A Scientific Inventory Of My Purse

I’m not a “clean purse” kind of gal. I’m the type that treats her purse as a safe-cum-trashcan-cum traveling pantry. My boyfriend is legitimately afraid to look in there, just because he found an old Taco Bell burrito inside of it ONE TIME. Geez, some people are so touchy! Anyway, I’ve never seen much of a problem with it — as long as I can find my car keys, smokes, and cell phone (which is usually in my hand anyway), I’m cool… right? Whatever. MY PURSE, MY PREROGATIVE. If I want to carry around 1.5 lbs of old receipts and empty Chapstick tubes, that’s my choice. But when you need something out of my bag, please don’t be alarmed by me jumping on top of it from across the room to prevent you from looking inside. Ignorance is bliss. Here’s why:

(1)  Cheap pair of headphones that constantly get tangled up with inappropriate items (tampons, pipes, etc) every time I pull them out of my bag.

(1)  “Sneak-a-toke,” for tobacco use only… obviously.

(1) Two-year-old Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in a tremendously unflattering shade, “Certainly Red.” Looks “Certainly Insane” when applied, but sometimes necessary in a Chapstick emergency.

(1) Empty car freshener package in “New Car Smell.” NOTE: This does not smell like new car. It smells like old baked beans revitalized with a few spritzes of Victoria’s Secret’s Love Spell perfume.

(1) U.S. Passport, for all my worldly travels (to date: 1 trip to Rosarito, Mexico and 1 trip to Aruba where I did not get kidnapped but did get very drunk with a hunky Dutch construction worker who was thankfully too dumb to orchestrate a kidnapping).

(1) iPod Nano sports armband that has been used… not a lot.

(1) Pair of sunglasses that are too scratched to wear, but I wear them anyway.

(2) Playtex tampons w/ plastic applicators. (1) has busted out of its packaging and is floating around loose, collecting dust and alarming any male eyes.

(1) Assortment of restaurant napkins. State of use/ unuse yet unclear.

(1) Container Ice Breakers

(1) Empty container Ice Breakers

(1) Menu, Patricia’s Mexican Food

(1) Giant cocktail ring from Forever 21

(1) Crumpled up McDonald’s wrapper, probably stuffed into bag after bout of shame eating in the parking lot behind my job.

(2) Empty packs of Camel Crush cigarettes

(1) Loose Dasani water bottle cap

(1) Loose medical marijuana bottle cap. Discovery led to 15-minute search for medical marijuana, yielding minimal results.

(1) Half-full pack of Camel Crush cigarettes

(1) Dulces Karla “Mangos Tabasquenos” chili sucker given to me by an amorous Latino customer, unopened. Presumably saving for marijuana-induced candy craving and/or low blood sugar moment.

(1) Map, LA Auto Show, attended 11/22/11

(1) Map, ticket to Universal Studios, attended 11/19/11

(1) Stainless steel fork, origins unknown.

(1) Keychain, containing both regular car key and spare car key (I’m smart), assortment of other keys, and one pesky canister of pepper spray whose safety constantly gets flicked off. Will inevitably lead to temporary blinding of myself.

(1) Pay stub for $192.43 (aka two weeks of work). Reaffirms my suspicions that I am not rich.

(17) Loose thumbtacks from long-forgotten DIY project. Watch yer fingers!

(2) Halves of a ballpoint pen, the result of a misguided attempt to craft a makeshift Sneak-a-Toke while actual Sneak-a-Toke lay under pile of restaurant napkins in bottom of purse.

(1) Empty package Philadelphia Cream Cheese (which I occasionally like to eat by itself — IDGAF).

(3) Chewing gum wrappers, (2) of which have old gum stuck in them.

(1) iPhone 4, miraculously unscratched by the myriad of sharp pointy objects it shares a bag with.

(13) Old receipts from a variety of businesses, including but not limited to: (5) Mexican restaurants, (3) fast food joints, and (1) $15 car wash (highly unusual).

(1) Wallet. Search of said wallet yields $4 cash, (1) debit card, (1) old EBT card (that’s food stamps to you) that I abandoned after visiting my local social welfare office and decided I wasn’t quite “there” yet, and “Frequent Customer” rewards cards from the following businesses:

  • Ulta Beauty Supply
  • $5 Express Car Wash (Five more to free wash, will take me at least a year to complete at my current rate of car-washing)
  • 49ers Tavern Burger/Dog Card (Five more hotdogs, three more burgers)
  • Stearn’s Liquor Check Cashing Card (Four more, although the speed freak behind the counter actually owes me one, I’m just too scared to bring it up)
  • Charley’s Steakery Cheesesteak card (Five more to free)
  • 2nd St Beauty (like, a million more stamps to get $5 off. Misers!)
  • Golden Spoon (Seven more, but I’m on my 3rd card. I know.)

(4) Loose Skittles, origins unknown. Flavors appear to be (2) strawberry, (1) orange, (1) lemon, but it’s hard to tell underneath the thick coating of purse grime.

(1) Forever 21 fake pearl ring, fake pearl coating flaked off.

