Just In Case

If you hold my purse in your hands, you will see and feel that it is in perfect condition.

The smooth, buttery, soft leather has softened over time.  The gleaming, silver-plated hardware, still pristine.

It’s a black Coach purse that Craig bought me for Christmas six years ago now.  (I have others that I’ve collected over the years, always Coach, that are like new as well, several black, two camel.)

My purse is versatile and practical.

I use the special Coach leather cleaner and conditioner regularly and I treat it ever so gently.

Inside, you will find a Coach wallet (I’m nothing if not loyal), also from Craig, a birthday gift from before we were  even married.  It, too, is like new.

They are classic pieces and have stood the test of time. I have faithfully cared for them and they have stayed lovely.

I would like to say that as a child I had always dreamed of owning a Coach purse, but if I’m honest, I have to say that I knew nothing about them.  Such luxuries weren’t a part of my mother’s world, and as such, they were not a part of mine.

When you grow up with so little, I suspect that nice things carry different meaning.  When you grow up dreaming of living a life that simply allows you enough money to pay the bills, with just a little left over for emergencies, you don’t dream of purses.

Inside my purse is a strange mix of who I was raised to be and the woman I am today.

A silver-plated compact mirror engraved with my name, protected by an ebony velvet drawstring case, a treasured gift from my mother.

Three of Katie’s hair clippies, some stray Cheerios, two small Band-Aids. Leftover restaurant crayons, red, blue, green.

Orange tic tacs.

A Starbucks receipt for a venti black coffee, no sweetener, no cream and a kid’s vanilla steamer, 100 degrees, no sweetener, no whipped cream.

My Tiffany keychain, engraved with my new name, Mom, gifted to me from Craig when Katie was born.  It is scratched and worn, but also strong and beautiful.

And two tubes of Aveeno lip balm, just in case.

Always. Just in case.

This post in response to a prompt by The Red Dress Club and is an exerpt from my work-in-progress.


  1. Booyah's Momma chipandbobo.com

    I love your writing. Really looking forward to reading more of this. Good stuff, indeed.

  2. First I read "organic tic tacs."

    And was so gonna give you crap. ;)

  3. SkyWaitress skywaitress.com

    Love this. I know exactly what you mean about dreaming about having enough to pay the bills with a little left over. Expensive purses were never on my want list. At this point they still aren't. Maybe someday.

  4. ~*Jess*~ straighttalkjess.com

    What a lovely post! It is great!

  5. Sweet Post… i can understand how much that purse means to you… i enjoyed this post…

  6. Lydia squidmom.com

    Love how your words flow, and your purse and what is in it tell me you are one classy lady and also a mom. It says that you value things.

  7. Cheryl @ Mommypants mommypants.com

    Lovely as always. Glad you published it. xo

  8. CDG

    Classic, classy… Prepared and beautifully self aware. You are a treasure!

  9. mayangelstar

    Your appreciation and care for the special things and people in your life formed by your past and present really shines through.

  10. Elizabeth Flora Ross efloraross.com

    Best line in the whole piece, "Inside my purse is a strange mix of who I was raised to be and the woman I am today." I love that. I do not remember what it is like to carry a purse, though. Still in the diaper bag stage. ;)

  11. I smiled at the cheerios in the purse. No matter how well you care for it, no mom's purse escapes unscathed without some remnant scraps of their child's snack. Beautifully worded. I love reading your entries.

    I would really appreciate your thoughts on mine.

  12. this post is wonderful because it truly shines with who you are.

  13. A beautiful post. Love your perspective on life.

  14. Sherri oldtweener.blogspot.com/

    I could read and read your writing all day. But I would need tissues, because if I'm not sniffling because of something touching I'm sniffling because of something sweet! I love the image of the scratched key chain reading "mom", the mirror in the soft bag, and the love with which you cherish your Coach bags from your loving hubs.

    This is great.

  15. pam trooppetrie.blogspot.com

    one day I will own a coach purse, one day. I wonder if I can convince my husband one day. we could easily spend $150 on a fishing pole but never on a purse

  16. Your posts always make me tear up. I love your descriptions, it's like I can feel the things in your purse. Like I'm pulling them out myself. I love the last line. Beautiful.

  17. ksluiter

    I really like this. it's very simple, but it is very reflective of how your past and your current life have come together to make you who you are.

    i am a little bit jealous of the coach purses and the tiffany key chain. I have one small coach wristlet that i guard with my life.

  18. C.Mom lacaramamma.com

    Love the way the Orange tic tacs have their very own place in the writing. Also- the worn but strong and beautiful key chain is such a perfect description of motherhood! Love it!

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