I moved to Los Angeles in 2005 to participate in Teach for America. As much as I loved the weather, the proximity to the sea and the community of friends we made there, I longed to be back in New York City. As anyone who lives in the Big Apple knows, there's just nothing that compares to its hustle-and-bustle and raw energy. I'd watch "You've Got Mail", the delightful love story that took place in the early days of the internet, over and over as a consolation; the scenes of the city as it moved from season to season almost made me feel like I was back in my beloved concrete jungle.
When I finally did move back I had to contend with one difficult reality: I no longer had a car in which to store all my crap. My purse (or purses, as it were) became my storage vessel. On any one day you can find me overloaded with two bags containing the obvious (wallet, keys, phone, sunglasses) and the ridiculous (16 pairs of headphones, empty Tupperware containers and multiple laptops). If my purse says anything about me, it's that I keep my life as compartmentalized as possible.
So it is only appropriate that we pay tribute to author and playwright Nora Ephron, a true New Yorker if there ever was one, who also struggled with the overweight, overbearing, abyss-like chaos that our handbags have become. She had this to say about women and their purses in her play "Love, Loss And What We Wore": "This is for women who hate their purses, who understand that their purses are reflections of negligent housekeeping, hopeless disorganization, a chronic inability to throw anything away, and an ongoing failure to handle the obligations of a demanding accessory -- the obligation, for example, that it should in some way match what you're wearing."
We thought about this topic back in December when we asked to see what was in our editors' purses and handbags. Though we're re-examining this now (as seen in my lovely handbag below), we think it will always ring true: We are what we carry.
For more on Nora Ephron's death click here.