Category Archives: Feminism

My Constantly Changing Hair

I have always envied those folks who have had the same haircut their whole lives.  They found something they liked, it worked for them, and they stuck with it.  Commitment!  Regardless of trends, or fashion, or even common sense, they stick with that style no matter what.  I tend to think those folks are fairly predictable in their clothing choices as well, but that’s another blog post.

That’s not really how my relationship with my hair works at all.  I have sported pretty much every hair style under the sun; I have had red hair, brown hair, blonde hair, long hair, short hair, straight hair, curly hair – I’ve had it all.

When I was a little kid, I had a shag haircut…for real.  In my kindergarten picture, the very first school picture a kid gets, a HUGE rite of passage, I am wearing a toothless smile, a pink, zip up pantsuit, and a blonde shag.  My mother, a normally puritan and conservative matriarch, gave me a haircut made popular by Jane Fonda’s performance in “Klute”  – you know, the movie where she plays a prostitute?  I had the hair of a whore at 5 years old.

My two older sisters were allowed to grow their hair out.  They had lovely, long tresses.  My eldest sister Mary had honey colored hair (always reminded me of Sleeping Beauty’s hair in the Disney classic) and my other sister Sarah had rich, chestnut colored hair.  While Mary usually wore her hair down (classic) Sarah would often wear braids, or carefully construct a bun that would flawlessly make it through the day.  As a young child, I envied my sisters’ long hair.  I used to wear towels and steal my mother’s wigs and pretend, for hours in front of the mirror, that I had long hair.  I begged her to let me grow it out, but it fell on deaf ears.

Apparently, according to my mother, I didn’t have the disposition it took to have long hair.  I made a fuss about most things in my youth, and combing, washing and taking care of hair would have been at the top of the list.  (Let me be clear, I can now say, as an adult and a mother, that I was a horrible child.  If I had to raise myself, I would be dead by now; certainly the child/Liz would drive the adult/Liz to some desperate act either against her adult-self or her child-self.  And yes, I understand how a therapist would get off reading that sentence, but hey, I’m a Gemini.)

The summer after the shag, my mother gave me a “pixie” made famous by Mia Farrow’s performance in “Rosemary’s Baby.”  (I am assuming that is not at all a subconscious reflection of my behavior as a child.)   That was also the summer I spent every day in the pool and never bothered with showering.  Why should I hop in the shower when I spent the whole day in water?  (Duh…)  Well, around July 28th, it became clear why perhaps rinsing chlorine out of my blonde hair might have been time well spent.  My hair started taking on a neon greenish hue, which was really fun for my older sisters and brother, because that was the color of my swimsuit that summer as well.  It was subtle at first, but around August 15th, it was pretty obvious.  I started blending in with the local flora.  People pointed at the grocery store and my sibling’s taunts increased.  Lesson learned.  Rinse off when you get out of the pool, Blondie!

Finally, when I was in high school, I had a modicum of control over my life and looks, and I grew my hair out.  I finally had long hair!  I wore it all different kinds of ways.  I would get up early to braid, or curl, or tease…it was fun.  It usually only lasted until 3rd period, but still, I looked great at 8:00!  As I got older, my hair got a little bit darker with each year.  I wasn’t a fan.  I preferred to be a sassy blonde, so in high school, I started adding highlights.  That was my first foray into color.  It was fun.  I also tried perming my hair.  That was not fun, but for some unknown and stupid reason, I continued to get them.  (This is when older, wiser Liz wishes she could have a heart to heart with younger, stupid Liz and tell her to avoid fashion trends.)

In college I had different hair styles.  Freshmen year I had a bob, because I joined a sorority, because, well, OK, it seemed like the thing to do.  Most of the gals in the sorority had a bob, so when in Rome.  (Clearly, I was more of a follower at this point in my life.)  I was surrounded by blondes with bobs.  (New band name, I call it!)  Sophomore year was another bad perm, and junior and senior, (heavy sigh) I sported a mullet.  Yup, like a bad Joan Jet wanabe.  Not only did I have a mullet my junior year, but my senior year, I permed that bad mullet.  That’s right, a permed mullet.  Looking back on it, I’m not sure what was worse, the hair or the Aqua-net hairspray addiction that went with it.  Gotta love the 80’s!

