend who has a purse. How can we possibly get through life without an inexhaustible source of whatever we need at the moment. And we can be confident that if she is mugged, she can always clock the perpetrator with her purse.
Let’s hear it for purses. Hip, hip, hurrah.
(PS. Eric’s new suspense novel, Riptide, is now available from major outlets and from http://www.countrywindow.ca)