Clearly, It’s Not Any of Your Business What I Carry

Lately, some of you have taken it upon yourselves to comment on the volume of stuff I carry with me everywhere, all the time. Since you’re all so interested in something that is clearly none of your business, I thought I would go through the bags in order to discuss their contents with you, so that we can all maintain a clear understanding of why each and every item is vital, every day (back me up, ladies).

Here’s one of the books I’m reading: Patrick O’Brian’s Master and Commander. I snagged it at the Free Library Festival and it’s pretty good so far, except that every fourth word is some nautical jargon I’ve never heard of. Felucca, Fo’c’sle, Carronades? Pommelion, foretopgallantsail and polacre-settee? I think O’Brian is just making these up as he goes. There’s my own notebook, where I jot things down in plain English (legible only to me), so that later, I can blog on bizarre, irreverent topics instead of doing the dishes or writing the articles that are actually assigned to me. Here is Frank Abagnale’s “Catch Me If You Can”.  Why would I carry just one book? How will I know what I’ll be in the mood to read on the train today? What if I finish one book? Best to have at least two wildly different titles. I find six pens roaming free in here (including pens from Chima Brazilian Steakhouse, a Pittsburgh Holiday Inn, and the National AeroSpace Training and Research Center). There’s also a small-folding umbrella. Oh, here are five pieces of brown, zebra-marbled driftwood from the Pacific coast.

Mace spray. I’m pretty sure that was a Christmas present from a parent concerned about my life in the big bad city. One Organic Echinacea Plus tea bag (must have put this in there to appease some well-intentioned homeopathy user) and a spoon.  Well, well, here’s a long-lost written job performance evaluation from April of 2008, and another from March of 2010. Either I am performing just slightly worse after two years of practice, or the art of evaluation is slightly subjective. Hey, there’s that photo of Valerie!

Should I also add that since I often go through three different outfits before I come home for the night (work, gym, theatre opening), the bags carry the basics of at least two outfits? This includes but is not limited to sneakers, work-out leggings, a tee-shirt, a belt, a pair of jeans or dress pants, a sweater and a scarf accessory. There’s always an apple, because sometimes, suddenly, I just can’t go on until I’ve had a piece of fruit. Of course my lunch goes in there too – and my breakfast, depending on how much I overslept.

What’s in this compartment of my wallet? There’s one of those stretched and printed pennies: “Oregon Caves”. Four Band-Aids, wow, handy. Here’s the ID tag from my childhood golden retriever, and a few pictures of me and my husband over the years. Here is a trove of professional contacts. Business cards recall meetings with the press officer of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, a playwright, a Literary Manager, the President of Brown Partners Multicultural Marketing, a sound designer and a costume designer, the publisher of the Bulletin newspaper, the PR Manager at Adventure Aquarium, the Program Aviation Manager of Air Methods Corporation, the editor of Where Magazine, and the Dean of the University of the Arts’ College of Media and Communication. Less valuable are two Rita’s Water Ice “Cool Cards” from 2009, each stamped once (they won’t give you a free one til you buy TEN). Oh, here’s a fortune cookie paper I saved: “You will be successful in your work!” Excellent. Tuck that back in there.

Here’s a skinny plastic package from Wachovia labeled “Crisis Kit!” What’s in here? Thread, two buttons, a packet of lotion, a fresh lemon towelette, and two antacid pills. I suppose if the crisis involves a missing button, dry skin, sticky hands or indigestion, I’m set (must keep away from earthquake/volcano zones). Here is a spare subway token, $1.78 and an Argentinean Peso. Hmm.

Two months’ worth of paystubs. Two packets of Throat Coat tea and three lozenges from when I had that two-week laryngitis in February and everyone at work made fun of me. A stack of public transit schedules to all corners of Philadelphia.

Here’s my “Clash of the Titans” ticket stub (my main beef with this movie is that the much-ballyhooed Kraken didn’t get enough actual screen time, if that is even possible).  A ticket from “Alice in Wonderland” (skip that movie, if you haven’t seen it, what a borefest). Here’s a coupon for $5.00 off a purchase of $50 or more at Acme (expires April 8th, crap). Theatre tickets from various recent press nights.

Here’s a Philadelphia Science Fiction Society bookmark, a bottle of Advil (I like to think that wherever I am, whatever I am doing, I can stop a headache in its tracks – as long as it’s not due to accidental consumption of monosodium glutamate, in that case, I’m screwed, and yes, that’s why I always decline the Doritos you offer me), hand sanitizer, a travel bottle of lotion, a foldable brush, a flashlight, and two more spoons. Here’s my work hat, a flash drive with my book in a Word document, my scuffed blue iPod Shuffle, a pink workout timer, a magnetic name tag from a couples’ conference, my watch,  and Burt’s Bees lip balm. There are keys to my jobsite, my cell phone, my 2009 staff badge, a lonely AAA battery, six Werther’s Original candies, and a napkin with the phone number of an A&E writer from the Philadelphia Tribune. And my appointment book, of course.

One lazy Sunday, my husband and I watched the Jim Caveizel “Count of Monte Cristo”. Ol’ Dantes is too poor to buy his trembling, devoted fiancée a ring, so he makes one out of string. “You will never see it off my finger,” she murmurs, overcome. My husband made a ring for me out of some twine lying on the carpet. Now I show him how it is still in my purse. “Hey, you really love me,” he says. If I were Mercedes I would have whispered, “You will never see it out of my purse,” but given everything else I found in there, this wouldn’t be an overly romantic declaration.

Everything else in there is even more TMI (and none of your darn business) than this blog entry already is. So do you now understand why each of these items must be carried on a daily basis? I trust you’re satisfied and that I will not be fielding any more comments about it.


Add yours →

  1. Enjoyed it

  2. But where’s the *dental floss*???

  3. Kathleen Johns May 10, 2010 — 9:54 pm

    Stretched penny – good – got two today.
    Why bother to work out? Just carry your purse around.
    At least there’s nothing worth purse snatching – esp. with that mace from your concerned brother – if you can find it.

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