A purse filled with love..


A few years ago I happened to walk through the pocketbook section in a department store in New York City. The brands displayed included Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Marc Jacobs, Prada and more. I was blown away by the prices. Some went as high as $5,000 or more.
I have bought my fare share of purses but I have never spent a great deal of money on them. To me they served as more of a way to carry necessary items rather than as fashion accessory. As I’ve gotten older I have chosen smaller purses since I do not want to burden my body with something that can create bodily damage. In fact if I could I would chose to not have one at all.
In the past I have had purses that could carry an entire array of makeup, including a mirror, books, snacks, and calendars. I used to call it “the abyss”. I should have carried a flashlight to be able to search through all the spaces in order to expedite finding what I needed in the moment. Frustration was often a part of my purse experience. I used to accompany my search with a song from The Seven Dwarfs. “Did, dig, dig, dig, dig, the whole night through”! I often ended up taking everything out in desperation,which could happen anywhere, in order to find an item I needed immediately.
There’s certainly a level of embarrassment when you’re in line to board a plane and they want your boarding pass and it has been swallowed up by a purse. I have emptied it right on the floor while people around me stared in disbelief and frustration as they waited for me to scoop it all back in. One of my dear friends has suggested many times that I should buy a purse with different sections that hold certain items. I did try that, but after a short time, it too, became a caldron of chaos. I may need to take a workshop on how to organize a purse.
As the years pass I have more and more nostalgia for my Grandmother Francesca’s purse. It was a very nondescript purse that I’m sure cost very little. She was probably born with it and she was never without it. It’s contents were a variety of ingredients which she used for various situations. A prayer book and rosary beads were a staple. Candies which might lie on the bottom for years surfaced for her to give when you pleased her, along with dimes for really good behavior. There was always a lace handkerchief sprinkled with a slight violet fragrance, and multiple picture cards of saints. Also she made sure she had a bottle of Mercurochrome and cotton balls in case of emergencies. The memories of that purse will always be with me because it was much more than a purse. It was a purse filled with love..

 

We are yelling more, listening less!


The other day my partner pulled out onto a main street from our neighborhood. For the most part, he is a cautious driver. Another car came careening down the main drag as he turned and forced my partner to pull over to the side of the road. The driver of the other car, a big, burly man, also pulled over and started to berate my partner and yell obscenities. He even threatened to beat him up.

My partner, who is not in contention to win the Golden Gloves competition, apologized but urged the other driver to consider whether he’d been driving too fast. The other driver didn’t want to hear it. It is a country road with a 40 mph speed limit. The other driver then followed my partner to his destination, where he continued his tirade. Fortunately, he eventually decided to leave.
Altercations of this kind have increased exponentially over the years. Anger has become an emotion that is used frequently, and in myriad ways.

When I first became involved in Facebook, it seemed a gentle and fun way to interact with people. Now it seems more like a forum for sharing thoughts and feelings that should be kept within the confines of your home or expressed in a therapist’s office.

Having dialogue about issues on which there are differing opinions can now lead to being unfriended, or worse. Brawls can begin almost anywhere now if someone or something appears to be a threat. I have witnessed threats being made to individuals who were perceived to be cutting into a line. Discussions by panels on news shows often become shouting matches.

What’s happening and where is it headed? From my experience and what I have witnessed in my many years on this planet, I know that we are no longer listening. Instead, we are responding as though we were being pursued by a behemoth.

Another factor is the lack of civility that continues to permeate our society.

My mother and I had many a brouhaha, but I have never admired her values as much as I do now. Her daily admonitions resonate with me now more than ever. “Don’t interrupt me when I’m talking to you.” “Say ‘please’ and ‘thank you.'” “Treat people like you want to be treated.” “Listen more than you talk; you might learn something.”

When I was a young adult, I tried desperately to tune out those admonitions, but luckily osmosis kicked in. My mother’s words languished in my brain for years, but they are now coming from my lips to anyone who will listen.