The rest of my adult life, my hair has been everything, although I do believe the last perm I ever got was in 1992. (Good riddance to bad rubbish.)   I also started recognizing a pattern with my hair.  Usually, after a tragedy, I made a drastic change to my appearance.  Some people get tattoos when there is a death of a loved one, I made an appointment at the salon.  There is something about cutting off many inches of hair, hair that took years to grow, that can be freeing when one is in pain.  Then, as one heals and mourns, there is something about growing it back again.  Seeing slow change over months, seeing and feeling familiar locks against the neck or shoulders can give comfort, knowing time has passed and we soldier on.

At the end of the day, what matters is how our hair makes us feel.  It’s OK to let go of new trends or styles or colors, and it’s OK to jump on board too.  You own it, you get to wear it how you want.  I know this sounds ridiculously simplistic and Pre-K, but honestly, it has taken me about 48 years to figure that shit out.  My hair is like me – constantly changing, growing, morphing, and as I go through life it’s kind of fun to look back at the different styles I rocked and some that I did not. I have recently decided that I am going to grow my hair out again, but who knows?  Maybe I’ll get bored along the way and do some damage before it reaches my shoulders.

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Filed under fashion, Feminism, Hair, Humor, retro

Man Hands

I have man hands. More precisely, I have a particular man’s hands – my father’s hands. My father had big, broad, strong, meaty hands, which is fine if you are a guy, but I am not a guy. I am a gal. Gals usually don’t want big, meaty paws for hands. We want long, slender hands with lean, graceful fingers and at the end, long fabulous nails.  Those aren’t my hands. Those aren’t my fingers. My fingers are more akin to pork sausages. My hands are so big that I’ve never had a problem reaching an octave on the piano – even when I was 7. My hands are also fairly strong. I suppose that has advantages, and yet I still somehow struggle with pickle jars…

Sometimes I try to disguise my man hands by growing my nails and painting them feminine colors, but that never works. It’s like lipstick on a pig. There is something ridiculously inauthentic and artificial when I wear polish on my nails. They look like a bad drag queen’s hands, and yet I still continue to try it.  Undaunted in the face of a challenge, that’s me.

To make matters worse I am a hand talker. I erratically wave them about when I speak, especially when I get excited, which is frankly, all the time. I think it is safe to say I have body issues with my hands. I have issues with other parts of my body too – I mean, come on, I am female, but unlike other parts of my body, hands are tough to hide.  I might have done well living in the Victorian Age, where women wore gloves, but after consideration, I doubt they would have had them in my size. However, I live in the here and now, and while I might be able to hide or enhance other aspects of my body, big hands are tough to augment. It’s not like they make Spanx for fingers, or make-up to hide hand wrinkles.

That’s another thing. My hands are much older looking than I would like them to be. Not only do I have man hands, I have old man hands. They are so wrinkly they look like crepe paper; I could wrap fancy presents with the skin on the back of my hands. Give me a ribbon and it’s Christmas!  This condition is not because I never use lotion. I use lotion all the time. I use so much lotion in the winter that I can never leave the house, because I can’t get the door open. I could be stuck in my living room for hours, alone, with my moisturized hands up in the air like a surgeon.

You could say I wasn’t a fan of my man hands, however all that changed with a photograph. I experienced a moment, or rather an image which led me to absolutely love my man hands. My friend Don Albrecht (an absolutely amazing photographer – you can buy his book here http://www.blurb.com/b/391238-bayfield-lake-superior) took a photo of my daughter Em at Applefest. (If you don’t know, Applefest is the big festival in town, and can, over the course of a weekend, transform this little town of 400 to a mass of anywhere from 40,000 to 70,000 people.) It can be overwhelming and scary for a 4-year-old. Em was hiding behind my leg when Don took the photo. My hand was placed on top of her head. I was talking to someone at the time, and didn’t even know Don was taking our picture.

