Tag Archives: Purse

New Year’s Resolution #7- Analyze That Purse Chaos

25 Jan

This is post #7 in Be Brave. Lose the Beige’s 10 Days of New Years Resolutions. 

Do you suffer from purse chaos?  Does your purse resemble the description in Nora Ephron’s, I Feel Bad About My Neck and other Thoughts on Being a Woman? The following is an excerpt from her chapter entitled “I Hate my Purse”:   

“Here is what happens with your purse. You start small. You start pledging yourself to neatness. You start with the things you absolutely need…but within seconds your purse has accumulated the debris of a lifetime. The cosmetics have fallen out of the shiny cosmetics bag (okay, you forgot to zip it up), the coins have fallen out of your wallet (okay you have forgotten to fasten the coin compartment), the credit cards are somewhere in the abyss (okay you forgot to put your Visa back in your wallet after you bought the sunblock that is now oozing into the lining… 

Why pay all that money on psychoanalysis?  An examination of your purse can be quite revealing.  If you suffer from the same kind of purse chaos described by Nora Ephron you might be feeling scattered and frenzied, perhaps taking on too much.  

Now, if your purse is well organized-  credit cards in their designated wallet compartment, currency in chronological order, lipstick cap on tight- it could indicate a need to loosen up a bit, take a vacation with a little risk to it- ziplining through the rain forest in Honduras perhaps. 

Maybe an analysis indicates you need to shed extra baggage- that pesky cousin freeloading off you; that clingy co-worker appealing to you once too often for advice. What kind of baggage are you carrying around?  What might you eliminate or throw away?  How might you simplify your life a bit?

 

The Silent Generation and the Power of the Purse

29 Mar

Be Brave. Lose the Beige is not only the name of this blog, it’s also the name of a movement we are hoping to create among women’s groups.  My friend and colleague in this effort, Jackie, and I facilitated a workshop at the annual UCC (United Church of Christ) women’s conference a few weekends ago.  We conducted an intergenerational session entitled, “The Power of the Purse, during which attendees participated in a journaling exercise.  The exercise focused upon an artistic rendering of a red and white polka dotted bandana purse with Rosie the Riveter’s “We Can Do It!” affirmation in the background.    The principle sentiment behind this clay sculpture is Women’s Empowerment, financial and otherwise.

Women were provided with a journal prompt that said, ”

“Financial empowerment impacts the way we view ourselves and even how others view us.  This is not just an issue about working women versus non-working women.  There are many income producing women who have little control over their pocketbooks; there are women not in the employment sector who exercise considerable control over family resources.  What about you?  Do you feel you have power over your purse?”

Many of the participants in our session belong to the generation Time Magazine, in a 1951 cover story, labeled, “The Silent Generation “.  They were born between1925-1945.  This was a generation that did not issue manifestos, participate in protests or demonstrations, or carry placards and posters.  One of the characteristics of this age category has been their silence.   While the wonderful qualities of this generation are numerous, a dominant characteristic historically has been their reluctance to stand up to “authority”.  For many of the women in this group that authority figure often took the form of their husbands.

The resounding refrain among these silent generation women was how little control they exercised over their household purse strings.  Some of it was by choice, as was the case for a lady from Barbados.  Following her move to the United States, she ceded many of the financial responsibilities to her husband.  This posed somewhat of a problem upon his death when she was left with little to no experience in balancing a checkbook or paying taxes.  That “choice” did not belong to a second woman, whose controlling husband allowed her no input into their family’s financial matters.  She has found it strangely liberating since his recent death to have control over her own money.  She has taken to bestowing gifts upon herself (something her husband rarely did) saying, “thank you for my sweet present, Jack”.

Another woman, happily ensconced in a 25 year second marriage, discussed the ego depletion of her first.  Her first husband not only allowed for little to no monetary input, he did not permit her to even have a driver’s license.

The candor of these brave women was astounding.  They were willing, even eager, to share their stories as a way to urge their daughters and the daughters of other women, to exercise control over their own purses, and thus, their own lives.

That day in that room, those women truly embodied the “Be Brave” aspect of our “Be Brave. Lose the Beige” movement, and it was a privilege witnessing this generational transformation

New Year’s Resolution #7- Analyze that Purse Chaos

12 Jan

This is post #7 in Be Brave. Lose the Beige’s 12 Days of New Years Resolutions. 

