I'm a carrier.

People often scoff at the enormity and bulbousness of my purse. I carry everything. My brain is a nagging girl scout, reminding me to always be prepared. You see, I need to have peanut butter on my person. Pain reliever, band-aids, water bottle? All a must. To me, the ideal purse is the size of a small laundry basket and it must be sturdy and heavily pocketed.

In fact, I have a small purse I carry inside my large purse. That way, after I've lugged all of my necessities to work, the more portable mini purse emerges for jaunts to the break room or lunch outings.

What I'm carrying today:
my bag
my bag by Johanana

Yes, that's an avocado.

I have always been a carrier. Growing up, we lived a pseudo nomadic lifestyle; we were sort of like trailer park gypsies, driven by eviction notices, lay-offs and financial crises. And so, I carried my little things from here to there. Despite the ever-changing environment, there was comfort knowing that I'd always have my lip balm, my pillow, my Roald Dahl and Nancy Drew.

One of my earliest memories, at age 4, is of my mother giving me her old handbag. She had found me brooding in a corner, envious of a playmate's My Little Pony purse full of miscellaneous treasures. In efforts to make me feel better, she scavenged through her closet and presented me with a ratty sky blue leather satchel with a snap button closure and a simple braided handle. Together, my Mom and I collected items for my purse:

  • cherry flavored Chap Stick
  • rabbit's foot key chain
  • green apple Ring Pop
  • tiny plastic ballerina (broken off my music box after my brother had hurled it down the stairs!)
  • enamel butterfly hair barrette
  • pocket mirror
  • empty perfume bottle (which I would later fill with self-concocted "poisons")

I'd daintily hang the purse around my forearm and walk with purpose across the playground. Even if no one was watching, in my mind they were all mesmerized, their minds racing with curiosity and admiration. If I saw that ragamuffin purse today, I would laugh! And then I would carry it.

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