A very petite girlfriend of mine carries a monstrously large purse. I have only recently adopted the idea of even carrying a purse. I would prefer to just cram everything in my coat pockets and my ID and a twenty in my shoe. But I’ll tell you, the other day when she pulled out a six-pack and a camera with an enormous lens, I started to come around to this idea. I started to see it more of a tool, not a burden of fashion.
In the mayhem of the morning, I pack and feed everyone else. I try to make sure everyone’s socks match, teeth are free of night fuzz and lunches are packed with enticing and healthy fare. Should I fail at these tasks, I imagine some sort of harsh judgment of myself or my offspring. So rather than run the risk of having the flesh of my mothering efforts chewed off the bone, or my children embarrassed, I make my best effort to present a front of tidy, clean, prepared little minions to the world. As for presenting myself to the world, well fortunately my workplace does not require that I dress up to completely undershoot my professional potential.
So, while sitting at the bus stop – after homework checking, lunch packing, outfit rejection, the make-the-bed argument, the library book search, the lost shoe game, two episodes of sibling-on- sibling violence and permission slip signing- I do a self-evaluation. At this time I usually find – only one shaved leg, forgotten deodorant, a cell phone without charge, and a gym bag with one shoe and no underwear – I realize that I have not eaten breakfast, nor packed myself anything for lunch. That’s how it happens. So I drive on. Because I have “no time for this sort of shit.” I say to myself.
If I did pay attention to this ‘sort of shit’ (read:self-care), the carefully constructed domino day would fall apart. If I were to eat and pack for myself what would happen? I would be late for spin, miss my chance to burn 673 calories, be late to work. I will run short of time to run errands to get dinner makings, buy the correct color and size baseball pants, take in glasses for repair, pack snacks to eat in the waiting room of the doctor’s office before delivering everyone late to some sort of practice for some team of something.
So, better for a hungry and angry - hangry- woman to do all of this than for it to be done late or half-assed. Bullshit, said the wise doctor. Well of course he didn’t say it like that, he said it in this very wise, gentle, eastern way. If I miss a class at the gym – whatever. If the kids socks do not match I can be assured that only the assholes will care. I realize that by prescribing me to eat between certain hours and carrying a book that records my food intake and activities, he is demanding that I pay attention to myself. While self-indulgence sounds like an easy script to follow, I assure you it is not.
So in attempt to improve my health I have started packing a sweet potato and a banana in my purse. Most people opt for a an easy to prepare microwaveable lunch. That usually leads them down the Lean Cuisine road. But I don’t go for all that frozen factory made crap. How about something simple, natural and prepackaged by Mother Nature herself. Like..like….a potato.
As I usually do, I checked out the nutritional data at a couple of sources. One that is fun to play with is
It generates all sorts of fun graphs and charts and numbers that dazzle, excite and impress me. It almost makes nutrition data interesting. Take this one on the sweet potato in my purse.
Or check out this one on the friendly banana – enemy to carb-haters everywhere. The banana is a fantastic, prepackaged food that is perfect for athletes. If you’re looking for confirmation of this check out the snacking habits of Rafael Nadal. ( Trust me that Googling images of Rafael Nadal will not be the worst part of your day, but I warn you, it can become a real time suck)
The very fun thing about this website is that you can plug-in your own recipes and check out their nutritional scores. Or you can see how your Lean Cuisine stacks up. Yes, it takes time. But it may save you time, and money in the long run. And, just maybe you owe yourself a little time to think about and research what you throw in your gob every day.
So I am starting to appreciate the large purse trend. In my large purse I can fit my journal, some Goji berries, a piece of ginger root, a sweet potato to cook in the microwave for lunch, a banana, a spare pair of underwear for the gym.
I just heard that small, streamline envelope purses and clutches are “In” for spring and summer. Fuck it, I can’t keep up.