Archive for March, 2013

The change of seasons means a new start and sometimes a welcome change. Kids go off to school, clubs return to regular meetings and closets are rearranged. For me the change of season always means one very important event, the search for the perfect bag is once again resumed.
The perfect bag is something like a purse, but it’s more than that. It’s my personal emergency preparedness plan. It contains the chronicle of my recent social life, and as well as miscellaneous tax records. It contains amusements as well as communications. It’s part of my identity.
My bags have changed over the years. I remember the college back pack days. The big middle section was for books and papers, but the front contained school ID’s, spare change, chap stick and Kleenex. It went with me everywhere and I loved the side compartments where I stuff in a can of soda or a water bottle.
Later. I survived the diaper bag years. I used to complain about the style of diaper bags a lot. I never understood why the bag I carried with me should be covered with cute little elephants or cartoon characters. Besides the diapers, wipes, bottles and changing pad, the diaper bag was also where I kept my wallet. my make up and my sunglasses. But I never complained about the size and the number of compartments. I have always loved compartmentalizing my bags.
When I finally hung up the last diaper bag, I wasn’t ready for a brief case, but I was well past a back pack. I entered into the era of the big purse and I’m still stuck there today.
The size of the purse is key. Although my family may not believe me, I consider some purses just too big. You want one that will hold everything without causing permanent damage to your shoulder or back.
Everything includes shopping lists and coupons, allergy meds and tissues, make up, eye drops, glasses for reading, sunglasses, bifocals for when I really can’t stand my contact lens anymore and a contact lens case,
My husband has never understood why I carry so much stuff around, but then he asks me if I have an Ibuprofen.
The kids have spent years making fun of my big purse, but then they want to borrow my nail file.
I’ve spent my adult life looking for the perfect purse. I want one as lightweight as possible (the stuff in it is heavy enough). It should be washable because it’s only a matter of time until I put it down in the mud or in a spilled drink.
I do like compartments. It’s makes me feel organized to keep the doctor appointment cards and buy-five-get-one free offers in a zippered compartment away from my business cards and work ID.
I like having an outside compartment for my cell phone. It’s so embarrassing to have to dump out a purse full of old receipts and empty gum wrappers to answer a ringing cell phone.
My cell phone has replaced my address book in recent years, and that frees up enough space for my Kindle. You never know when you’ll be stuck in a waiting room and need something to read. My perfect purse would have an easily assessable Kindle-sized pocket with just a little light padding to keep my electronics safe.
And to be really perfect, my bag would need an insulated compartment large enough to fit a diet coke can or – when I’m feeling healthy – a plastic water bottle.
I’ve been searching for my bag for a long time now. Each time the season changes, I renew my quest in the local department stores. Each season my optimism returns and I know that I will find the bag that defines me, my station in life and my possibilities for the future. And fits all my stuff.

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Sock Wars


So after almost two years, I came back to this blog.  In between I’ve written a handful of columns for my new employer, The Weekly Vista,  and this is one of them. It’s already a year old!  Time flies! 

We took a step back in time this summer and suddenly have two children living at home again. Well, they aren’t really children but you would never know that if you could hear them arguing about socks.

Socks have been an issue in our family before. Back when the oldest was still in high school – about ten years ago – I thought I had a solution. I was doing five people’s laundry back then and all five of us had white socks. Lots of white socks.

I used to do all my laundry on the weekend and then pile it up on the middle of my bed to sort and fold on Sunday night. I loved that routine because it meant I could watch Desperate Housewives on the bedroom T.V. with few interruptions. When one of them came looking for me, I simply waved a basket of unfolded laundry and suggested they help. It wasn’t a bad way to spend a Sunday evening except for the socks.

I always left the socks for last and I’d end up with a pile of mateless white socks. But the real problem was that it was almost impossible to tell whose socks were whose.

I remember complaining to a friend of mine who advised me to make sure I purchased a different brand for each member of the family. Her husband, she said, had only Gold Toe Socks while one son had Nikes and another Hanes. I considered her plan but decided against investing the money to buy everyone new socks.

Instead, I purchased a black sharpie and put initials on each and every pair of white socks in my laundry basket.

My family doesn’t always agree on everything, but their response to my sock identification plan was unanimous. Every one of them hated having initials on their white socks. Even my husband, who isn’t very fashion conscious complained when someone in his doctor’s office asked about the letters on the toe of his socks.

As the kids started moving out, my laundry problem became easier. My husband, always a maverick, bought a life time supply of white tube socks on E-Bay. He didn’t care that no one wears white tube socks anymore and it definitely made his socks easy to identify. The youngest daughter became a serious runner and her white socks became easy to pick out because she insisted on buying the really expensive kind that wick away sweat. Then her sister moved back.

Having an adult offspring back in the basement has been an adjustment, especially after she acquired a very large, very active puppy. But we were happy to have her back under our roof and things seemed to be working out until her little sister came home from college.

Now besides squabbling about who is eating whose cereal, and whose puppy chewed up whose shoes, the sock wars have been resumed. Only they fight over those expensive sweat wicking socks.

So I’ve decided to take the only course left open to me. On Sundays when I fold laundry, I throw all the white socks down the basement steps and let the puppy chew them all.  I think both girls may be wearing flip flops for the rest of the summer.

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