Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Eleven Things Every Grace Should Have in Her Handbag

My husband calls my purse "the magic bag" because it contains pretty much everything you would need for basic survival until the Canadian Mounties arrive. But it's not one of those mammoth satchels that you could hide a body in. My handbags are of sensible dimensions in tasteful colors and materials. And they always contain the following:

  1. Lipstick or gloss--you really don't need to carry your entire cosmetic collection--a fresh coat of lipstick gives your whole face a lift.
  2. A mirror--this is not merely vanity. You may need to check your lipstick application, or you may need to hand the mirror to someone to retrieve spinach from her pearly whites--no Grace wants to be directing traffic from incisor to bicuspid in pursuit of the elusive, recalcitrant vegetal fragment. You can compactly merge items 1 and 2 by procuring a snazzy little lipstick case with an interior mirror--very handy and stylish. Mine is fuchsia silk.
  3. Shout Wipes or a Tide pen. I have an embarrassing story to illustrate the need for these accoutrements, albeit one with a happy ending. I was nibbling on a homemade coconut chocolate truffle one afternoon as I was walking out the door to an important meeting. I was thrilled to be wearing my fabulous new ivory suit. Unfortunately, as I bit into the truffle, a sliver of chocolate covered coconut fell and landed on my ivory skirt directly above my left knee. Fear not, Graces, for the magic bag came to the rescue--ever equipped with Shout Wipes, I whisked one out, blotted out the unsightly brown smear, and made my meeting, stainless, and with minutes to spare. [NOTE: hand wipes or baby wipes work equally effectively in crises of this sort].
  4. Dental Floss. Sharing the embarrassing story about the coconut truffle reminded me of another embarrassing, though illustrative anecdote about dental floss. Several years ago, I had the good fortune to visit a lovely Moroccan restaurant and partake of the lobster tagine. Unfortunately, the 3rd bite of lobster lodged itself firmly and painfully between two of my molars. I immediately excused myself to the rest room to address this unpleasant situation. Since I was carrying an evening bag as opposed to my usual "magic bag", I did not have sufficient supplies. I tugged and worried at the lobster fragment with my tongue and my fingernails as I searched frantically for a small, pointy object that would remedy the problem. Eureka! I pulled the diamond stud out of my ear and began prodding. Catastrophe! The diamond earring joined the lobster fragment and got stuck there as well. Fortunately, after much effort and agony, I managed to dislodge both foreign objects, returned to the table and resumed the meal carefully. But ever since, I have been sure to carry a small spool of dental floss.
  5. Mints--that luncheon Caesar Salad was delicious, but you don't really want to breathe its fumes on the target of your afternoon pitch.
  6. Tissues--please use the contained purse packs--the polka-dotted or leopard prints are cute, but not necessary--just avoid the stray, crumpled tissues swimming around in your bag; even if they haven't been used, how would one tell?
  7. First aid kit, including two heel-sized band aids for New Shoes days. (You can find small versions of these at any pharmacy--they seriously are smaller than a sandwich.)
  8. Pen and Notepad
  9. Ibuprofin and Antacids (these come in containers the size of a chap stick so are easily portable.)
  10. Anti-bacterial gel or wipes.
  11. Emory Board
What's in your handbag?

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