The next day, Don emailed me the photo and as soon as I saw the image, I started to love my hands, because they are my father’s hands. I knew exactly what Em was feeling, because my father used to cover my head with his large hands when I was her age. It made me feel safe.  His warm, strong hands made me feel a little bit taller and a little bit more secure in a big and sometimes scary world. So now, I love my big, strong hands, because they are full of a parent’s big, strong love.

 

applefest hands

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Filed under Fall, Family, Feminism, Humor, Parenting

Man Sitting

A few days ago, a friend’s Facebook status was about some guy next to her who was doing something called “man-sitting.”  I needed to google it, but once I did, I knew exactly what she was complaining about and why she was complaining.  I would have complained too. If you don’t already know, man-sitting is when men (and I am sure some women, but really, who’s kidding who, mostly men) spread their knees apart and take up more than their own space.  Let me be clear, most men do not do this.  My husband doesn’t do this, my male friends don’t do this and my nephews don’t do this.  However, it still happens to me; it is most visible on planes, in meetings, at movie theaters, and on the bus.  It is beyond rude.  If you are female, I bet it has happened to you in the past few months.   Plainly put, it blows.

What interested me, however, were the responses to her dilemma.  There were 27 comments to her post.  Most of them were from men, who had hilarious and funny responses (“He’s airing out.”  “Is he wearing a kilt?” etc.) and a lot of the responses from women were either commiserate in tone (“I had the same thing happen to me on a plane.”  “That sucks.” etc.) to even a little passive aggressive (“Cross your arms and hold your pen out.”  “Spill your coffee on him…”)

There was one comment however, that for me stuck out.  It was from a mutual friend, Julie, and it made stop and think.  “Give him a bump and say ‘excuse me, you’re in my space.’”  That response was concise, powerful, obvious and personally very, very frightening.  I pride myself in being a strong, independent woman, but chances are, unless I had a few drinks in me, I wouldn’t have said a word.  I would have suffered silently, and after about ten minutes, when I was good and angry, I probably would have done something passive aggressive – like cross my legs quickly, knowing I would “inadvertently” kick him in the shin, and then apologize for it.

Knowing Julie the way I do, I know she would have absolutely followed through with her suggestion without pause.  I mean, it is rather obvious, isn’t it?  Just let him know he is in your space.  It isn’t that hard…so why is it that hard?  Why is it so hard for me to speak up for myself in those types of situations?  Righting a problem should be easier in the moment, than bitching about it afterwards.  Right?  Well, not for me. Julie was always a master of standing up for herself, even to handsome, intimidating, athletic co-eds at frat parties, and she was able to do so in a cheery, smiling manner.  “Hey!  Watch the dancing.  You almost made me spill my drink!” or “You need to stop backing into us.”  I envied that in college and I still do today.  (BTW, there are a lot of female friends in my life who would have responded in the way Julie suggested. I am drawn to these straight-forward, honest, strong women and added bonus, they make great friends.)

Sadly, if I would have had the “balls” to confront a man-sitter verbally, I bet my response would have started with “I’m sorry…” two words I say far too often in my life. I started thinking about women’s role, or more specifically, my role, in this whole “man-sitting” phenomenon.  I started seeing it as a metaphor.  Clearly, there are two roles at play.  There is the rude guy who thinks he is better than the person next to him, ergo he deserves more space, but there is also the gal next to him (me) who allows it.  Why do I allow my space to be taken up by a stranger’s ego?

I don’t think I’m alone, either. We all know it doesn’t just happen on the bus; it happens in boardrooms, in bedrooms, in kitchens, in schools, and on pretty much the rest of the planet.  Just look at the backlash from the “Lean In” movement.  Can you imagine if she would have called it, “Speak Up for Yourself.”  Am I that afraid of being called a bitch?  Or worse yet, being thought of one?

All too often, most men have no problem with being upfront and clear communicators, especially during conflict.   (And yeah, I know how incredibly sexist this blog post is sounding, but honestly, I am speaking from my own life experience.  I am a feminist, married to a feminist, and trying to raise a feminist, and still, I make room in my life for other men’s knees.  I’m not proud of it, and half the time, I don’t even know I am doing it.)  So why can’t I use my voice for my own good?  I use it for other’s good – why not my own?  Why do I feel a surge of fear and anxiety when I need to confront a male about his rude behavior?   Clearly, I have some work to do.

