Purse Strangeness.

December 6, 2012

I have a lot of things in my purse.

Some of them are normal purse-ish items, like the following: 

My little pack of Kleenex. 

I feel incredibly insecure if I don’t have Kleenex in my purse at all time.


My wallet. 

(Which is leather and which I got brand new at a thrift store for a dollar.)


At least two or three pens.  

Along with being Kleenex-less, being pen-less is one of my great fears.  I am addicted to gel pens.  They make writing 78.64% more joyful for me. (That’s a rough estimate.)



At times when my sweet tooth is calling for a “little something,” and I don’t want to imbibe 475 calories, these little candies fit the bill perfectly.


My inhaler. 

Not much explanation needed here.


A thumb drive.

For all those times when I’m transferring some file or picture or song from home to the church (and back again).  


Portable Pepto. 

Just in case.


An extra contact lens.


Tylenol, Benadryl, Ibuprofin, etc.


A sewing kit. 

I have been carrying this kit for about a hundred years now and have never used it.  However, someday, a button-falling-off crisis will occur somewhere in my life or in the life of someone I love and I. Will. Be. Prepared.


A notebook. 

Now this isn’t just any notebook; this is a Moleskine.  I have heard a bazillion dozen writers, bloggers, media people go on and on about Moleskin notebooks so, since I always carry a notebook in my purse, I was thinking about buying one to see what all the fuss was about.

When were in DC this summer, we stopped by a Barnes and Noble in Union Station and right there in front of me was a whole display of Moleskine products.  It was really fun to make my Moleskine purchase there because in addition to being a practical purchase, it also served as a souvenir of our trip to Washington.



Okay. Those are the normal purse items I carry.  Here are the less normal things.

Pure Almond Extract. (Weird, right?)  But I can explain!

When I was grocery shopping, I needed vanilla extract but in my hurry, I grabbed the almost extract instead.  Since I don’t use much almond flavoring in my non-almondy life, I decided that I would donate it to our Food Pantry basket at church.  So I stuck it in my purse so that I would have it handy the next time I went to church.


A piece of paper telling how to work with DVD’s in a software program I use at church. 

I had printed it off and was planning on studying it in my spare time.  And I did.



I always keep extra batteries in my purse: one for my Nikon and 4 batteries for my smaller “purse camera.”  (Which isn’t pictured here but does stay in my purse at ALL times.)


An extra memory card that fits both cameras.


A man’s watch.

I have actually had this in the bottom of my purse for 3 months because I keep on thinking I’m going to drop it off the jewelry repair place to see why it’s not working.     Someday . . .


My Nikon lens cover.

I always tend to lose this and then always (miraculously) manage to find it in my purse after looking in 87 places.

Why don’t I just look in my purse first?  (But that would be too easy.)


I usually have 1 or 2 pair of earrings in my purse because I tend to take them when I’m out and about.  This particular lovely pair were ones that Steve gave me last year for Christmas.

Doesn’t he have good taste?



Okay. That was a guided tour of my purse.  Pretty exciting, huh?

So what is in YOUR purse? 

Are you carrying anything slightly strange at the moment or all your purse items unremarkable in their purse-appropriateness?  What’s the oddest thing that is in there right now?

Do tell!

43 responses to Purse Strangeness.

  1. Well, I had to chip in, after reading all of the fun comments. (I was burning with curiosity to see what oddball stuff had made it’s way to my purse.) Along with the normal “stuffed” wallet, keys, lip gloss, checkbook, etc, I found a travel-size pack of toilet seat covers, a flashlight, spare pair of earrings and one of those “dohickies” that opens paint cans…………. and band aids.

    • Laurie, well, since you’re the only who has mentioned a paint can opening doohickie and a pack of toilet seat covers, I’d say your purse contents are quite interesting! 🙂 Welcome to the Interesting Purse Club!

