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    BWS Stories - "Reflections of the Way Life Used to Be"...Times Have Changed

    "Reflections of the Way Life Used to Be"...Times Have Changed - Pink Corset Purse

    Mary Kolar a single woman in the exciting second half of life pursuing the dream of writing. She is a published writer and has written dozens of skits for her local religious community.

    Pink Corset Purse

    My co-worker, about as old as the bunion on my left toe, was showing me her new purse. It was pink, the shape of a corset, and stuffed full. It sported small pink leather straps that would not fit over a wrist, much less an arm or a shoulder. This purse demanded the full attention of a hand to be carried. I have never had the affinity, or the patience, for high-maintenance purses. It was very representative of her life - small (in terms of years), yet crammed full, trying to get it all in at a frantic pace. She often stated the belief in her maturity and wisdom. I have prided myself in swallowing the snicker at these times, which gives me heartburn. There are few things harder to hold down then a swallowed snicker.

    I have not only years, but a couple, well-more than a couple, decades under my belt, but my curiosity was still aroused as to what this young, yet very mature and wise girl might carry in her pink corset purse. Being the bold, brave woman I am, I teased her into dumping the contents on the table with the condition I do the same.

    My purse was not pink, nor was it a corset. The tag says American Tourister. It has zippered compartments on each end, a zippered outside pocket, and an inside pocket. I replaced the shoulder strap with a longer wide strap to fit comfortably around my head and shoulder, thus leaving my hands free. I believe my purse is indicative of my life, expansive enough to hold what may come, yet providing enough space to encompass all that is. The contents of each told the stories of our ages in startling accuracy.

    She had shiny lip-gloss, and I had menthol spf-15 lip balm.

    She had eyeliner, compact, blush and eye shadow, and I had a fold-up brush with a few gray hairs stuck in the combs.

    She had a little black book, and I had a Hallmark date book with (unfortunately) more than enough room to record all my social activities.

    She had a chocolate tootsie roll pop, and I had a little container that held muscle relaxants for hand cramps, pain pills for chronic back problems, antacid to relieve the discomfort of swallowed snickers, and ibuprofen just to get me up and moving in the morning.

    She had a little container of solution for her powder-blue contacts, and I had allergy drops to keep the red out.

    She had a pink zippered coin purse with all of her cards and money crammed in together, and I had a card wallet with neatly organized pockets.

    She had a condom in a gold foil packet, and I had a hemorrhoid relief pad in a discreet foil packet.

    She had a paper towel for the sniffles, and I had a small pink package of tissues.

    The others at the table found the difference in the contents quite amusing. I would have stormed away in a huff, but by the time I got my knees working, my back to straighten, emitted the necessary moan to get myself standing and moving, the effect of storming away would have been lost. I easily replaced the contents of my purse and watched as she popped off a fingernail cramming things back into the pink corset purse.

    I did the most sensible thing I could think of to salvage my self-respect and dignity. I traded my little package of pink tissue for her chocolate tootsie roll pop, and then I limped away secure in the knowledge that priorities may shift with age, but chocolate is forever.

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