Goodbye Clutch – Hello Tote, Preferably One with Wheels to Carry All My Essentials
Woman's dress, Europe, white cotton plain weave (muslin) with cutwork and cotton embroidery, c. 1830 Bonnet, Europe, straw with silk-ribbon trim, c. 1830 Bag (reticule), France, 1800-1825, silk plain weave with sequins and silk embroidery Pair of shoes, France, 1830-1840, silk satin and leather. Los Angeles County Museum of Art Library image
I have the greatest collection of cute clutch bags — sparkly ones festooned with sequins or rhinestones for festive evenings; leather ones in rainbow hues to match various outfits for outings to the movies, the grocery store, or a restaurant; and even a couple of little canvas ones for the beach. I just used to throw in a lipstick, a credit card, some tissues, and a couple of bucks, and I was set to go anywhere. Not any more.
These days, my list of necessities has expanded exponentially. No more cute clutches. I now need a roomy tote bag, preferably one with wheels, to carry all my essentials.
First, of course, comes the cell phone. Before, my only phone stayed at home, anchored to a wall. Today, God forbid I'm not available to the world at large 24/7. I also like to take my tablet with me in case I get an uncontrollable urge to surf the net or check out a restaurant review. I could do this on my phone, but the tiny buttons and tinier print make this all but impossible.
Hermes Birkin tote
Speaking of which, the essential eye wear I must now carry is very space-consuming. Sun glasses, reading glasses, distance glasses. I thought cataract surgery would eliminate all these problems. I thought wrong.
Then there are all the separate containers of pills to be taken at various times of the day — blood pressure meds (four different ones!), thyroid pills, probiotics, pain killers for the creaky knees and shoulders, and vitamin supplements to help prevent every possible malady, plus sleeping pills for overnight jaunts. (When did I develop insomnia?)
In addition, I can't forget Dramamine in case of car sickness, and Tums for the tummy, because I never know when acid indigestion will strike. Oh, and a roll of Lifesavers to cancel out the taste of the Tums. But at least I don’t need an Epi-pen or a sinus inhaler — yet. I do, however, need corn plasters and bunion supports, as well as panty liners (just in case).
I also now carry enough paperwork to choke the proverbial horse: A list of all the afore-mentioned medications, phone numbers of my emergency contacts (you never know — that's why they’re called "emergency" contacts), doctors' phone numbers, medical insurance information, and a copy of my living will (like I said, you never know). I should put all of this on my cell phone or tablet; but though I'm "with it" enough to own both (hey — that's very unusual for my age), I'm not comfortable enough to trust them. They're too new-fangled. I still need hard copies of everything.
But wait! There’s more! In case the corn plasters and bunion supports don't work, I like to have a pair of sneakers with me to insure that I’ll be able to walk at least from the car to my door at the end of the day.
Which reminds me of the final item — a collapsible cane, to keep me from doing so.
Yes, I'm afraid the day of the carefree clutch is over for me. I'm selling my collection next Saturday if you’re interested. Please ring the doorbell several times. My hearing isn't what it used to be.
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