Why Is THIS In My Purse via In the Powder Room

Why Is THIS In My Purse?

I bought my purse on a hot day in Japan on my honeymoon seven years ago. It is purple and one of the pockets is held together with a safety pin. I obviously love it a lot but every single day I shove my hand in it for something I need and pull out 47 things I do not.

This is a fun game I like to call “Why is this in my purse?”

  • Grocery store receipts even though in 20 years of food purchasing I have never once taken an item back—even that expired yogurt I was outraged about and then ate to spite the world.
  • 13 lip glosses that have 16 hairs and crumbs affixed to their spouts, rendering them both useless and disgusting.
  • One earring.
  • Movie stubs, like I have a scrapbook I’m going to Washi tape them into. (I don’t.)
  • Notebooks that I use to jot down ideas for writing that are completely blank.
  • Gum packages that have no gum left.

The other fun game inspired by this black hole of nonsense is “Why isn’t this in my purse?”

Tampons. I have been bleeding regularly for 20 plus years and yet every month when I ruin another pair of cute underwear, there is no rescue to be found in my purse. The tampons you buy from bathroom vending machines are made out of repurposed Ikea chipboard furniture so they are never to be inserted. A temporary fix of a wad of toilet paper followed by a whispered plea to a co-worker usually works.

Floss. Because inevitably my first bite into a delicious crunchy apple rams a sliver of apple skin so high and hard into my gums it feels like it’s millimeters from my brain.

Wet wipes. Because—kids. They create and collect stickiness. Without a vessel to collect it, it becomes smeared all over my new favourite sweater and me. Every time.

A pen. Preferably one that doesn’t cut out in the middle of me messily jotting down an amazing idea I have. I still lick the end in an attempt to get more ink. Is that even a solution with modern pens, or am I just very, very old and slowly poisoning myself with ink?

Motrin. The best headaches come on in an important meeting, like a tidal wave, and then eat your brains when you need them the most. If you ever see me frantically massaging my thumb pad know that I read once this would help. (Spoiler alert—it does not.)

I realize the best way for me to get organized with this Mary Poppins-style satchel situation is to simply trade it in for one of those powerful Lady Mom purses: musky with leather, laden with powerful zippers and capable of neatly holding all the high-quality accessories I need to feel like a responsible adult.

In the meantime though, I’ll swing my purse over my shoulder and offer you a piece of gum that I do not have. I do have the receipt for it, if that helps.

This original piece by Brooke Takhar was written exclusively for In the Powder Rooma division of Hold My Purse Productions, LLC. 

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Brooke Takhar is a Vancouver-based mama to one goon and busy body to all. She loves the Internet, glittery nail polish, over-sharing and teaching her kid outdated dance moves. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter @MissTeenUSSR.

Keep the conversation going...



  1. says

    DON’T DO IT. Don’t trade in your purse. Because then you will be able to carry even more junk like flashlights, dog poop bags, Happy Meal toys, and kids’ homework. Not that I know from experience…

  2. says

    I have a Walkman from c.1984. There IS a reason–I’m transcribing tapes my grandmother made in 1997 about her life, but it’s still not the sort of thing that one normally totes about in their handbag. I am on the other end of the spectrum from you–I have everything one could need to survive for a week in the wilderness (or two hours with a kid–whichever). Hand sanitizer, tissues, these magical strips I steal (*ahem* I meant, “obtain”) from my company’s medical supply cabinet that can actually heal a blister, a nail clipper and a nail file, and travel packet of Wet Ones. My purse is roughly the size of a rolling suitcase, and weighs more than a newborn child. But I can certainly loan you a pen. Four, actually.

  3. says

    ha ha! these are great. I am proud to say that I do carry an itsy bitsy umbrella in my purse. On the flip side, it doesn’t work… maybe I’ll take it out/replace it one day….(is what I have been saying for about 3 months…

  4. says

    Ha! I so relate! I’ll be out of the house in desperate need of something and infuriated I don’t have it in my purse and COMMITTED to putting said item IN the purse as SOON as I return home.

    And then I return home and completely forget all about it.

    Until the NEXT time I’m out of the house and then…oh you see where this is going!

    (PS Love that you have a receipt for the gum you no longer have! Ha!)

  5. says

    You are my purse twin. My favorite oddity in my purse is a tiny ape. Have no idea where I got it as none of the thousands of receipts I have in there reference it!

  6. says

    Oh my gosh, YES! Yes to all of the gross lipgloss and grocery receipts. Twice this past month I have found single socks in my purse, without partners. Single socks. I’m so glad it isn’t just me.

  7. says

    Yes! Of course everything BUT what I need finds its way into my purse. Plenty receipts, but never the one I need. Endless sticks of gum, if I don’t mind it crumbled in a billion pieces covered in food crumbs and hair. What I never have, but always need… tampons!! And what’s the alternative the horrid cardboard ones they have in the bathroom…YIKES!!

  8. says

    I cannot tell you how much I love this! My toddler found my old pre-baby/toddler purse in the coat closet this past weekend and started pulling out 1,000 recipes, some of which were 4 years old. There were two empty Tums containers, likely from when I was pregnant with her. As she pulled out wades of receipts, grocery lists, and lollipop wrappers (??!), I gathered everything up to throw away. I was about to toss everything when I realized there was a $5 bill in the mix! That was probably the only useful thing in that purse, along with a transit card for a city in which I no longer live.

  9. says

    I like to believe that I have everything I need but I just can’t find it at the bottom of my purse, which is basically a deep, pouchless sack full of garbage and what seems to be pencil shavings, although to the best of my knowledge no one has ever sharpened a pencil directly into my purse. That’s why, if I stick my hand in there to look for something, I’m basically just committing to groping around elbow-deep in my purse for 20 minutes because “I just know it’s in here somewhere.”

  10. says

    I just had this discussion with my husband and a couple of male friends who all gloated about not having to cart around a purse full o’ shit like I have to. It’s gotten to the point where I’m carrying a messenger bag to hold all my shit these days. Guys have it easy. Except for those who dare to trod upon man purse/fanny pack territory of course.

  11. Kaly says

    My purse would be light as air if I dropped by a CoinStar machine, but then I would have to pick the hardened Altoids off the quarters (I still have those because they don’t work in meters).

  12. says

    If I didn’t keep random receipts in my purse, I’d never have a piece of paper at hand when I need to jot down someone’s phone number or make a new shopping list. Clearly, I’m an eco-warrior: I use old shopping receipts to make new shopping lists. BEAT THAT, vegans!

  13. says

    LOLed HARD at this: “The tampons you buy from bathroom vending machines are made out of repurposed Ikea chipboard furniture so they are never to be inserted.”

    I am such a bag lady and yet I *NEVER* have practical things that I need, either. Like how do I not carry a pen?! I ALWAYS NEED A PEN. At the bank, when I’m trying to sign the birthday card I bought for you at the last minute, etc.

    Never have hand lotion, either. And in this weather? I have disgusting cracked and bleeding hands that are in desperate need of moisturizing.

    But don’t worry: cause I have three pairs of sunglasses in here, cause that’s necessary.

  14. says

    Tampons. And Ibuprofen. I always forget those two things. Pens? Have them at all times. Notebooks? Same. But oh no, I’m usually without tampons and something to curb the damn miscellaneous headaches I get. And don’t even get me started on receipts. Most of mine come from either Chipotle, Panda Express or Total Wine & More.