Do you suffer from purse chaos?  Does your purse resemble the description in Nora Ephron’s, I Feel Bad About My Neck and other Thoughts on Being a Woman? The following is an excerpt from her chapter entitled “I Hate my Purse”:   

“Here is what happens with your purse. You start small. You start pledging yourself to neatness. You start with the things you absolutely need…but within seconds your purse has accumulated the debris of a lifetime. The cosmetics have fallen out of the shiny cosmetics bag (okay, you forgot to zip it up), the coins have fallen out of your wallet (okay you have forgotten to fasten the coin compartment), the credit cards are somewhere in the abyss (okay you forgot to put your Visa back in your wallet after you bought the sunblock that is now oozing into the lining… 

Why pay all that money on psychoanalysis?  An examination of your purse can be quite revealing.  If you suffer from the same kind of purse chaos described by Nora Ephron you might be feeling scattered and frenzied, perhaps taking on too much.  

Now, if your purse is well organized-  credit cards in their designated wallet compartment, currency in chronological order, lipstick cap on tight- it could indicate a need to loosen up a bit, take a vacation with a little risk to it- ziplining through the rain forest in Honduras perhaps. 

Maybe an analysis indicates you need to shed extra baggage- that pesky cousin freeloading off you; that clingy co-worker appealing to you once too often for advice. What kind of baggage are you carrying around?  What might you eliminate or throw away?  How might you simplify your life a bit?

New Year’s Resolution #7-Analyze that Purse Chaos

21 Dec

This is post #7 in Be Brave. Lose the Beige’s 12 Days of New Years Resolutions. 

Do you suffer from purse chaos?  Does your purse resemble the description in Nora Ephron’s, I Feel Bad About My Neck and other Thoughts on Being a Woman? The following is an excerpt from her chapter entitled “I Hate my Purse”:   

“Here is what happens with your purse. You start small. You start pledging yourself to neatness. You start with the things you absolutely need…but within seconds your purse has accumulated the debris of a lifetime. The cosmetics have fallen out of the shiny cosmetics bag (okay, you forgot to zip it up), the coins have fallen out of your wallet (okay you have forgotten to fasten the coin compartment), the credit cards are somewhere in the abyss (okay you forgot to put your Visa back in your wallet after you bought the sunblock that is now oozing into the lining… 

Why pay all that money on psychoanalysis?  An examination of your purse can be quite revealing.  If you suffer from the same kind of purse chaos described by Nora Ephron you might be feeling scattered and frenzied, perhaps taking on too much.  

Now, if your purse is well organized-  credit cards in their designated wallet compartment, currency in chronological order, lipstick cap on tight- it could indicate a need to loosen up a bit, take a vacation with a little risk to it- ziplining through the rain forest in Honduras perhaps. 

Maybe an analysis indicates you need to shed extra baggage- that pesky cousin freeloading off you; that clingy co-worker appealing to you once too often for advice. What kind of baggage are you carrying around?  What might you eliminate or throw away?  How might you simplify your life a bit?

 

I Hate My Purse

25 Aug

I created a clay sculpture entitled “I Hate My Purse” for a Power of the Purse silent auction event to benefit women and children’s issues. The piece was inspired by a chapter (titled “I hate My Purse”) in Nora Ephron’s “I Feel Bad about my Neck and other Thoughts on Being a Woman.”

I was reading this chapter aloud to my husband, while we were on an airplane. I was laughing so hard tears were rolling down my face. I could barely speak the words. Every woman I know could relate to these words: (the following is an excerpt)

“Here is what happens with your purse. You start small. You start pledging yourself to neatness. You start with the things you absolutely need…but within seconds your purse has accumulated the debris of a lifetime. The cosmetics have fallen out of the shiny cosmetics bag (okay, you forgot to zip it up), the coins have fallen out of your wallet (okay you have forgotten to fasten the coin compartment), the credit cards are somewhere in the abyss (okay you forgot to put your VISA back in your wallet after you bought the sunblock that is now oozing into the lining..”

I created my “I Hate My Purse” piece to illustrate the kind of “purse chaos” described by Nora Ephron in her hysterically funny essay. Here is an outside and inside photo of it.Outside of "I hate my purse" pieceInterior of "I hate My Purse"