  2. I just lost my entire comment. I’m not typing the whole thing out again. IT WAS LONG. So, I just thought I would share since we are talking about purses that I keep the copy of the front and back of EVERYTHING in my wallet (gift cards, library, loyalty, DL, social security, etc.,) in a file in a water/fire proof safe. In the event my purse/wallet is stolen/lost (which has happened–a student who had a crush on me stole it; definitely not the key to my heart) I would have everything I need at my finger tips w/out having to try to remember what was in there, look up all the phone numbers, not have the correct ID to get a new DL (I keep three pieces of ID in there so it’s at my finger tips, ex. utility bills, etc.) and prove of my banking accounts so I can open new accounts in a short period of time. The police came to my home to take the report (I lived in the same town I worked) and they were very impressed when I pulled out the folder. In a matter of 15 minutes everyone had been contacted and no damage had been done. My gift cards were replaced, etc.! Just thought I would share this little tip since we were talking about purses. I update the info on my birthday each year since it seems to fall around the same time each year. I take out old, used gift cards and add new ones (those I will add throughout the year as well if I don’t plan to use them quickly). I keep notes on the inside of the file folders (dates I made changes, etc.). This has come in handy twice. I’ve shraed this w/many people. SOmetimes I’m met with, “It’s not worth all the work!” And then (I know this is mean) l found it funny when one person who was adamat that it was stupid had it happen to her and it took her weeks to get everything taken care of. As I said, I had everyone called w/in 15 minutes and a new DL, and checking okay the next day. SOME PEOPLE! Hope someone finds this helpful! PS. Sorry about the spelling & grammar errors; it’s 4:15 am and as usual I’m awake. Haven’t slept more than three hours in a night since 4/15/11 and it’s been less than that since 10/8/12. I’ve tried EVERYTHING!

    • Jodi, I am SO very sorry to hear about your ongoing insomnia; there are few things worse than not being able to sleep; especially for such a long time!

      Loved your tip on keeping vital info in an easy-to-find place; I know that has saved you many, many headaches. Thanks so much for sharing that with the Smithellaneous family!

  3. Lisa from Georgia December 7, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    In addition to the “normal things” wallet, kleenex, etc. I also have a tube of Bert’s Bees Lip stuff (the official name), a pony tail holder or five, a highlighter (I’m a teacher…I highlight things), a small address book, a purse sized lotion, and mints. I love the ones that melt in your mouth. I had never really looked at the items in my purse with a critical eye, so to speak, until today and my purse tells a story about me. Interesting!

    • Lisa, “My purse tells a story about me.” I love that line you wrote because when you think about it, it is really true! Each of our purses is completely unique to US–I probably wouldn’t have highlighters in mine and you probably wouldn’t have a lens cap in yours. We are telling our Purse Stories!

  4. Sharyn McDonald December 7, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    Well, yesterday I had a bottle of Tums – always carry Kleenex – seems my nose runs more than I do. Also have a stuffed fleese square of material my granddaughter gave me about 3 years ago. It’s always in my purse. Hand sanitizer, tracts to hand out in restaurants, and plastic spoon – just in case I might need a sample of something, plus a few other things.

    • Sharyn, how sweet to carry a fleece square of material from your granddaughter; it sounds like you have a very special relationship with her!

  5. I almost never carry a purse — I usually just stuff things into my pockets. However, at the moment I am in San Francisco for work, and I usually DO carry a purse when I’m traveling for my job. I have a couple of really nice ones that I like to break out for special occasions 😉 which life in Fairbanks rarely presents.

    It contains a glasses case; three hair ties and a hair clip; hygiene products; two emery boards; some papers with notes and maps; business cards; a pencil; my wallet w/ credit card, license, hotel room key, and cash; the key fob to a meeting room; and a Tide-To-Go stain remover pen. I usually carry a stain remover pen with me, because I am always spilling crap on myself… it’s really kind of distressing how often this happens!

    Oh, and at the very bottom is all of the change I’ve received this week and just dropped into it due to lack of a specific storage spot.

    • Kristina, I am amazed by any woman who says, “I almost never carry a purse.” Truly amazed. Since I live and breathe by my purse, I am in awe of women that do without.

      Having said that, I’m glad you are getting a chance to utilize one of your nice purses for your brief stint of being outside of Fairbanks! And yes, I agree, those Tide To Go pens are great.

