Assignment: Turn out your handbag. Make an inventory of the items inside. Why do you carry them around? What is their significance or value in your life? Discuss.
Some of the things in my handbag:
- Black Moleskine ruled pocket notebook for jotting down random thoughts and quotes dropped by strangers, like the man of Indian heritage whom I overheard at the Rockwell Pancake House say, “They sprayed the restaurant with bullets…and it happened to be beside our favorite hangout”. This was just after the recent infamous Mumbai massacre.
- Vintage (‘70s) Sailor “21″ long-short fountain pen, inked with J. Herbin Cyclamen Rose. It is a cartridge fill, convenient and practical.
- Pink brocade wallet that holds US$1 bills collected from all the purses and handbags my mother has sent me through the years; she inserts them in the pockets as “lucky money” to attract more money. It works, in a way, but they attract Philippine pesos and not more US dollars. *Sigh*.
- Red FaceShop nail polish to touch up chips.
- Clinique sample size lipstick in “Blushing Nude”. It came in a box of freebies my sister Aileen sent from Dubai, and for which I thank her profusely, because in it there was also a bottle of eye makeup solvent which I needed for the velvet black Clinique mascara which also came in the box, along with samples of facial soap, Clarifying Lotion, Dramatically Different moisturizer, and a jar of Night Repairware that claims to minimize fine lines and crow’s-feet which I will use only when I’m old and wrinkly, which will be starting tonight.
- Two bars of Food for the Gods baked by my aunt, with plenty of dates and other dried fruit. Essentially “pocket fruitcake”.
- Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1 that my sister bought me the other day after I said I was looking for liquid lip balm in a tube because Chapstick wasn’t helping all that much anymore to moisturize my aging puckers, and, she said, so that I would have “at least one item of Kiehl’s” in my cosmetic bag. I also mentioned that I was looking for a car, maybe a compact with great mileage, power steering, and candy-apple red body paint, but she didn’t get me one that day although I don’t have one of those yet.
- One-gigabyte USB thumb drive with a swivel cap. Another freebie from my sister. It was a souvenir from the company she used to work for.
- A sample vial of Flower by Kenzo fragrance from my mom. She put it in one of the pockets of one of the handbags she sent for Christmas in a balikbayan box. You really have to look in all the pockets of stuff when you get things from my mom.
- A sachet of 3-in-1 coffee – Choco Fudge by Nestle. My favorite instant coffee with the powerful kick of robusta beans mixed with a hint – only a hint, mind you – of cocoa.
- A blue, gold, and glitter pearl handbag hook from one of my bosses, who bought it in Hong Kong. The enamel medallion is backed with rubber; you place that on the table surface at, say, a restaurant, allowing the hook to dangle down, from which you then hang your bag, obviating the need to carry your bag in your lap while you eat, which, from personal experience, is a good thing, because sometimes accidents happen like you spill your drink or drop a forkful of food in your lap, and you don’t want to get that gunk on your bag, but it’s okay if it falls in your lap because in theory there should be a napkin spread there.
- Cherry Chapstick. What can I say? I’m a loyalist. And it smells great. And it’s famous because it was mentioned in that song by Katy Perry, although as a bit of an old-fashioned person I don’t hold with the rest of the lyrics aside from the words “Cherry Chapstick”, “the”, “and”, “it” and “of”.