Through no fault of my own (I’m blaming it on my genes) I am a hoarder. I find it hard to throw things away for silly reasons like I don’t need it, use it or want it. I might need it someday. Maybe someone can use it for something, or perhaps “insert any name here” would want this.
So, stuff piles up. Occasionally. And even more occasionally I act upon a whim to go on a trashing spree. One of these rare moments occurred a few nights ago when I had a sudden inspiration to clean out my purse stash. My purse stash consisted of two end table shelves full of purses I had used until they were used up, hadn’t used at all but didn’t like, or somewhere in between.
I grabbed my trash bag and started to put the first purse in, but paused when I thought about what I used to carry in those things. Important stuff like chewing gum, breath mints, ballpoint pens, receipts from Wal-Mart, half used chap stick, wadded Kleenex and stray cough drops. Now and then I may even have a few pennies lying around in the bottom of one of those things. I probably oughta check it before I throw it out just in case.
The first purse I unzipped was hiding a . . . sock! A sock whose mate had long since been discarded under the assumption the other had become regurgitated dryer lint. Now how did that happen? I threw the purse and the sock away. Next purse – a washcloth. Wadded up as if someone fished it out of the laundry basket. Odd. Washcloth and purse find their way to said trash bag.
Purse number 3 contained the molded plastic wrapping of an old electronic game. No way that could have migrated to an unused purse. What was going on here? Somewhat leery by now, I open the next purse (so, yeah, I had a LOT of old purses – okay?) and I find a book. A nice hardback book called ‘The Christmas Blessing’ which used to sit on my nightstand - I don’t know – maybe years ago? I rescued the book before I tossed the purse.
I was beginning to see a pattern here. Every purse I opened contained one thing that had no reason for being there, no logical explanation for having taken up residence in my purse stash. I didn’t get it. Not yet.
The next purse I opened is sort of hard to talk about publicly, you know on the internet and all, but I refuse to either embellish or detract from the actual circumstances. So. . . . a pair of underwear. Yes, mine. I didn’t check it out any further. Into the trash along with the purse.
Other things turn up as the purse pile dwindles. A piece of newspaper with a completed crossword puzzle, the aforementioned electronic game, a page of math homework, a hammer, a double handful of pencils, pens and highlighters, and. . . a Winnie the Pooh Diary. Yep, the diary gave it away. All this stuff I was finding was a love note left for me from Randon.
The memories came rushing back then. Randon loved to play in my old purses, pretending they were his school bags, police packs, offering plates, wilderness survival kits, or whatever fit the game he was playing. I can just see him devising a silly game of planting an object in each purse for me to find, not having any idea I never used those purses. He probably thought I’d find the things the next day and we’d have a good laugh about how he fooled me.
So I look at the pile of trash in my bag and I cry a few tears. Then I laugh out loud and tuck another memory away in my heart. What an extraordinarily special gift I just received.