(1) Empty glasses case that may or may not have been used to smuggle Adderall into work, but now holds an old roach (not a cockroach, you feel me?)

(20) Old sunflower seeds, direct result of going to the movies too much with my purseless, sunflower seed-addicted boyfriend. Consider buying him man satchel for Christmas, decision overridden by intrinsic cheapness and a plan to use this as evidence that it’s his fault my purse is such a nightmare.

($2.10) worth of change, including (1) nickel inexplicably wrapped in gum.

It’s not that bad, right? Even if it is, I don’t care. I’m a relatively high-functioning adult and as long as I keep up appearances, it’s all gravy, baby. Just, you know, if you need something, let me get it out. I don’t want you getting stuck with the old thumbtacks that line the bottom of my purse. TC mark

image – meemal


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  • http://twitter.com/CestCharlene Charlene

    aheaheahe!!! Thoroughly enjoyed this. 

  • K.

    I do enjoy a good purse inventory! For anyone else looking for amusement, look yonder and deep into the depths of Hairpin writers’ souls–I mean purses: http://thehairpin.com/slug/purses

  • http://profiles.google.com/cowashee Colleen Farrell

    I don’t know why, but I really liked this. 
    It’s like a summary of a person when you go through their purse.I also have a theory about people’s shoes=their personality:)

  • http://twitter.com/snuggiebunnies Olivia Moore

    Ahhhhhh yes I completely relate to this, although in NY it isn’t considered medical…yet! Add to this weird magazine clippings, empty Tide To-Go pens, all mediums of writing utensils besides a black or blue pen, and crumpled up bills I am neglecting to pay and we’re a match made in heaven.

  • Rebecca


    • Tessah Schoenrock

      ohhh shit. i swear i know how to spell it, it’s just a typo. *forehead smack*

  • Amanda

    This literally made me laugh out loud. Been there, done that with so many of these – especially the taco bell burrito (I never had enough room for it after eating 2 chalupas!). And how is it that my iPhone and camera always escape unscathed? Except my iPhone case, which is slowly turning black (was pink) from purse grime.

  • Obviousman

    omg do you smoke weed??

  • Guest

    Just so you know, more than 27 of us wanted to share this on our facebooks and twitters. More than 27 of us read this and thought “THANK GOD, I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE!!!” However, only 27 of us were brave enough to post it and say “look at all the fucks I do not give” and I certainly was not among them. Cheers, this is a fantastic piece. 

  • LK

    Ummm, same…. on every account (details aside).. and the looks I get when one of those wrapperless tampons falls out, like I’m really gonna use it come on.  The laughing stopped, though, when a friend of mine busted her knee and just WHO do you think came to the rescue with the electrical tape AND a tampon both found in the abyss that is my purse?  I’m sure you’ve come through in such ways, as well. :)

    • LK

      Sometimes I feel like MacGyver with all these “tools”…

  • macgyver51

    Well at least this wasn’t about how awesome/hot/cool you are, so theres a plus.

  • meow

    blah blah blah i do drugs i do drugs i do drugs

  • Maggie

    yoUTuBE TaG: WhATS iN YoUR PUrSE?!

  • samantha

    I feel less alone now.

  • masterkater

    We are the same.

  • Mkomar200

    HAHA, I totally have the stainless steel fork in mine. I, too, am not sure why I won’t just take it out of there.  Awesome piece!

  • Thalia

    I was once going through security at a museum and when they x-rayed my purse there was a kitchen knife (wrapped in a scarf…didn’t want to cut myself!) in it that showed up brightly on the screen (surround by other crap) for everyone to see. By the time I had remembered it was in there, my purse was on the conveyor belt and I made the executive decision that grabbing it off and running would be so so much more bizarre. So I let it go through and they looked at me like I was a complete nut job and confiscated it. They didn’t believe me it was for a picnic…that I had had over 2 weeks before. 

    • Thalia

      also by kitchen knife, i’m not talking a butter knife. it was a mini-machete looking thing. 

  • Caroline T

    god you are so boring and vapid

    • Thalia

      you’re mean. 

      • Caroline T

        so be it

  • Sarahbear0306

    This is pretty much exactly what my purse looked like before I had my son. Like, down to the nickel wrapped in gum. Hilarious.

  • Alex

    I want to hang out with this girl.

  • http://www.facebook.com/grc15r Gregory Costa

    So what makes this a scientific inventory as opposed to a regular inventory?

  • kgb kgbb

    Sugar packets (empty ones), charger cords, about 6 chapsticks (yes, they’re barely used), a million receipts from Denny’s, and HOW THE HELL does gum end up wrapped around change????  This always happens to me too.

  • Guest

    I’m really sorry. You seem so…trashy. Not the cute kind. Why do ALL of your articles read this way?

    • GUEST

      there’s a “cute” trashy?

  • http://www.nicholeexplainsitall.com EarthToNichole

    The fact that you even own a wallet means you are more organized than some people (me).

  • Mila Jaroniec

    Tessah, I love your articles. They make me laugh each time..and especially the comments

  • http://twitter.com/snritchiee Sarah Ritchie

    Hey… I LIKE Certainly Red! 

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