Handbags.  A handbag is a woman’s survival piece.  It provides not only a sense of identity, safety and preparation for stepping out whether it be for shopping, work or social pleasures but it’s all about having what we need, it is our mobile safety blanket and vital to the multiple roles we undertake as women.  Who in their right mind would leave the house without one?

I cannot remember the last time I did not have a handbag!  From a young child with that sparkly garish number through to adolescent trying to impress my friends with that designer bag that everyone wanted, and no one could afford right through to the present day.  Now a grown woman with an established collection of handbags, more than I need, but are not willing to give up, I stop and ponder to what I carry around and how it may have changed over the years. 

Every single handbag has had or continues to have its importance in my life, it was purchased for a reason.  And what a variety are on offer to choose from; shoulder, sling, bucket, satchel, cross body, quilted, clutch, hobo, wristlet, beach, tote, weekender, backpack, and the list goes on.  No wonder I have so many as each one is different and has its different uses.

Personally, I do remember my first ever handbag and everyone since, as to me a handbag is part of me, it is not just an accessory, it is not just mobile storage, it is so much more! It is part of me and represents how I feel at that time in terms of its shape, colour, capacity, and practicality. 

From wanting to purchase the latest design when my focus was on my climbing career which seem to go from tote to bucket quite quickly to accommodate the amount of work and faithful laptop I would carry from place to place and outside of work the main criteria was to match my latest outfit.  When my children were young there were various bags I would prepare and venture out with – this was probably the biggest bag lady part of my life and you would think with so many bags it would be difficult to track down where things had been stored – but no and al the women now in this situation will agree – it is like a military operation, you prepare and pack with precision!

Over the years I have had to seriously downsize my handbags, as the problem for me and yes I will admit to it; the bigger the bag, the more I will fill it to the detriment of certain body parts and I displayed a certain level of deafness when my shoulder and back in conjunction would often scream enough at me!  Plus, I do now believe that a cluttered mind equals a cluttered handbag which is so reflective in the contents we carry and the weird and at times unnecessary assortment we tend to lug around.  

I have learnt over the years that is it healthy, not just to avoid the potential strain on your back or the reaction of others when they politely offer to carry your bag and then instantly regret it accusing you in weak humour of having the kitchen sink in it or at the very least bricks –Why?  What the dickens?  Potential deviation recognised in relation to bricks ,but will avoid to continue to emphasis the need for a regular handbag audit and clear out, otherwise we women just keep on adding until it gets to the point where you cannot find a thing and look like a crazy person as you have to dive into the unknown, the now unorganised layers and pockets whilst becoming increasingly frustrated and hot and sweaty.  It is not a nice sight and not good for blood pressure!

When searching for a new bag it is an absolute must for it to have an array of different compartments, different sizes, pockets, zips, security, whilst always allowing easy access. Zips should be tried, and buttons popped and un-popped before purchase or if online within the first 24 hours on its receipt.  I like to surf the net to see what is available until I get that wonderful feeling and connection that my life will simply be empty without this accessory being in my life. 

I feel that the contents of one’s bag very much symbolise where they are at in their life. From market stalls to mainstream retailer to designer – what does the content of one’s handbag consist of and why?  At any age I do believe that women always feel the need to be prepared so when we fill our bags its always the ‘what if’ mentality we tend to use.  You never know what situation you will be in and what you will need.

Women have been carrying containers filled with necessities since before the Palaeolithic era. But the contents of a woman’s bag change dramatically as she moves through life. What a woman carries can reveal much about the multiple roles she plays and provides a worthy explanation to why we feel incomplete without one.

As the years go on evidence shows our need connected to maintaining our health outweighs the maintenance of our appearance and beauty.  So, the number of beauty products is exchanged with vitamins, herbal tea bags and stress balls and we become more concerned with functionality than designer labels.

So, what is in my handbag at the moment and what does it symbolise or tell a complete stranger about who I am?

Here goes.

  • Purse – nothing unusual there – although apart from an array of plastic its empty and why because I got a snazzy designer Card Holder which I keep in my pocket which contains driving licence and main money card
  • Lip liner, lipstick, blusher, foundation stick for dark shadows, foundation stick with witch hazel for unwanted blemishes. All kept within certain sections of handbag for easy access.
  • Rescue Remedy – just in case – used mainly for long motorway journeys
  • Breath Freshener spray
  • Receipts
  • Expired Lottery tickets for free lucky dips I keep forgetting to swap in
  • Keys
  • ID badge for work
  • Phone x 2 – I personal which I never answer or use and 1 work in constant use
  • Assortment of pens
  • Dinky bottle of hand sanitizer
  • Packet of hand wipes
  • Disposable face masks

From the above I would say safe and reflective of our strange Covid times, with a dash of excitement with the lottery ticket!

If I got the winning ticket just think of all the handbags one could buy!

Happy Handbag Day!

Life is short ....

Buy the bag! #NationalHandbagDay

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