I had to smile today when I was standing in line at the grocery store…
There was a little toddler in front of me, a rather impatient little boy. I admit he reminded me of my son when he was that same age. While his mother was putting the groceries on the conveyor belt, the little boy was digging through her purse frantically. He knew there was something in there he wanted, but with all the other things that his mother had in there he was having a hard time finding it. Finally, with a look of absolute exasperation, he looked up at his mother and asked, “Mom, why do you carry all this stuff in your purse?”
His mother calmly stopped what she was doing, and looking down at him, smiled. Taking her purse from his hand, she reached in and magically brought out the little toy truck he was looking for so frantically. With a look at me she grinned, and I returned the smile knowing exactly what she was thinking…
She carries all the stuff in her purse because everyone expects it to her too.
Oh, how I can relate to that mother’s reaction to her son’s question. We carry all that stuff because our husband hands us the paperwork his pockets won’t hold, our daughter hands over her brush because she doesn’t want to carry her own purse. The mother carries her son’s toys so he will have something to entertain himself with, and he’s sure to lose it if she doesn’t hold it for him.
Then there’s all the other things we carry for emergencies; not only for ourselves but for our family too. That extra package of tissues, the hand sanitizer, paper and pen to keep the child occupied when we’re standing too long or waiting too long in line or in waiting room. Our makeup case, because we never really have time to make it back home and reapply our makeup before we go from work to dinner. The emergency sewing kit, because somebody’s always popping a button or ripping a seam.
Does that sound familiar to you? I’m sure that’s just the start of it. You can probably add to my list with your own “gotta-have” items you store in your purse.
As a writer can you imagine what our characters could carry in their purse? Be the character villain or hero that purse could provide many clues. Anything from a weapon to protect your hero, to a needle filled with poison to take out an enemy. Secret documents, codes, lock picking tools, camera, my goodness, the list goes on the more you think.
Let your imagination start and well, let’s just say we will need a bigger purse for our characters.
So the next time you reach into your purse looking for something you’re sure is in there, give pause and think about how your character would act at that exact moment.
The simple things in life can create the most interesting plot twists.