What's in Your Bag?


My current purse is on the small side — it’s far from being the bottomless pit other women seem to favor. So I try to keep it to the necessities:

Wallet, iPhone, sunglasses & case (though I really need a smaller case), Burt’s Bees (after the apocalypse, my will to survive would last about as long as the world’s supply of lip balm)

A pack of those oil-absorbing sheets that’s at least four years old and still over half full

Some pens, usually a small notebook, earbuds unless I left them on the bathroom counter again

Crumpled receipts I may or may not need to hang on to for tax purposes

A tin of breath mints (I’ve started favoring these over gum because they don’t get stale), a few hair ties

A couple tampons (those aren’t even for me so much as to have on hand for when another woman approaches me with that look)

A case that’s meant for carrying pills but I use it to tote around extra earrings and necklaces, one of those slick business card cases, hand lotion, and hand sanitizer

Currently there’s also a couple ticket stubs from Spring Training games and a loose Starbucks gift card that I’m pretty sure has been used up.

Oh, but what should I have in there? Or in my truck, which I really see as an extension of my purse?

I’ve started keeping an old yoga mat in my truck, along with an old beach bag with a towel, bikini, and spare flip flops.

As the Boy Scouts says, always be prepared.

For the record, there’s also a first aid kit with most of the components missing or expired.

And a road map book of California that’s nearly 15 years old, but I figure it’s better than nothing when our GPS and communications satellites go out.

I try to keep a few reusable grocery bags in there, too, but then I use them all at Trader Joe’s and forget to bring them back out.

What I’d like to add includes:

Running shoes. And extra socks, obviously.

My Undress would probably be useful. (Seriously, that thing is the greatest invention ever.)

A handful of tea bags and some honey packets. A couple mini-fridge bottles of wine and whiskey. A water bottle and maybe some sort of means of water purification.

Deodorant and sunscreen. Can’t risk getting stinky or sunburned.

Snacks. Preferably the kind that can’t go bad or melt. Plus dog food for Onyx, because she goes where I go.

A phone charger. Not necessarily so I have GPS and Yelp, but because my phone is my camera.

A legit journal, not just a notebook. There’s a difference.

A paperback or two.

Contact solution and a case, out of real, actual necessity.

And a hat.

All this go where?

A place where I can see the stars. Or one rich with the scent of pine trees. Preferably with a body of water nearby. Someplace full of single-track trails and summits and slot canyons.

A place that makes me feel small and vast at the same time. Somewhere that reminds me that some things are smaller than I think and others are bigger. Where I can feel disconnect and re-connect all at once. A place where I can yell and laugh and dance with joy and no one (save my husband and Onyx and whatever higher power is out there) can hear or see me. Someplace wild.

This is in response to a prompt from Death to Stock.