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May 31, 2007

Can a purse be TOO BIG?

I had to go see my doctor for some chemical help with my airplane-flying problems. I am not going to even try lying to you, I am a scared mess on airplanes. That and I also needed some valium to deal with my NEWLY BALD HEAD, since Aharon cut all my hair off and I about died and in fact cried. Heavily. Ya'll my hair has not been this short since I was fourteen freaking years old. So, if you see me tomorrow or Saturday and say hey, please do not mention my hair, or rather lack thereof. Please pretend I look normal. I am already having a drink in my mind just thinking about it all.

So anyway, I needed to see Dr. Curt because I believe in better living through chemistry and also, I needed him to check out my left arm because I have a tumor.

"Hey Dr. Curt, also can you look at my arm tumor?"

He pretends I am such a pain in the butt but I know he loves me. I am always and forever showing up with inneresting stuff. Such as the time I had dry skin and thought it was scabies. Or the time I was sure I had a melanoma and it turned out to be a pimple. I am often told to stop looking up weird shit on Web MD but I can't help it. The internet is just so useful for diagnosing things!

"You have an arm tumor?" he asked. "You just spent twenty minutes talking about germs on airplanes but an arm tumor is just a 'hey by the way' issue?"

"Well, germs are just gross, horrible things, all that germiness! I can't think of it! But if I have a tumor, you see, I figure that it's not all that bad because I get to start smoking again," I said. "That is my Power of Positive Thinking in action!" hee.

Who says I have not grown and evolved as a human?

"Ok, let me see the alleged tumor," he said. I pulled up my left shirtsleeve so he could see the odd lumpy upper arm.

"Is it fatal?" I asked.

"It's not fatal," he sighed. "It's called a muscle."

"But I don't have any muscles," I assured him. "There must be some mistake."

"When you lose weight the thick layer of fat covering your muscles diminishes and so you start to see the definition of the muscle tissue beneath," he explained.

"Um, did you just say thick layer of fat? Because eeeeeew."

"You aren't dying," he told me. "Once again."

"But why would I have a muscle only on one arm?" I asked. "The other arm is just as flabby and disgusting as ever."

"Well," he said. "Are you left-handed?"


"Do you carry anything heavy on that arm?"


He looked around the small room and his eyes came to rest on the chair in the corner, where my giant handbag was oozing.

"How much does your purse weigh?" he asked. And before long, I kid you not, we were measuring my handbag and getting it on the scale and weighing the beast and ya'll I am not one to be sizist or to advocate dieting at all but let me assure you my handbag needs Weight Watchers ASAP.

"It weighs fourteen point two pounds," said Dr. Curt.

"That is just sad," I said. Sighed.

"Well, now we know where your mysterious bodybuilding is coming from," he said. I do believe he snickered a little.

It hasn't always been this way. When I was younger I used my pockets for my lipstick and change. Later, in college, I had one of those ID things where you keep money too, and then I still put my lipstick in my pocket. You know why? MY FACE WAS PERKIER BACK THEN. OK? I did not need the concealer, pressed powder, mascara and lip-plumping gloss of today.

When I started working at real jobs, I got a real pocketbook. Lipstick, compact, car keys, wallet, gum.

When I moved to L.A. it stayed the same until my germ issues intensified. All the above + handy wipes and Kleenex. No woman should be without Kleenex.

Then cellphones came along, and you had a cellular telephone the size of a shoe inside your pocketbook. Plus a charger and car charger and OH MY GOD, I AM SO COOL I HAVE A SHOE PHONE. I remember calling my friend Stefanie back home in Murfreesboro and saying, "Stef! I am talking to you from my CAR! Can you believe it! Can you hear me?"

Yes, I did that. Moving on.

Then I guess I graduated to real purses. I got a husband and funny how it worked out that I was always carrying his stuff around, too. Sunglasses, wallet, cellphone. Hi! Luggage for two!

Then I got divorced and I was in sweatpants on backwards and do not remember how I got to the liquor store and back, but I can only assume I carried my money in a ziploc baggie. (True, sadly.)

Then I had a moment of "I SHOULD BUY THAT EXPENSIVE THING I CANNOT AFFORD BECAUSE I AM SPURNED." I bought it, and it was a very lovely handbag. I bought a wallet for it, and a sunglasses case and an emery board.

Now, after all this time, I carry this MONSTER:


It is huge and I have officially turned into my mom. Hi. I have your handbag. And 49 emery boards, two travel-size packages of Kleenex, eleventy-seven pieces of paper, a notebook, eighty-two business cards, four packs of gum, and probably the grave of Al Capone.

Only other giant handbag girls will understand this, this need I have to carry around a mini-life in a handbag. It is like I am naked and unprepared for life without all this junk. For those of you who still carry your chapstick and (one) key in a jeans pocket, I heart you. But this is not for you today. No, this is for all the other women who are hobbling hunchbacked through the streets shouldering 25 pounds of greatness. And I'm curious... did you also feel like you had turned into your mother when you succumbed to the big handbag? And do you also secretly get a huge feeling of smug pleasure each time someone asks you, "Do you have a so-and-so...." and you dig around in your handbag of hugeness and sure enough, YOU HAVE IT IN YOUR BAG? I always feel just like I have made cold fusion or something anytime that happens.

Will I be hunched over and shorter on the left side by two inches because of my eight-hundred-pound handbag? Perhaps.

BUT I HAVE A KLEENEX DAMMIT. And an emery board. And a half-knitted hat. And the five-volume biography of Henry James. And anti-bacterial wipes, spray and gel AND THE KITCHEN SINK.

Oh, and let us not forget my new chemical enhancement for getting through an airplane ride, enduring a scary haircut and also perhaps it will numb the pain in my left arm, where apparently I am building something called a "muscle" as we speak.

Posted by laurie at May 31, 2007 4:36 AM