MANDY FLYNN: Purses! Foiled again!

FEATURES COLUMN: Got my purse, now where are those darn reading glasses?

Mandy Flynn

Mandy Flynn

I considered it a perfectly logical question.

“Should I take my small purse or my big purse?” I asked, standing at the open doorway to the den where sat my teenage daughter and much more than teenage husband the night before we embarked upon a week-long trip by car northward from Albany to Milledgeville to Athens to Clinton to D.C. and back again. It was an important decision. Big purse or small purse?

They looked at each other, the male one being the first to break the silence.

“I don’t know, should I take small socks or big socks? My small wallet or my big wallet?”

Sometimes I don’t like him very much.

Clearly they have forgotten the countless trips we have been on before when I inevitably became the keeper of all things no one else wanted to carry – game programs, ticket stubs, water bottles, gum, souvenirs, half-eaten snacks saved for later, tissue, sunglasses … the list goes on. As if I don’t have a problem keeping my purse clutter-free already, adding everyone else’s tid bits makes it even more like Mary Poppins’ bag.

Considering we were going on such a long journey, I decided on the bigger one. Who needed their help? I knew what I had to do. Band-Aids. Hand sanitizer. Kleenex. Glasses. Three pairs, because I’ve been known to lose a pair in the few miles between my house and work. God only knows what I’d do traveling through whole ‘nother states.

I’d lost one pair by the time we left Athens.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

“I guess y’all notice I bought my big purse,” I said as I settled into the passenger seat, my brown leather, two-handled bag firmly in my lap. I gave it a pat and settled it in the floor board. My husband looked over at it, then at me. “Thank goodness,” he said. “I worried about that all night.”

Sometimes I don’t like him very much.

We made it through the first day, landing in Athens for the night. Sharing a hotel room with our 16-year-old daughter was a joy. Sleeping in a double bed with my beloved after being used to a king-sized bed for 12 years was not as joyful. I love him, but I found that even the most devoted love of 23-plus years can be tested at 3 a.m. when he has stolen every stitch of covers and is butt pushing me off the side of the bed. I looked over at the other bed in hopes of crawling in with our daughter, only to find her consuming every inch of it with outstretched arms and legs. Forced to fend for myself, I reclaimed my portion of the covers and, okay, maybe not so gingerly pushed his hindquarters over to the other side of the bed. Then, as he was waking up, I pretended to be asleep so he wouldn’t feel bad about hogging the bed.

It’s the least I could do.

The next day when he asked how I had slept, I couldn’t lie. “Not great,” I said, and he admitted he’d had trouble, too. It’s hard getting used to a smaller bed. Maybe by the end of the trip we’d be used to it.

“Or maybe you could just sleep on your big purse,” he said.

Sometimes I don’t like him very much. I love him, always. But sometimes …

Go ahead, make fun of my big purse. One day you’re going to need Kleenex or glue or a safety pin or a screwdriver or hand sanitizer or a spiral-bound notebook or a hairbrush or gum or a Q-Tip and then you’ll thank me. One day.

Just don’t ask to borrow a pair of my reading glasses because I lost another pair before we left South Carolina. That darn big purse. I can’t find a thing.

Email columnist mandy Flynn at flyn1862@bellsouth.net.