A Woman’s Purse, the Final Frontier

May 24, 2022 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Kim Stokely –

Everyone knows a woman’s purse is a black hole in which a myriad of objects can be lost or found. If she carries a big purse, it can weigh up to thirty pounds and carry the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. A woman who carries a small purse may fool others, but I know she’s mastered the game of Tetris and is probably carrying the same amount of stuff, just packed more economically.

Young mothers often use their purses as supplemental diaper bags. Diapers, wipes, plastic containers of Cheerios and teething rings are often stuffed next to wallets and key chains. I know women who are prepared to survive in the wild for months. Swiss Army knives, water bottles, first aid kits and granola bars; not to mention GPS devices, flares and a box of matches somehow find the room to coexist amid mundane checkbooks and pens in their handbags.

I often feel like I’m reenacting a scene from Mary Poppins when I decide to tackle cleaning out my purse. I may not have a lamp stand like the practically perfect nanny, but I’ve found some mighty strange objects of my own.

This morning, as I waded through the inevitable sea of receipts filling the bottom of my purse, I found a carrot cake muffin. Fortunately, it was still in the take-out bag I’d stuffed it in after lunch with a friend last week. Unfortunately, I could have sent it to the NHL to use as a puck in their next game. I guess I should be thankful it hadn’t exploded into tiny carrot cake pieces of sand. That could have been a real disaster.

Every time I discover something like this I promise to do better next time. I won’t horde receipts as if I want to someday create the world’s largest paper mache′ piñata. I won’t let unwrapped cough drops melt to the bottom of the bag until I have to use a chisel to remove them.

I need to periodically take a look at my soul as well to see what kind of garbage I’m carrying. Sometimes I think, because I’m not bowing under the weight of some major sin, everything must be going okay. But it just isn’t so. I often let stuff creep into my life that I need to remove- old habits, negative thoughts, judgmental attitudes and other “small” sins can clutter up my spiritual life so that I can’t find what I need; God’s grace and His mercy.

Psalm 139: 23-24 says, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way of everlasting”(NIV). As much as I might hate the process, I know it’s the best for me. After all, I’d rather be filled with God’s blessings than a stale carrot cake muffin any day!

About Kim Stokely

Kim Stokely has toured throughout the country in a one-person musical about women in the Bible. She lives in Nebraska with her husband and a variety of creatures including: two teenagers, two dogs, a parakeet and a legless lizard. Her stories have been printed in Chicken Soup for the Soul, Vista, and Writers’ Journal and she invites you to visit her website @ www.kimstokely.com to read her award winning short story, Bingo.
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6 Responses to “A Woman’s Purse, the Final Frontier”
  1. Julie S says:

    Always love your honesty, Kim. I cleaned out my purse just last week and found all sorts of things, including a piece of gum that had come out of its wrapper and had adhered itself to several things in the bottom of my purse. Ugh!

    • Kim says:

      Thanks for reading, Julie! That muffin I found was from one of our lunches at the Summer Kitchen. Hope you got the gum off your things!

  2. Dawn Wilson says:

    Love this. Reminded me of a wedding shower I attended. We had a scavenger hunt in the women’s purses, and I was amazed to see what some women carry in their bag.

    But I especially loved your application – checking to see what kind of “garbage” we might be lugging around.

    • Kim says:

      It was during one of those shower games I discovered I wasn’t the only one carrying around a small supermarket in my purse! Thanks for your kind words.

  3. Sherry says:

    Love this, Kim. A great reminder not only to clean out my soul but to get rid of some negativity!

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