I’m going to try to consciously take a cue from my happy, friendly feminist friend Julie.  The next time I am next to a man-sitter, I am going to smile, tap him on the shoulder, try my hardest not to apologize, and point out he is in my space, even though it will most likely scare the hell out of me to do it.

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Filed under Feminism, Humor

The War with Dishwashing

I hate doing the dishes.  I really hate it.  Kriner hates it too.  We would have been divorced a long time ago if it weren’t for our dishwasher.  (Not hyperbole)

My abhorrence for doing dishes has actually kept me from cooking certain meals.  If it takes more than two pots to prepare, forget about it.  Seriously.  I love good food, but I hate doing dishes more.  “That recipe calls for a sauce?  Hmmm, maybe pizza tonight.”  “Wait, pasta with sautéed veggies AND caramelized onions?  Prego is fine.”  Also, it is verboten in my house to eat oatmeal.  Ever.  The pots are impossible to clean.  Frosted Flakes were good enough for me, they’re good enough for my kid.  (However, using that logic, playing with mercury from a broken thermometer, jumping off the roof into a pool, and sneaking beer and stealing cigarettes from my parents are also good enough for my kid…might need to rethink the Frosted Flakes.)

It’s a funny thing to hate.  I don’t hate laundry, or vacuuming (even though Kriner handles that) or even washing the floor.  I just hate doing dishes.  I have been ruminating on this for a while and I think I have come up with a reason why.

A few weeks ago, we went to my sister’s for Thanksgiving.  Every year the women do the dishes after the meal, usually because Steve, my brother-in-law does all the cooking.  That activity is actually better than tolerable because my sisters and my mom join in to help.  We drink or sing or gossip…it’s time well spent.  Also, their sink is located in the island of the kitchen, so people can sit and chat while you are washing up.

However, when I do dishes in my home, it is a solitary and lonely exercise.  I feel as though doing dishes in my small kitchen, looking out the small window in my small life should be portrayed in some dark, depressing Russian short story by Tolstoy.  Maybe I need a sound track of “Laura’s Theme” after dinner when I wash up.

My sink is located on a wall, so when I do the dishes, I turn my back on the whole kitchen, and ultimately, the house.  It’s like I’m back in Mrs. Stannel’s 4th grade class at Wilson Elementary, and I (once again) need to be disciplined.  “You’ve been laughing at inappropriate times again, Liz.  Go stand in the corner and do dishes!”

Washing dishes would be more fun if it were a team sport.  Of course I could ask Kriner to help, but even though it is difficult for me to comprehend, his revulsion of doing dishes is even greater than mine.  So, even though he wants to be a good guy, and wants to help, he is in such a foul mood after the dishes are done, that I regret asking him in the first place.  Why make two people miserable when only one has to suffer?  Dumbledore drank all that poison himself to get to the horcrux; he didn’t ask Harry to have a shell-full, did he?

I think someone needs to introduce a sink on wheels.  That way, I could roll into the living room while scouring a pot and see what’s going on.  “Are you two in here having fun without me?  Well, not anymore!”  Or maybe at the least roll it into the dining room, and rinse the plates right then and there before they go into the dishwasher.  (And can we please give a moment to roll our collective eyes at THAT?  What brainiac created a dishwasher that is so piss-poor that you have to rinse, and sometimes actually wash the dishes before they get washed.  Could someone please invent a dishwasher that does just that?  That washes dishes?  Seriously?  Like, now?)

Years ago, I was bitching about how much I hated doing dishes (because it’s that big of a thing for me – that apparently I have carried this vengeful attitude toward dishes for decades because everything else in my life is so freaking fabulous that this is the only thing I have to bitch about…) and my friend Anne said, “I love doing dishes.  I like putting my hands in warm water, and it is a moment of quiet after a busy day.”  I envied her in that moment.  The thought of my hand in warm water harkens back to poorly executed sleep-over pranks (did that work on ANYONE?) and quiet for me is difficult; it always has been.

