Cedar Sanderson

Big Purses

“I’m going to pack my small purses,” I was holding a red one, about the size of two hardback books cover to cover. 

He eyes it, and grins a little. “That’s only a small purse to you, my love.” 

“Relative to my usual?” I gesture at my Bag of Holding, on the table nearby. 

I like big purses. The funny thing is, I don’t carry a purse most of the time. If I have pockets, and I’m not going to be waiting somewhere, I’ll have all I need in the pockets: wallet, keys, phone, pocketknife, pen, flashlight, and sometimes lip balm. On the other hand, if I’m going to be where I have time to kill, I want art supplies with me. So any of my purses (other than the crossbody bags that are essentially a detachable pocket) have to hold a sketchbook, a few pens, and the stuff that’s usually in my pocket. Girl clothes really do lack pockets, it’s not an overyhyped gripe. Sometimes, though, it’s worth it to lose the pockets in return for getting gussied up. 

The Bag of Holding is a whole ‘nother thing, though. It is aptly named, and sadly, no longer made which is a pity. I will say that I’ve had mine for eight years and it’s going strong, given what it carries. This is how I lug my art setup, writing, and… I’m not going to list everything. For one thing, I don’t currently know. With moving, I’ve been tossing whatever little essentials need to migrate back and forth. Allergy meds, hair things, charging cables (above and beyond the norm), measuring devices: I usually carry a soft cloth measuring tape (handy in thrift shops for clothing, since sizes are not reliable) but recently I’ve had a classic metal tape, and the laser doohicky which doubles as a fun cat toy. 

Eventually, and by that I mean when I have an office again, I’ll dump the whole thing out and sort and thin and declutter. It’s massively weighty, and it’s not normally light, but now it’s gotten heavy enough to trigger the buckle-up snitch in the car if I set it on the front seat. That particular sensor is a bit touchy, though. I’ve set it off by putting just two or three textbooks on the seat next to me. Besides the heft, I’m thinking I don’t actually need it packed like it has been. Working from home, I no longer need a subsidiary office with me for lunch breaks so I can manage a household remotely. I don’t need to have my art supplies streamlined to only what goes in a bag and can lay on my knees during a stolen moment sitting in the car after wolfing down my lunch. I can pack away the dictation gear and speak to the dragon in my laptop directly if I want to write in that fashion. 

I’m looking forward to the new configuration of my life. I’m really, really looking forward to not living out of a bag! 

(Header image: out in the sugarbush with a packbasket. Not a purse, but handy to carry everything from an axe to the battery drill for setting taps!) 


7 responses to “Big Purses”

  1. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard Avatar
    Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    You have a Real Bag Of Holding like Mary Poppins has??? [Crazy Grin]

    1. Mine is not as big as hers!

  2. Arkay Avatar

    If I can’t carry it in my pockets or in my crossbody messenger bag, it’s not worth carrying. Unless it’s my pile of percussion instruments, but they go in their own wagon…

    1. I sometimes wonder if I’m still in the habit of diaper bags and many young children who always needed… something, while traveling. And the fear of not having…. something. So I carry far more than I need, in case the kid needs it (he doesn’t).

  3. Jamie Wilson Avatar
    Jamie Wilson

    I own both a Bag of Holding and a Handbag of Holding. The Bag has worn corners that I patched with leather – still going strong after about a decade.

    1. Ah! Yes, properly mine is a Handbag of Holding. I own the Bag of Holding, but haven’t used it since I graduated. They are impressively built, though.

  4. dakorillon Avatar

    I do think it’s a left over from diaper bags. “Mom has everything’.
    I was a pockets only girl in my youth. Then something about the size of a hardback book (standard not goat-gagger) in the military in Class As (BDUs you had plenty of pockets!). Then to diaperbag/backpack. Then to bags with lots of pockets. Finally to a tiny backpack thing (one should strap) that is big enough for my usuals, and journal, etc. (I can still usually win at a contest of “Do you have an “x” on you). I do have a tiny art kit (fits inside of a cosmetics zip bag). But don’t carry a laptop or even a tablet. It’s highly useful to sling on, hand carry or strap to a belt. Let me see if I can find it on the ‘zon.


    This might be my next one, though.


    But it is kinda tiny…and doesn’t come with a holding spell…