Recently, I was reading a story in a magazine where a daughter was reminiscing about her elderly mother’s pocketbook and all the precious memories surrounding that clothing accessory. This story reminded me of my own mother’s pocketbook. From little up, I remember my mom carrying a pocketbook, not a small one either, but a large size that was carried by a handle and not by a shoulder strap! Choosing a pocketbook to purchase was a big deal to my mom, because it had to contain many pockets for stashing stuff and a special place for her wallet. Whenever my mom made her decision on which pocketbook to buy, the decision was not made lightly. Color was important, too. Dark colors were for fall and winter and light colors where for spring and summer. It was unheard of to carry a white pocketbook before Easter! Easter marked the beginning of warm weather, which meant white purses and shoes were adorned for the first time of the new year on Easter Sunday.
I don’t remember ever looking in my mom’s pocketbook. It was her personal and private domain and I just knew that without her telling me. Mom’s pocketbook was kept on a shelf in her bedroom and always on her lap when sitting or traveling in the car. In her pocketbook was a plethora of items for “just in case.” If I needed a band aid, she had it. If I needed fingernail clippers, she had it. A snack…Cheerios in a baggie or a piece of hard candy in one of the pockets. And always a Kleenex handy to pull out on a minute’s notice! However, the most important treasure in my mom’s pocketbook was her wallet. It not only contained her driver’s license, social security card, and our school pictures, but also a secret compartment for, what I would call, her “emergency money.” I don’t remember my mom carrying a checkbook, but she always had a 10- or 20-dollar bill neatly folded in 4ths in a special hiding place in her wallet. She never used the money for herself but always to purchase a special item for us kids when we went shopping with her. I don’t ever recall my dad knowing about mom’s “emergency money.” It was just an understood secret between us.
Many years ago, I carried a large purse (pocketbook is an old-fashioned word!) which continued through my children’s growing up years and well into their college days. Like my mom, I wanted to be prepared for any situation, so my purse contained everything for “just in case.” One day after my children were gone from home and married, I felt silly carrying such a large purse; therefore, for several years, I have tried to downsize to a small purse. Today I thought to myself, why am I doing this? Why am I trying to push and shove everything I want to take, into a small purse where I must dig and dig to find anything in it? My heart longs for a large pocketbook again. I want it to be big enough to comfortably contain all the stuff I want to take along with me. Needless to say, very soon I’m shopping for a pocketbook, not a purse! I’ll let you know what I find. By the way, I want to mention that I also neatly fold my paper money in 4ths and store the bills in my wallet!