Friday, April 07, 2006

I think I just became a woman.

Until last year, I had never gotten a pedicure. Ever. I had never had a manicure until a couple of years ago, but I still do not wear polish on my fingernails. As a teenager, I always cut the little flower applique off of my bra before wearing it. I wear hiking boots more often than I wear high heels. I have never worn eyeliner. I have had exactly two cosmetic counter-type makeovers, and both times represented a couple of the lowest points in my life, and that last time saw me emerging from Neiman-Marcus with enough spackle make-up base on my face to re-do my bathroom ceiling. It was orange. The friend I took with me looked like something out of "The Mikado".

What I'm saying here is that I'm not a girly-girl. I probably used to be at one time, but years of living in here at Testosterone Palace have forced me to adapt. And really...I pretty much think that guys get to do all the fun stuff anyway, so it hasn't been a total loss for me and the boys get a mom who won't shrink from handling snakes/lizards/or bugs. I really would rather wear comfortable shoes, and when warm weather demands that I wear sandals, the prospect of having to pay someone to make my feet presentable just makes me want to run amok. See where I'm going with this? Low maintenance is "the new black" for me.

That said, I confess that the female members of my family of origin do happen to share one particular affliction that brands them/me as girly. We are all sufferers of BPS. Big Purse Syndrome. I shrink from telling you just how long it's been a problem for me, but I've found that if I can't fit a couple of books into the purse I'm carrying (along with my phone, digital camera, wallet, make-up, notebook, pens, sunglass case, gum, bottled water, small flashlight) then it's just not going to work out. How big a purse do I need? Let's just say that it needs to be just shy of qualifying as carry-on luggage at the airport.

And once the first two kids came along along with the flotilla of equipment that demanded required the need for a diaper carrier, I found myself with two enormous "bags" and two babies in diapers who were 13 months apart. That's when I started carrying this:

That's right...it's a backpack. I was able to throw everything in there. All my junk...plus the diapers and stuff needed for a trip to the zoo. It was perfect. Sure, it had a few drawbacks. There were no smaller pockets inside and the interiors were usually black. Locating/identifying anything inside it smaller than a cabbage was difficult without light. If I didn't plan ahead and transfer a few things into a regulation purse before a big event, I was more likely to show up for a wedding or a funeral looking as though I was leaving immediately afterwards for a trip through the Grand Canyon.

I've worn out several backpacks over the years and they've sort of marked me in a way. More people recognize me from behind simply because I'm one of the few adults around here who doesn't carry a backpack because I need it to get from one college class to the other. I take it with me to PTA meetings and the movies and out to eat.To the bank and to the doctor's office. I take it everywhere...until yesterday when I saw this:Mother will be so proud. Do I feel as though I've caved in to "the man--or woman" as it were? Do I feel as though I've joined the sorority of sterotypical women who enjoy wearing pink and who feel naked without earrings and who would rather be a cheerleader instead of a player in the game? Mmmm...sort of. Besides its ability to hold all my "stuff", carrying a backpack seemed like a tiny little "up yours" to the Junior League set with whom much of my school volunteer work is accomplished. But I will say that reaching down into the deep, dark recesses of that backpack in order to find a pen at the grocery store checkout and, because I didn't have my flashlight with me, pulling out a wrapped tampon instead? Yeah...that part was getting pretty old.

Have a great weekend!

28 Comments:

Blogger Shrinking Violet said...

Welcome to the darkside of purse obsession!

2:20 PM  
Blogger Gina said...

When I got out with just myself and Mr. Personality, I am all about the backpack over purse. Even though I love purses, they just always seem to slip off my shoulder when I have to deal with him.

I'm likin' your new one, though!

And ha! As I was typing this, your comment on my blog just popped up! :)

4:45 PM  
Blogger mrtl said...

I love me some purses, but fall on the ungirly side as well. Maybe I need a backpack.

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Daxohol said...

You know, I was a slave to the backpack for just over a year. But then, i sexified the backpach by getting a small, sleek leather one. Much less..."adventure calls" teehee!

6:29 PM  
Blogger The Queen Mama said...

Bwa-ha-ha!!! I once dedicated an entire post to the whole wrapped-tampon-instead-of-pen situation!

I just look forward to the day when I can carry ANYTHING besides a huge-assed diaper bag.

Cute purse, by the way.

7:59 PM  
Blogger mama_tulip said...

Congratulations...you've risen to a whole new level. ;) I'm still at Backpack level myself.

6:49 AM  
Blogger Beth Fish said...

That bag? Waaaant.

12:04 PM  
Blogger LoryKC said...

Hi! Stepping over from Misfit Hausfrau's for a visit...
I did the backpack thing for a while, too! All black--but it was a backpack! Now that the kids are older, I too have "matured"(?) and have a large black purse. It is not nearly as nice as yours, though!
Hmmmm....not usually much of a shopper either but I feel the urge to go look at purses...

12:45 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Someone just asked for this book.

TITLE: The bitch in the house : 26 women tell the truth about
sex, solitude, work, motherhood, and marriage /

Is this a good book? Would I gain insights about all of you?

1:58 PM  
Anonymous TB said...

I HATE big purses. All of my stuff gets lost at the bottom and it makes me alternately sad or angry depending on the situation.
Usually I just stuff the essentials like my bank card, id and chapstick into my pockets. This works fine in winter when I have a heavy coat that can also hold my keys and cell phone, but not so much in warm weather. I've been know to carry a backpack also.
I have not found a solution yet, but I LOVE your new bag. It looks like it has lots of compartments which would be ideal.

2:12 PM  
Blogger wordgirl said...

Dan-
Check the book out and blog about it. You can read our blogs and find out a lot, as well.

