Confessions of a Handbag Hoarder



Hands up every girl who said they would never… EVER… become their own mother?

Now, don’t get me wrong. I adore my mum. (I know you’re reading this, Mum – don’t worry, I won’t leave you under the bus for long…) 

When I was growing up, my mum’s handbag was something of a puzzle to me, a frustration for her, and kind of an embarrassment to all at the best of times. It was about the size of your average gym bag and crammed to bursting with every receipt and prescription refill form for the past year, tablets, Band-Aids, bent paperclups, hairpins, Tic-Tacs, broken sunglasses and old report cards, a ring containing no less than fifty keys and hung with variously aged photos of children and later grandchildren. It weighed a megaton. The only thing rarely to be found in mum’s handbag was money, bless her!

I seem to have vivid memories of passing some pretty hefty judgment on my poor, overworked and underpaid mum all those years ago, years when I was swanning around in tight levis and toting a purse that contained little more than a tube of lipstick, a tampon and a quarter to call Mum’s Taxi Service. I would sit there in the passenger seat of the Blue Gypsy with all the judgmentalism granted a fifteen-year-old, clutching my own pea-sized purse and eyeing the monstrosity of leather bound disorganization hogging the console space between us and think, “I will never… EVER… have a handbag like that.”

Of course I wouldn’t. A disorganized handbag is the sign of a disorganized mind, is it not? Hey, I was fifteen. As an expert on all things adult, I had my own handbag future planned out. My bag would be small. It would be tidy. It would be CLEAN. And I would never, EVER, carry so much as a used gum wrapper therein, much less used Kleenex… ew.

Well, you know what? Sometimes that old apple don’t fall too far from the tree, and chickens do come home to roost, do they not?

Today, I went to lift my own pink leather Tardis and nearly put my back out. I thought, “What on earth?”  I mean, it had been a while since I cleaned it out, but, surely… SURELY it couldn’t be that bad…

Well, ladies and gentlemen, here is what I found in my handbag today:

  • 6 tubes of lipstick.
  • 5 tubes of lip gloss (totally different thing altogether, as any woman will attest).
  • 2 lipliners, one light, one dark.
  • A pot of Carmex.
  • Chapstick. (What is it with me and lips, anyway??)
  • 1 Cover Girl pressed powder compact.
  • 32 bobby pins
  • 1 hair band
  • 1 hair clip with broken teeth.
  • A zillion old receipts, give or take a thousand.
  • Boarding passes from flights taken in September.
  • 3 pairs of reading glasses, all scratched.
  • 1 pair of sunglasses. The other 6 pairs are on the foyer window ledge.
  • 1 Oyster card train pass.
  • 1 cell phone.
  • $47.78 in US currency, totally worthless in the UK.
  • 12 Band-Aids.
  • 2 earrings, not matching.
  • 6 wet wipes filched from various fast food joints. Hey, waste not want not, I say…
  • 1 key ring with 50 keys and pictures of my grandsons attached. Some of them are even current photos.
  • 1 dog-tag bottle opener. Why? For the love of all that is reasonable, why??
  • 32 used Kleenexes painted in varying shades of lipstick. Again with the lips!!
  • 1 empty bottle of hand sanitizer.
  • Half a roll of XX mints.
  • 4 packs of gum and 1 stray piece gathering lint at the bottom of the bag.
  • 1 bottle of nearly empty handcream.
  • 3 empty blister packs of Paracetamol (Tylenol).
  • 1 pen.
  • 1 wallet crammed full of more receipts and £10.05 in cash.
  • Earbuds for my phone for when I go to the gym. Haven’t been used in months.
  • 1 used earplug. Ok, ew.

Who lives like this? Seriously? I am a handbag hoarder! 

For those of you young enough to believe that handbag hygeine is an achievable feat for real live, adult human beings, you have my deepest sympathy. Your day will come, my pretties. Your day will come!

And mum? Can I just say I’m sorry for being such a judgmental little teenaged heifer? Somewhere along the road of life, I have discovered that life is too short to spend it fretting over a tidy bag. Perhaps I am too lazy or too busy, maybe a bit of both. In any case, Mum, my day has come. I’m a proper grown-up now… I have the groove in my shoulder to show for it. And if you are needing a used earplug? I got you covered…

Mother Hen

© motherhendiaries 2014 all rights reserved

45 replies »

  1. Oh, thanks so much for making me feel normal.Must say that the only thing that me raise an eyebrow was how many lipsticks you had. This was before I checked my bag. You do really make me feel normal, thanks again 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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