Tomorrow night we are having friends over for a pot luck.  We will be using paper plates.  (Don’t judge, we got the nice kind…with like designs and crap.)  Also, pot luck means guests will be taking their dirty dishes home with them.  Now THAT’s a party I can get behind.

 

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Filed under Family, Feminism, Humor, Parenting

I am a Soccer Mom; I Have Arrived

I am not an athlete, nor have I ever been one.  I got in shape once to see if I could do it.  My parents were more athletic than their children.  My dad got a scholarship to the U.W. for track and field, and played racquetball and swam his whole life.  My parents also “jogged.”  Remember jogging?  That’s what “the Greatest Generation” did.  They jogged.  They were humble about it; they jogged without fanfare, without fancy shoes and usually in a grey sweatshirt.  “Liz, your mom and I are going for a jog.”  They would go for 2 miles and were back in half an hour. Gen Xer’s don’t jog.  They run.  They go out for runs, in spite of the fact it may take them 30 minutes to move their bodies one mile.  And they make a big deal about it.  “What did you do this morning?”  “Went for a run…then got an iced coffee.”  God, we’re arrogant.

So yeah, I wasn’t athletic.  I was more into music and drama.  The whole team sport thing eluded me.  The reason I am explaining my ignorance and bewilderment with team sports is because I am now caught smack dab in the middle of it.  Much to my shock and dismay, I have become a soccer mom.

Our daughter Emily started soccer when she was 5.  I don’t know what led me to sign her up.  I guess I thought it would be cute.  And it was!  Those little post-toddlers chasing a tiny soccer ball, trying not to use their hands, drawing in the dirt, picking dandelions, now that was my kind of sport!

Then there was this phenomenon called “British Soccer Camp.”  These adorable and charming boys from England come over during the summer and coach soccer camps for kids.  I swear to God, the first year I did it because I am such an anglophile, I figured it would be cool to hear their accents.  And it was!  They played silly games with the kids, and worked on foot control, etc. etc. fish and chips, bloody hell, bangers and mash and all that lot.

You know what happens when a kid does a sport for 5 years in a row?  They get good at it.  You know what happens when you send that kid to British soccer camp for a few years?  They get really good.  This was not in the plan.  What the hell was I thinking?  What the hell did I sign up for?

Now, Emily loves soccer.  A lot.  She plays offense and is usually the top goal scorer of the game.  Her foot skills are quite good.  And this isn’t just her mom talking either.  She’s currently being scouted by Manchester United.  (Just the fact I can make that joke makes me cringe.  I should be listening to show tunes, not wasting time knowing who Mia Hamm is.  Honestly, David Beckham should only be Posh’s husband in my world.  Period.  Look what I have become!)

My daughter plays for the Bayfield U-10 girl’s soccer team.  Let me fill you in on Bayfield soccer.  We don’t have uniforms, we don’t have matching socks, we don’t have bleachers or clubs or anything like that.  We sometimes have grass on the field.  We’re scrappy.  If we’re lucky, our kids play in matching t-shirts.  The coach hopes they show up in black shorts and not jean cut-offs.  Bayfield is a town of little over 300 people.  Some of the girls on the team are from Red Cliff Indian Reservation just outside of town, but even so, it’s a small team.  Really small.  We’re lucky if we play a game with a sub, let alone two.  When we play a team from Ashland, it feels a bit like David and Goliath.   Ashland has uniforms, bleachers, larger teams, grass fields, parent booster clubs and even a traveling team – for U-10 girls.  I am completely serious.