  6. I just checked my purse to see what I have here it is a bilfold, little pack of kleenex, comb, some change in the bottom, a toothpick, a note pad and a pen (just one) and a receipt from walmart and one from the grocery store and one fro getting gas…. I do not carry a very big one cause they tend to get to heavy

  7. lol! It was not my intent to have you put more into your purse! Actually, my reason is the same as yours for having one available.

    • Guerrina, glad I’m not the only one who thinks along those lines. But think what a lifesaver it would be for some poor woman who was out and about and didn’t have one!

  8. I wouldn’t normally point this out, but since you are a lover of words – go back and look at how “Moleskin” is spelled in the photo of the notebook you posted. 🙂

    • Mindy, that is SOOO funny! I would have gone a hundred years and NEVER have seen that spelling issue! Thanks so much for pointing it out. One thing I always want my readers to know is that they are ALWAYS welcome to point out grammar/spelling errors. Thanks for opening my eyes to that really obvious error!


  9. I dislike purses. There. Why do women carry purses, anyway? Men don’t. That being said, my son bought me one that is pretty, so I am using it.
    I have very few things in it. Hand sanitizer. Keys. A pen. Ibuprofen. Cell phone. A wallet. And an empty paper cup with papertowels stuffed inside it, in case Sarah needs a drink of water.
    She can only drink out of this type of cup and the papertowels go under her chin to keep her shirt dry when she drinks.

    And that’s it!

    • Lesley, that’s a very good point why women carry purses and men don’t. But since I don’t think I could survive even 20 minutes without my purse I’m not going to worry about that fact too long! 🙂 And what a fabulous mom Sarah has, who is constantly thinking of her and the things she will need.

  10. Becky, in addition to most of the items mentioned above, I also have a small first aid kit, measuring tape, small calendar, individual drink flavoring packets and lots of keys.

  11. I almost always have a handful of crayons in the bottom of my purse. When we eat out, the restaurant gives my son those little two- or three-packs of crayons while we wait for food, then I stick them in my purse when he’s done. I usually find dozens of them down there after a few months.

    • Melissa, oh how well I remember the days of getting small children into restaurants and the crayons that accompanied us wherever we went. Thanks for bringing back a sweet memory.

  12. Wallet, checkbook, small makeup bag & camera are the biggies. Several pens, name badges for different volunteer jobs, business cards. Keys & sunglasses get added in as well. There was one panty liner but I just looked at it & it was in sad shape so it’s gone now. You probably just causes a few of us to clean out our purses!

    • Margie, if I can help even ONE woman clean out her purse this week I will consider that my blog post has accomplished its mission. 🙂

  13. Fun post!!
    Hmmm…let me look…wallet, photos, notepad (but not as cool as yours!!), only 2 pens, coupons (cuz you never know when you want to pick up a pizza on the way home from work), the book I’m currently reading (I always carry that cuz I love to read), glasses and contact case in case I need to take out my contacts (dry, tired eyes!!) and about 10 lip balms (cuz I was on a quest to find the best!) Oh! And I have about 7 loose leaf pages with books I want to read. This way when I go to the library, I will be prepared. Nothing too crazy!!

    • Krista, you are serious about your reading when you carry a book plus 7 pages of book ideas you WANT to read! As a fellow reader, I’m impressed!

  14. A perfect Let’s Make a Deal purse!

  15. Elizabeth Bowen December 6, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    I don’t really think of myself as a germaphobic, but I always have to have hand sanatizer and lotion in my purse. I think I may be addicted to hand sanatizer………

    • Elizabeth, that’s one thing I didn’t mention that I always carry too–hand sanitizer! And I’m always ready to pass it around to everyone at the table if we go out to eat. The germs better beware, when you and I come into the room!

  16. Teeth. I have 2 molars from my son’s mouth. In my role as tooth fairy, I stashed them in there after I replaced them with a couple bucks under his pillow and ran out the door to work. I didn’t want him to find them in the house anywhere, and so I stuck them in my purse. And there they have stayed for over a month now…..am I the only one that doesn’t throw their kids baby teeth away? I actually have a box with other baby things that I need to put them in.

