| All my life I have been searching for the perfect purse. I have a serious dislike of purses generally and hate carrying them, so having a purse I can tolerate has always been an issue. I have attempted over the years to get away with not carrying one at all, mostly without success, and I have developed some very rigid requirements of a purse from which I will not deviate.
Years ago I gave up entirely on any purse that goes over my arm. Carrying a purse on one's arm is absolutely ridiculous, as far as I'm concerned. To me it's like being manacled or having some kind of dreadful prosthesis that makes it impossible to function well. There are some purses that go over the arm and supposedly, also over the shoulder but I'm a tiny person and I always feel like I have a barrel strapped under my arm when I carry one like that. I have had numerous over the shoulder purses, which, in theory, ought to be both comfortable and convenient, but I can't carry one without feeling like I have a saddle bag hanging off of me and a shoulder purse always seems to bump into things and be annoying. Evening bags, which are invariably clutch bags, are totally out of the question. Every time I have carried an evening bag I have found myself wanting nothing more than to put it down somewhere and get rid of it since it makes one of my hands utterly useless.
The problem with purses is that they can't help but end up as catch-alls for all manner of ridiculous garbage. I have emptied purses and found things in them that I was convinced I had lost or misplaced years before. My purses end up with change all over the bottom and if the purse should happen to get a small rip in the lining, I end up with a ton of coins in the bottom, heavy but totally inaccessible. I also somehow end up carrying around enough ink pens to provide writing implements for an entire school classroom. I must think that I don't have one so I keep throwing another into my purse and can rarely find them again when I need them. Hence, another one gets tossed in with the others. When cleaning out purses I have found numerous pointless receipts, countless tubes of lipstick I never wear, enough cough drops to take care of a respiratory plague, piles of earrings I removed because they were uncomfortable or got caught in my clothes, cheap watches with rundown batteries I never replaced, enough chapstick to take care of every Bedouin in the Sahara, mountains of notes I wrote to myself to remember things that I probably forgot because I couldn't find the notes again, candy, breath mints, combs, brushes, hair pins and ornaments, and all kinds of strange bits of flotsam and junk. I don't know about anyone else, but my purse starts out as a perfectly nice piece of small luggage and ends up a black hole of death where things disappear into another dimension forever. It wouldn't surprise me if someday I found the lost Arc of the Covenant or the City of Atlantis in the bottom of my purse. My purse is a lot like Dr Who's spaceship, the Tardis; small on the outside, huge on the inside, and in defiance of every physical law in the universe.
In my life, my purses have always started out as my friend and ended up as my nemesis. My relationship with my purses definitely qualifies as the love/hate variety and probably require some kind of therapeutic intervention by a qualified mental health professional. After years of searching and endless disappointment, I finally hit upon a kind of purse that made sense to me a backpack purse. A backpack purse is a fabulous innovation for someone like me; I can carry it on my back, which is my first choice of how to carry anything, and it leaves my hands and arms totally free. Having the purse on my back helps a lot because as the purse gets heavier and heavier over time, (it gains weight like a glutton at a pie eating contest), the weight is distributed in a way that keeps me from tilting like the tower of Pisa. I have been so pleased with my backpack purse that we have managed to develop a much healthier relationship than I have ever previously shared with my luggage and I almost never call it ugly names or throw it in a corner in disgust. Sadly, tragedy has struck and my backpack purse has succumbed to ravages of age and I find that I must replace it. Equally sadly, I am finding that rather difficult to achieve and my search for another perfect backpack purse has left me frustrated and feeling hopeless. I don't want anything too big like a regular backpack and I definitely don't want anything with butterflies, My Little Ponies, or Justin Beiber on it. I am having the devil of a time finding what I want and I despair for my purse-carrying future. Was this a one shot deal? Am I destined to only fall in love with only one purse and never find another to share my life? Will I be forced to settle for a shoulder bag I can never love? Could nature be so cruel? Perhaps I will just have to be satisfied with knowing that it is better to have had luggage-love and lost, than never to have loved at all.