Friday, August 06, 2010

Of Mint Green Rain, Purse Shame, And Pretty Silver Chain

A few weeks ago, there was one of those annual art fairs on the square here in town. As we drove around looking for a place park in the old downtown (where street parking is difficult enough without having 6 blocks quarantined for the event), an event occurred which got me thinking...

It was a beautiful day -- with just enough wind to make standing in the sun on hot asphalt surrounded by a host of people pleasant. The wind was enjoying itself too. It grabbed a handful of those mint green ("Lauder green"?) Styrofoam packing peanuts (presumably from some vendor of artglass or pottery), and tossed them about, propelling about a dozen or so of them directly at a trio of women walking along the sidewalk, away from the street fair. One of the women responded by raising her arm, shielding her face as if she was being assaulted.

The effect of the unnaturally green foam things, so large and thick compared to any other sort of rain, aloft on a current of air was surreal, slow-mo; made all the more delightful by the deftly raised protective limb of a grimacing woman.

I wished I'd had a camera, to capture those few moments.

They were gone so fast, that even at our slow cruising speed, my husband missed the whole thing -- and, of course, even upon my description, he had no idea what I'd found so charming.

I then petulantly mumbled that I wished I had a camera. (Because then I'd at least have a photo -- or even video -- to show you, dear blog reader, and I know you'd appreciate it!)

He replied that I do; on my cell phone.

Ah, but you see, while that's true, my cell was buried in my purse. A handmade, crocheted shoulder back that I cherish for such outdoor events as I can sling it over my neck and around to the other shoulder, my arm over the top of it, making the purse neatly tucked away, easy to carry and secured.

There, inside, under the buttoned over-sized button flap, my cell sits, up against my check book (because you know its every wife's duty to carry that for the couple), complete with pen and ID. Beneath it, the odd pieces of change, a tube of lipstick, a few bandages tucked into a small pack of tissues, a pack of sugarless gum, a tiny tin of aspirin, a hanky (vintage, of course!), and several tubes of sunblock ChapStick which belong to the children which I carry (because you know a mom's purse resembles a diaper bag forever in the sense that you still carry all the crap they don't want to). On top of all this sits my keyring (the older you get, the more keys you carry), a pack of cigarettes (do not judge/do not lecture) and a lighter.

Just how at the ready is my cell, do you suppose?

It's certainly not "at hand" for the slow-mo, surreal, pelting mint green Styrofoam rain scene.

Which got me to thinking...

It's days like this I hate my purse. Not just my purse, but all purses.

If we women, especially we wives and mothers, have to carry all the stuff the family "needs" but refuses to carry, we shouldn't have to be mocked for the size of our purses, or for our purses at all. But more than even that age-old complaint, maybe we women need to reconsider how we carry our gadgets and toys.

Men always have their phones, cameras and other gadgets at the ready; right there, on their belts or in their pockets, unencumbered by layers of other people's stuff.

Yeah, I probably won't ever get over carrying "the necessities" such as a cloth handkerchief and tissues, extra tube of ChapStick, first aid stuff, or even the emergency phone call change... And that's my own curse. But I should get smarter about being able to access my gadgets.

Now, don't get me wrong; I have exactly zero interest in dressing my cell phone. I have a life that's far too busy -- and, even if I should find myself with time on my hands, I do not have such a mental illness. So no, no charms, glitter-stickers, faux crystals, or leather pants for my tech gadgets, thankyouverymuch.

And I don't want a case; that's just another purse to be loaded up with stuff. Nor do I want a tool-belt of gadgets to make me look "hip" -- or just plain hippier. Sorry, Golla.

When cell phones first came out and were of a small enough size to carry on your person (yes, my first portable phone was indeed a brick!), I tried one of those plastic clip-on-your-belt things.

First problem with those is that they broke a lot; I see by replacement parts, this is still a problem. Second problem with these is that the clip can -- and does -- slide off on some of these, allowing you and your phone to part company even without the help of a thief. The third problem with those is that they require a belt &/or waistband, which, given a woman's wardrobe, is not always a given -- even if you are wearing a belt it, and your waistband, may be covered up by a blouse, sweater, etc. and I am soooo not reaching up under my top to answer my phone or to snap a picture. Into my pocket, yes; but not up under my shirt.

I don't want something around my neck. It's not just that it might ruin my ensemble; I'm too damn busty to bother with another thing swingin' round up there.

Yeah, I'm fussy; I call it being particular. As a wife and mom, I'm the resident efficiency expert as well as the comptroller and I'm not spending money on something I know won't please me.

What I want, what I need, is a simple chain thingy, like biker's have for their wallets. (See the fabulous chain mail chains close-up here!)

Just a simple chain that attaches to my cell phone on one end, with a clasp to attach to my belt loop on the other. And, in the event I am without a pocket or a belt loop, I can attach it to my purse strap.

I might even make one. All I need is some sturdy chain, a standard cell phone string connector thingy, and one of those looped swiveling bolt snaps. Or, if I find a wallet chain I like, I could alter it.

And then I'll be ready for the next time it rains Styrofoam peanuts. Or whatever else might happen.

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