    • Heidi, well, I guess teeth might take the prize for the most unusual purse item! I never saved our kids’ teeth but I think it’s a nice idea. And when you have a purse to carry them around in–well, what more could you need? 🙂

  17. MY CELL PHONE IS ALWAYS IN THE BOTTOM OF MY PURSE, I HEAR IT RINGING BUT FIND IT AFTER I MISS THE CALL! …and my sunglasses! before I leave the house everyday…a fire drill…where are my keys, where is my phone, where are my sunglasses! ..everyday I say I am going to put them in the same place but never do…I guess I am a hopeless blonde! PS: how many times have you called your cell/mobile phone from your land line house phone to find it!…

    • CeCe, well, we no longer have a land line to call the cell phone but I have had Steve call me once or twice so that I could find my phone and it was usually in a very logical place. Guess I was having a brunette moment!

  18. Note: I have my stuff in both my backpack and my fanny pack. I don’t like to carry purses, I don’t even have one.

    Rescue inhaler (obvious), paracetamol (pain killer), de-swelling nose spray (my allergies tend to swell my nose shut, so I make sure I always have some), Rennie (heartburn med) and Fenistil salve (with a glucocorticoid, in case I get bitten by a mosquito, I actually prefer getting stung by a bee, at least I am not allergic to these).

    My wallet, StudentCard (my student’s passport, which also functions as my public transport ticket and which I don’t carry in my wallet, because it’d fall out), pen, notebook, Softis (paper tissue), female hygiene stuff, cell phone and pre-moistened glasses cleaning tissue (I hope that makes sense in English, my dictionary doesn’t have a “Brillenputztuch”).

    Oreo cookies and Jelly Belly Beans. (Uh, yeah, you carry German sweets, while I do US ones. I find this funny, I have to say! Talk about globalization!)

    And the oddity:
    111 Yen (about 1$) in coins, which I got from my Japanese teacher and where I don’t really know why I carry them, except, that I love Japan.

    best wishes Nadine, from Germany

    • Nadine, you are allergic to mosquitoes? I’ve never heard of that before–I’m sure that makes being outdoors an interesting challenge! And yes, it is funny that our sweets are “country-reversed.” And the 111 Yen? That’s an oddity, alright. But a fun oddity! 🙂

  19. I have a small measuring tape that I carry, which has come in handy several times. And I also have pocket-type calendar for 2012-2013 that I NEVER use or look at. 🙂

    • LeeAnne, actually I carry a tape measure as well and you’re right–it’s amazing how many times those things come in handy!

  20. Well, my purse tends to hide in my backpack, because most of the time, when I am going out, my backpack needs to go too. So…the interesting things in my backpack include:

    Music for Young Children brochures. You never know when someone may be interested.

    Bus schedule for the bus I take from the University to downtown. Handy when you have a 7-10pm class.

    Toothbrush and toothpaste.

    Right now, 20 pens and pencils.

    Earplugs. Handy when attempting to study in a NOISY library (!!!)

    …and I think my metronome is loose inside my backpack right now.

    • MusicGirl, well, there are not many people I know who carry a metronome with them; in fact, you may be the only one! Loved the contents of your backpack.

  21. Becky, you have a completely normal purse…just sayin’. I actually carry a larger satchel-type thing, but in it is my small-holds-my-wallet-and-glasses pocketbook. I yank that out when I run in somewhere. I originally bought said satchel when I was taking a trip to another state and wanted to carry more on the plane – books, snacks, etc. Loved it so much, I just kept using it. Downside is I have to clean it out once a week to rid it of receipts/other papers. The strangest things in there are (a)a feminine pad, but at an age where I don’t require them and (b) a clip for bags (i.e. potato chips, candy, etc.) which was helpful during the hurricane, but it’s time to return to said owner.

    • Guerrina, you just reminded me of something. I used to carry a feminine pad all the time in purse just in case I ever ran across someone who needed one. (I’m basically past the stage of needing them myself.) So this morning I am going to go grab one and stick it in my purse!