Here’s why this is important.  Currently, Bayfield’s U-10 girls are undefeated.  Last year, this scrappy, little team from Bayfield didn’t win a game all regular season; it was brutal. But this year, watch out, they are on fire!  Because of this, I have turned into the most obnoxious, loud, insane soccer mom EVER.  Turns out, I love this game.  I am usually hoarse the morning after a game.  I love all the girls on the team!  I know their names and know their positions and I love each and every one of them.  There is Greta, the tiniest girl on the team, and by far the most aggressive.  She got her 2nd bloody nose of the season last night and wore that blood with a big grin.  “Put me in, coach!  I’m fine.”  She said after she got head butted.  I love that kid.  She never gives up.  Then there is Andrea, the tallest 9-year-old on the planet, who never seems to get excited about anything, unless there is a ball coming toward her.  She is so tall, all the opponents are intimidated by her.  It’s awesome.  Then there is Brianne, who can kick that ball farther than any adult I know.  Harley smiles when she runs, it’s absolutely glorious.  I love these girls.  Brianne’s grandma, Greta’s mom and I have gotten shouted down from the parents of other teams; that’s how obnoxious we are.  “Hey ladies, calm down, it’s just a goal!”  I want to smack those parents.  They should be cheering as much for their kids.  I don’t chastise them for not cheering enough.  Live and let live, dude.

Tonight is their last regular season game.   I really hope they win.  (This coming from the girl who feels that football serves as the pre and post-show for the marching band.)  Then there is the “jamboree” on Saturday.  Personally, I think the jamboree should actually be renamed “hell.”  Even insane soccer moms like myself hate the soccer jamboree.  4 to 6 games in a day, every u-15 team in the area swarms to the fields and parking is horrendous.  Oh yeah, it’s also supposed to rain.  The whole day will be filled with waiting, cheering, porta-poties, wet clothes and hot chocolate sans peppermint schnapps.   Wish me luck.  Maybe beforehand, I should get out some of my anxiety, and go for a run.  Go Trollers!

*Sidenote – Yes, Bayfield’s actual mascot is a troller.  Pretty intimidating, right?  A guy, slowly moving his motorboat, waiting to catch a defenseless little fish in an inland lake.  Strikes fear into the hearts of opposing teams.

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Filed under Bayfield, Feminism, fitness, Humor, Soccer

Purses

I carry a Coach purse and I love it. I’m ridiculously proud of it and I walk with it front and center, to the point where it looks as if I am hiding an unwanted pregnancy; I tend to show it off when I walk into upscale grocery stores, not that I ever really walk into upscale grocery stores, but if I did, I would proudly show off my Coach bag. I take it into the local IGA and the cashier doesn’t notice its glory, but I flaunt it just the same.  Eight years ago, I knew nothing about Coach handbags. That is, until my sister-in-law started working for Coach, then I started getting a bag every Christmas. Now I loves me some Coach.

Sure, I carried purses before my love affair started. Even now, I carry “normal” purses to “normal” places. They’re sad looking bags with no satin lining or tell-all leather signature tag. I rationalize this by thinking that I don’t want to get my good bags dirty. You don’t wear an evening gown to the post office, right?  Even Emily, my daughter, occasionally puts down the plush upscale “Webkinz” stuffed animals to play with the old, “carnie” stuffed turtle she got when the dart somehow managed to find the balloon. She feels bad for it if she ignores it for too long. “It gets jealous of all my other friends,” she whispers. I too feel bad for my discount pink faux-leather bag I got at Walgreens. I drag it out on occasion for pity’s sake.

There is an exception here, however. There is one bag I keep out of rotation. It is hidden WAY back in my closet. I never bring it out for fear Emily will see it. A few years ago, TV was inundated with commercials for a Buxton bag, no, not a bag – they called it an organizer. It was a thin, pleather thing with an over-the-shoulder strap so you could wear the bag on your hip.  There was a big, wide strap cutting across on an angle, like some military sash gone horribly, horribly wrong. The “amazing” part about this bag, which they stated over and over again in the commercial, was that it could actually get bigger as you needed, due to the hidden zippers.  At one point, it actually showed a woman (wearing a blindfold for some reason which escaped me) putting 6 bottles of water into that ugly, little bag.

Emily was 4 at the time and fairly impressionable, so that spring for Mother’s Day, I received the Buxton Organizer. I didn’t see it coming.  As I opened the present, it was all I could do not to exclaim to my husband, Kriner, “What the hell? Why did you let her do this?” but I kept it together and smiled and did my best to love it. Every time I left the house, Em would ask, “Why don’t you take your Buxton Organizer?” “Momma, you should really take your Buxton Organizer.”  I tried for a while telling her, “No, it’s too nice; I want to save it!” but she eventually saw through that. Then we went to Disney and she cornered me. “Momma, you have to take your Buxton Organizer to Disney. We may need water!”


