Which Purse?

Life In Five Minute Segments

The wife’s car, an SUV, locks itself when it feels it appropriate.  I’ve tried to determine the logic it uses, but so far have been unable to see a pattern, rhyme, or reason.  It doesn’t usually lock doors and hatchback on the same schedule.  In my next study I’ll consider atmospheric pressure, last night’s NBA scores, what we had for supper, and DOW closing figures as probable lock-or-not-lock stimuli.

It’s my part of the morning head-to-work routine to load swim club paraphernalia, lunch kits, briefcase, and whatever else is necessary for the wife’s daily adventure into the back of her car.  This of course, requires an open hatch door.  Likelihood the hatch will be locked any given day is a crap shoot.

The wife and I run on different clocks.  Most mornings I leave the kitchen, arms loaded with items to stow in her car, while she’s determining which outer garment is suitable for the morning.  It’s not so much seasonal insulating ability, but the color, style, and availability of matching or appropriately contrasting scarves.  If it’s cold enough and gloves are required, that gives bundle-up activity another dimension.

I have other things to do once I get the wife to the end of the driveway.   Most mornings, I’ve already started household chores, one or two in-progress when she announces leaving is imminent.

Not wanting to be last to the garage, and usually doing three or four extracurricular activities simultaneously, I often am in stocking feet or barefoot as I load my arms and head to the door from the kitchen.

Locked.  Okay, I’ll open the driver’s door and pop the hatchback from the cockpit. Nope.  The driver’s door is also locked in a show of solidarity with the hatchback.  Not to worry.  Here comes the wife out the back door to climb into her fully loaded vehicle and motor-off to work.  She can unlock doors and the hatchback with her remote before joining me. 

“Oh, it’s locked,” said my wife at the top of the stairs leading down to the garage floor and her locked and waiting chariot.

“No.  I’m just standing here waiting for the school bus.”

“I’ll open it,” she declared, fumbling in her purse.

“That would be swell.”

“Oh.  My key is in the other purse.  It’ll just take a moment to get it.”

No, it wouldn’t take just a moment.  It would be three or four.  The floor was cold when she hit the top of the stairs.  By the time she got back, my feet would have warmed the concrete.  I think the route from the garage to the master bedroom changes from day to day.  She gets lost some mornings.  I should have paid attention, but part of the delay may have been this particular morning, passing the coat closet, she reconsidered her coat-or-jacket, scarf, and glove choices.  My nose had started to run, so I didn’t notice if she’d changed her motoring attire.

“Why the other purse?” I asked.  Women change purses not only with seasons like spring and summer, fall and winter, but with the outfit of the day, what they had for breakfast, and the day’s planned activities. “Why don’t you have the other purse? The one you had yesterday?” I continued.


“It snowed yesterday.  That purse goes with snow.”

“I see.”

“It’s not snowing today.”

“That I also see.”

You understand my chagrin.  Men change billfolds every five or ten years.  Not because they need to but because for the last five years, they’ve been gifted new billfolds annually.  Because their old billfolds are “tacky.”  It’s not from a need for a billfold where one of the credit card pockets has ripped away from the main body of leather, or because the back and front have separated, or because the credit card insert is tattered and spits credit cards onto the pavement every time the man goes there for the scribbled list of air filter sizes. (Air filter sizes is another study – why a relatively modern house has six different sized air filters defies logic.)

After being informed the “other” purse was atop my wife’s dresser, I sped inside to grab that “other” purse, so she could extract her key. No way I’m putting my hand inside that evil device.  Of course, the “other” purse was not on her dresser and not hanging on a peg inside her master bedroom closet where I lease rack space for my suit, four trousers, and six shirts. It was not on the floor, master depository for things in-transit more than a week away from destination, nor any other immediately visible place in our bedroom.  It was, on her vanity in the bathroom, which I will admit suggests a certain logic.

Before heading back to the garage, I contemplated pulling my slippers from beneath the bed to stave off frostbite when I returned to the garage.  Decided against, opting to use the time to grab my key to her car from my desk drawer against the possibility my treasure was not the correct “other” purse.

It was the correct purse.  She began the process of extracting her key.  I used my key to pop the hatch, stowed her gear, and heated a new patch of garage floor with my feet.  She slid into the driver’s seat and continued her search.  At her window for my ‘have a nice day at work” kiss, I found her still rummaging for her key.  As I started to hand my key to her, the “other” purse reluctantly spit her key into her lap. With one more quick look in the mirror to assess lipstick, she started the engine and handed the “other” purse back to me.

As she backed out of the garage, I waved, then skated to the steps leading to the garage/kitchen door.  I wondered if I’d left the water running in the sink for breakfast dishes…

© S P Wilcenski 2020

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