So we can tell this series of exercises was composed by a woman because question number 8 is “What’s in your handbag?” The list does say “handbag” not “purse”, but the first definition that pops up when you Google handbag is “a woman’s purse.” Hoping to come up with something different I then went searching a few other definitions. They all in one way or another indicated that the item in question would belong to a woman. Well sorry, I am not a woman and I don’t own a purse. I do, however, have a very nice leather man-bag that my wife got me a few years back.
The bag in question is far larger than most women’s purses, but not as heavy and bulky as a briefcase. One of the reasons I like it, and the canvas paratrooper’s bag I used to carry for years before, is that it is soft sided. That means that it can swell and take shape to contain all the various junk I stuff in it. Additionally, and I have tested this on a few occasions, it is soft enough to use as a pillow in airports or other locations where I might get stuck. It is great for propping my head on to read as I wait out delays in waiting rooms and sterile concourses.
Wow, somehow I got caught up describing the bag itself instead of what is in it. (That is what I get for trying to convince everyone that it isn’t a purse.) Honestly though there isn’t much exciting inside. A pair of earphones for my iPhone are always present, sometimes two. Two because I often misplace one pair. I try to carry a spare pair of glasses and some of those little towels to clean them with. Sometimes I will be carrying my laptop, or my Google Nexus 7 that is going up for sale, or a borrowed-from-work laptop. Also buried in the bag are assorted scraps of paper, business cards, pens, a magazine or two and a small Moleskine notebook. In many ways my bag is more like that of an English teacher, which I used to be, than a web and systems programmer. I can honestly say that I don’t think the bag has ever carried a computer magazine. The magazines are typically automotive journals, writing magazines or model railroad mags like British Railway Modelling.
If you dig a bit deeper you may find the secret hidden side pocket. In that little zippered stronghold is the really good stuff – from my bottle of Excedrin to the anti-acids and allergy meds. This is also where receipts get stuffed if the purchases were for work or tax related purposes, and sometimes there are even some stamps and stickers in there. Never any money though. Trust me on this one – I have looked. Repeatedly. No money. OK, and occasionally a Doctor Who figurine or Matchbox car. But that is about it. Truthfully my purse, I mean man-bag, is about as uninteresting as my sock drawer.
As a side note, I don’t know if any of these exercise are helping any of you get a better picture of me, but they are actually helping me see myself a bit better. And they are helping me write more. And a few of them are serving quite admirably to piss off friends and members of my family. Sorry.