Saturday, May 19, 2007

But she can't find her keys...

Contents of my purse age 8:
pennies for bubble gum
a dime for the mechanical horse at the bowling alley
bubble gum
pretty rocks

Contents of my purse age 14:wallet with 50 cents for school lunch
lip gloss

Contents of my purse age 25:wallet and all it contains including
change for laundromat
driver's license
pictures of my baby(ies)
grocery list
burp rag for baby
diaper and plastic pants
diaper pins
change of clothes for baby
plastic bag with damp washcloth for baby
plastic bags for poopy diapers
receiving blanket for
breastfeeding in public
changing baby where no changing tables exist
for sticking in car window to keep sun off baby
in case baby gets cold
hat for baby
bootees for baby
sweater for baby
lotion for baby
lotion for me
bottle of juice
package of teething crackers
container of cheerios
paperback book
camera in case baby does something cute
crochet hook and yarn
small scissors
and at the bottom : my keys

Contents of my purse age 40:ditto above with these changes-
diapers are now disposable (but still use cloth at home)
no laundromat change as have own washer and dryer
add baby wipes
sunblock for me
sunblock for baby
toys my kids don't want to carry
pretty stones my kids find
water bottle for me
juice boxes for kids
snack packages for kids
and at the bottom of the purse - my keys

Contents of my purse age 52:wallet and all it contains including
driver's license
a wad of cash to pay for gasoline
pictures of my grandbaby
list of social security card numbers for everyone in my family
credit cards
health insurance card
auto insurance card

cell phone
cell phone instruction book
water bottle
lip gloss
another lip gloss ('cause I couldn't find the first one)
eye drops
hand lotion
another hand lotion ('cause I couldn't find the first one)
change of socks (?)
notebook (s) to write lists, to keep me organized
half a dozen pens, never found when I need them
change purse with 89 pennies
$5.67 in loose change
$4 in loose dollar bills
earrings (3) (not 3 pairs, just 3) (I don't have 3 ears, I have 2 ears)
tickets from theater
report cards and papers from parent teacher conferences
appointment cards
calendar (not filled out) (because can never find pens)
film that needs to be developed (from 3 Christmases ago)
packets of photographs (need to send copies to relatives and put some in albums)
checks I'm supposed to deposit
bills I'm supposed to pay
thin maxi pads (because I still get annoyed by an occasional period)
pretty stones my daughter finds
toys my daughter wants me to carry for her
rag doll I am mending for grandchild
embroidery floss
embroidery needles
Computer discs
Music CDs
Photo CDs
DVDs (to take back to the movie rental place)
library books
books on tape or CD
letters I need to respond to
To do list(s)
Grocery list(s)
band aids
an apple
beef jerky
training collar
dog biscuits
plastic bag for dog poop
plastic vial containing dog poop sample for vet (forgot to give it to him) the very keys.

What's in your purse?

Friday, May 18, 2007



Doesn't it strike you as odd that these particularly womanly events all start with the word "men"?
Shouldn't they be womenses, womenstruation and womenopause?

And then there's "hymen".
It's like a bad joke - the thin membrane of our innocence saying, "Hi, men!"

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Someone cares

On Monday I witnessed a sweet exchange between two women friends and wished I had a friendship like that.

On Tuesday I bumped into a friend from a church I used to attend. When I told her I was
planning to return, she smiled so tenderly and pressed her soft hands against my cheeks.

I walk away amazed and humbled and nearly in tears. Who is listening to my quiet thoughts,
who feels my loneliness?

There is more to this story - this is the same lady who criticized the clothes I wore to church.
( "A Sense of Style")

I feel so strongly the arms of God embracing me.

Monday, May 14, 2007


I was walking through my neighborhood and noticed a couple of women talking in a front yard. One woman reached over and framed her friend's face with her hands, then kissed her on both cheeks.

I had to turn away, I felt shy and happy and sad at the same time.
I wish I had a good friend like that.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

A sense of style

I've never figured out fashion. Someone once told me that she admired my sense of style - and I just stared at her. Sense of style? My sense of style consists of wearing what is clean and doesn't need ironing, and if I'm lucky, is appropriate for both the occasion and the weather.

I envy women who actually do have a sense of style - I see women about my age still wearing the flowing fashions of our youth - the flowing hair, flowing skirts, flowing sleeves, flowing earrings - and I feel a pang of loss. I gave up fashion for comfort and convenience long ago.

And there are women who dress so smartly - the linen suits, the heels, the accessories, the perfect haircut and make up. I can't figure out how to dress like that. At age 52 I still haven't figured out how to apply makeup or comb my hair properly. I can't walk in high hells (not a typo). And linen? Are you kidding? The first thing I'd do to linen is spill my coffee on it.

There are times I do get out of my tee shirts and blue jeans. I have days in which I crave being soft & feminine - my own style of feminity is a loose dress and bare feet - those are days I feel "like a natural woman". I cook and sweep and garden and speak sweetly to my family and pets. And days I claim my feminine power - black jeans and crisp blouse or black sweater, black boots and gold hoop earrings, just a swipe of lipstick, maybe some mascara. Somehow that combination makes me feel smart, no-nonsense, in control and sexy. Makes me want to go hop on my hog and ride like the wind to the courthouse and file some papers. I have no idea why, I don't own a motorcycle, I'm not a lawyer. I guess it's just the desire to feel confident and strong, qualities I rarely possess.

I used to think I had to settle on a certain style - either I had to be true to my counterculture youth, or I had to grow up and dress like a lady, or a mother, or a churchgoer. I once had a church lady say very firmly to me, "You have to wear better clothes to church." My response, a definite "uh, ummm, uh." I was concerned about fitting in, about what other people thought of me (the world as horrified mother: "Brenda! You're not wearing that, are you??!!"). Yeah, I know, I'm a late bloomer in self-realization : it's taken me this long to figure out I can wear what I want to. And if other people don't like it, well, that's too damn bad.