2:34 PM  
Blogger daysgoby said...

Wait! Don't you have more than one kidlet? The first baby, I was all about carting everything around. The bookbag came into its' own. (I tried a backpack and managed to clip my four month old in the face when I bent down to get him - grace, your name is not mine) I just got my son to the point of not needing a diaper bag when the girl came along - I blush to admit she's 18 months old and I've never carried a diaper bag - I'm all about a diaper folded up with wipies inside it in a ziploc and a bottle with powder inside...although I'm still carrying the damned bookbag. Now? It's all *my* stuff.

Friends of mine say a pedicure is like driving a sports car - you never, ever want to go back.

3:18 PM  
Blogger wordgirl said...

Yeah...I've got three, but the youngest is almost 12 and I'm "done" with carrying around everyone else's junk.

4:30 PM  
Blogger Lucky Lum said...

But I love the new purse!!

Coming from an anti-BPS point of view.

7:03 PM  
Anonymous V-Grrrl said...

I love that bag. I've always been a SMALL purse grrrl but when I moved here and had to live without a car, I had a lot more stuff to haul (umbrella or hat in case of rain, cell phone, more than FIVE forms of photo ID, two kinds of currency, gloves, etc.).

I love Kipling bags--stylish but practical, made with the lightweight nylon material and lots of pockets but with very cool colors and designs.

BTW, I've read The Bitch in the HOuse (you'd love it Wordgirl, a collection of essays written by women writers on various aspects of the female experience). There's also a related book called The Bastard on the Couch--essays by men, edited by a guy on the male experience, and I just heard about a new one called Maybe Baby that explores people's struggled with reproduction issues.

11:46 PM  
Blogger Nilbo said...

Awwww *sniff* our little girl is allll growed up.

Welcome to adulthood, ya dork. "Bout time you lost the backpack - arrested adolescence can only carry you so far.

Now, join that damn Junior League, buy yerself an SUV, and drive down to the spa for a pedicure.

Me? I'll be over here with the PlayStation.

6:12 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

I think you're totally a member of
"the club" now. I wouldn't know though, cause I don't think they'd let me in.

I carry a Mountain Equipment Co-op carry all (I have it in 2 sizes, it's basically a small backpack you can carry like a purse). I needed something to carry my lunch, wallet, etc and gym clothes and maybe a book and this does the trick. I just tie my running shoes together and carry it all as one big package, or wear the runners and throw my heels (for work) in the "purse." I do carry a backpack on days where I've just got too much to carry. I do have plans to get a pretty one, so my cool friends who are in "the club" of girley girls aren't too embarassed of me. :)

I've had two pedicures and definitely loved them, but never any manicures. My nails are always short and rarely have polish on them.

6:30 AM  
Blogger Annie, The Evil Queen said...

I'm more of a small purse girl myself but having had a baby this year, I'm in diaper bag world as well. My sister got me a beautiful Kecci diaper bag (blue Japanese silk with butterflies). That carries all the nessecary items most days. It can be a regular bag or a backpack!

My sister is not a girly girl and carries a messenger bag. Tres trendy. When I lived overseas like v-grrrl, I also carried a big backpack (two currencies, ids, Japnese/English dictionary, train map, toilet paper...) for the first year or so.

Love your new bag. Doesn't mean you have to give up your hiking boots though. Just maybe get a pair in black to coordinate.

9:34 AM  
Blogger Brooke said...

Fellow Big Purse Girl here. I LOVE the new bag!

9:37 PM  
Blogger Ben Dolan said...

Funny thing, I have never gotten a pedicure OR a manicure. Truly unbelievable, but I'll never give in.

But the purse thing, however, that is looking useful.

Us guys can't hold things like books and pens and phones and small children in our wallets...

9:52 PM  
Blogger Tracy said...

I've tried dozens of different purses and KEEP returning to the backpack. My current carry is a huge monstrosity I bought just for hiking in Mexico. It's a little over the top for the streets of Topeka KS. None-the-less, it's what I carry about half the time. I'm the one who ALWAYS has a pen to loan, AND paper, and a digital camera, complete array of batteries, emergency reading material for me and three kids... You never know when you might need... something...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm good on connections, for the moment. I've just got to focus my energy on getting my stories out! Take care.

3:57 AM  
Blogger DebbieDoesLife said...

Hey, the last Big Purse I bought at my fav place TJ Maxx had a little light in it that came on when you opened it! How cool is that?

4:15 AM  
Blogger R. Robyn said...

Good choice! After I saw the backpack I couldn't help but read on, just to see if you replaced it.

5:15 AM  
Blogger theyellowwallpaper said...

Nice bag...I think just about every woman succumbs to some stereotype. But, on the bright side, yours has both the aesthetic and practical on its side.

12:53 PM  
Blogger Mignon said...

I'm there with you on all the tom-boy stuff, but I'm a huge bag/shoe/jacket hound. When I found out I was pregnant with Quinn I was overjoyed at the new bag possiblities.

Here's my diaper bag.

Here's my purse.

And NOW I get to shop for a laptop bag!!! YES!!!

1:21 PM  
Blogger Mignon said...

Oh, and Debbie, are you sure it wasn't a mini-fridge?

1:41 PM  
Anonymous sweatpantsmom said...

I just bought a very fashionable, teeny weeny purse that would make Paris Hilton proud.

But you know what? I reached in there for a bottled water today and realized it could barely hold a bottle of nail polish, and thought, "Ah, I miss the big purse."

12:52 AM  
Blogger Sandra said...

I just had my first pedicure a couple of years ago, at the age of 38, and was immediately hooked. As god is my witness I will never do my own toes again.

7:34 AM  

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