Monthly Archives: September 2014

The Monday List: Things that fell out of my purse at a fancy boutique

This happens every day.Greetings, Fly folk. It’s a new school year, but not a new me, apparently.

I love shopping, and I love shopping in fancy shops. It is a gift curse that I am able to pick out the most expensive item in any store without looking at the tag.

Last week, I was in a super fancy boutique. It attracts a curious mix of injected-face matrons and impossibly thin and glamorous 20-something-looking women who inexplicably always have at least three or four children. The salesgirls moonlight as yoga, pilates, and barre teachers. It’s that kind of place.

When I go in there, I always, always feel disheveled, poorly groomed, and afraid that I might get something sticky on one of the outfits. But I keep going back, because I want to shop for the life I wish I had rather than the life I do have. (And if the bizzarely glam 20-somethings can have 3 children and look like that, so can I! Right?)

Anyway, I found some jeans that were a good upgrade from my mom-ish jeans I’d been wearing for a while, and I was feeling very glamorous and sophisticated for buying designer jeans in such a chic shop. That’s what it means to be a grown-up, right? To be able to stare the scary salesgirl in the eye and buy something with your own money?

I was feeling great until, as I was searching for the credit card that is never in my wallet, my purse fell onto the floor. And the purse’s contents spilled everywhere. This would not be a problem if you were a reasonably organized person, but my purse is a terrifying vortex of sticky disorganization. Here are some of the items that scattered over the floor of the shop:

  • Two sizes of diapers, for James and Baby Girl
  • A half-eaten granola bar
  • Multiple airline frequent flyer cards that I continue to carry around even though I fly so rarely that I’ve become that person that needs a “talking to” from the TSA agent because I forget to remove my shoes
  • One juice box
  • One lipstick that’s been smashed beyond recognition from Baby Girl using it on herself, and then using it like a crayon everywhere else
  • Keys to a safe deposit box that I’ve had to have re-keyed twice because I keep losing them (This is not a cheap or easy process, I assure you)
  • “Princess Baby Night-Night,” a glittery, painful-to-read book that Baby Girl insists on reading at least once a day
  • My wallet, which is empty of credit cards and any other normal wallet contents, but is somehow full of yogurt raisins
  • One necklace, beaded by Big Boy, necklace making being his activity of choice instead of doing something “sweaty” in the gym at church
  • Stamps (with Christmas designs)
  • A bottle of water, that leaked into my purse and immediately begins to leak onto the shop’s floor
  • Approximately 1,000 receipts. For what, who can say, because they are all crumpled. And wet.

So much for chic and sophisticated. Points for trying, though, right?

And yeah yeah, this is God or the universe teaching me a lesson about not trying to feel better about myself through shopping, or trying to get an identity through “stuff.” I get it. I still like shopping.  Even when it ends badly.





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Friends, I’m sorry for the recent silence. I’ve got all kinds of big things planned for us, but for now, let’s talk about something little.

As I write this, I am “working” on the couch with baby girl sitting beside me. She has a fever and so is a bit more subdued than usual. I am grading papers, and she was trying to “help me” with my pen.

She’s not yet 18 months old, but I thought she might like to sit next to me and color, and so I got out an old coloring book and some crayons for her.

Big boy enjoys drawing but never really loved coloring, and James has never shown an interest or ability to do it, despite our purchasing special crayons and them working with him on it at school. So, these crayons and coloring books have sat unused at our house for four or five years.

This was a small sadness for me, because coloring, and art, and drawing were big parts of my childhood and still are things I enjoy. Big Boy is a wonderful child but is so different from me, and James is James. I adore them, but sometimes I find it difficult to recognize my childhood in their childhood.

Having Baby Girl cuddle next to me on the couch and color, then, is an unexpected sweetness. It is a glimpse of what I thought motherhood might be like and has not yet been for me.

More than just a quickly melting sweet, this moment is also a happy reminder that this game is not played out. We are not fixed.

Who knows what our sweet group of three will be interested in, be capable of, and will teach me over this next school year?

I’m so glad I didn’t throw away the crayons. I hope y’all also get some color on this Labor Day.

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