The problem with purses for me is that with every passing year, the purse tends to get bigger. In my 20’s, I carried a little, cute clutch; now it seems, I have a bag five times the size of my head. I hate having a big purse, I do, but I can’t seem to stop myself. At this rate, I will be dragging around a plastic lawn bag when I hit my 60‘s.

Every year I try to “downsize” but it’s pointless; there’s always way too much stupid crap I think I need; that by shoving all my useless stuff into a smaller purse will somehow make it easier, but no. It just means I can’t close the zipper. In my home, I will ardently throw something out if I don’t use it within a calendar year; I’m GREAT at purging stuff in my house, but with the guts of my purse, I’m a hoarder. I have gum from 1976.

Normally, I have to take out 70% of the useless crap that is in my purse in order to find what I am looking for, which is always 1 of 3 things: my phone, my planner or my wallet. That’s really all I ever use in my purse, so why then do I need a bag the size of Rhode Island?

At this very moment, this is the content of my very large purse:

-1 wallet from Harrods full of singles (Note – I’ve never been to Harrod’s but my girlfriend Solveig has and she got me a wallet. I love it because sometimes people see it and I assume they assume I’ve been to Harrods. “Ha” on them.)

-2 packets of Trident whitening gum, preferably wintergreen, although it’s hard to find. I chew gum a lot, for many reasons. Mainly, because it occupies my mouth so I don’t drive myself crazy talking to myself in the car. “God, I’m so annoying!” I think to myself. “Yeah, I know, I wish I would just shut up!” “Come on me, I’m being too hard on me – I like some of the stories I tell.” “Who asked you?”  The other reason is that I am also paranoid my breath will be bad and my students will make fun of me while I’m not around, not that they don’t have many other things to use as fodder.  Back to the list…

-1 big pair of sunglasses. (Also, a gift from Solvieg.) As my purse gets bigger as I age, so do my sunglasses.  The big purse helps to hide the big hips, the big sunglasses helps to hide the big crow’s feet.

-A roll of duct tape

-A package of “Gushers” for emergencies

-Cell phone (yawn)

-Check book that is woefully out of date; I think it was balanced once in the 80‘s.

-3 bottles of hand sanitizer

-7 legos

-A day planner that is also woefully of out date

-1 bottle of “I’m Not a Waitress” IPA nail polish

-4 Sharpies

-1 small laminated Bill of Rights; you never know when you need to pull it out to make a point

-A roll of “My Little Pony” stickers (also for obvious reasons)

-Tic Tacs that have spilled out of the box, so they are rolling around with the loose change, and taking on a gray hue rather than their zippy green color

-Expired children’s medicine

-A smushed Cliff bar (What if I got stuck in a snow storm?)

-A Star Wars trading card of Admiral Ackbar (also for obvious reasons)

-A CD of the “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” soundtrack (Broadway version – FABULOUS)

-A bright pink scarf that was a gift (also from Solvieg, did I mention she’s an awesome friend?)

-A digital voice recorder (because I get inspired writing ideas while I’m driving)

-A pair of earrings

-23 travel sized lotion bottles from various hotels

-1 Vince Lombardi doll (for luck)

-Allergy medicine

-A smaller purse, in case I need to “downsize” at a moment’s notice

-Way too many keys

-1,524 lipsticks and/or glosses

-1 pack of “Airborne” that is over a year old and never opened. (Just in case I am on a plane next to someone who sneezes…)

-A flip recorder full of videos of my daughter’s made up commercials and “man on the street” interviews

-A princess furry pen that lights up (makes a statement in the bank)

-3 Littlest Pet Shop Toys (a cat, a fish and a beaver)

-1 quarter, 1 dime and 1,524 pennies

That’s it.  That is the contents of my very large purse.  I was digging for something (probably my phone, my planner or my keys) and swearing like a sailor, when Kriner stated, “It must be sad to be a little purse woman trapped in a big purse woman body” I told him it really was.

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