My One and Only New Year’s Resolution

Heidy ho, folks! Welcome to 2013! I hope its entrance was pleasant and peaceful (or, you know, woild, depending on your vices). Ours was covered in snot, which I was completely fine with, because last year it was covered in vomit. We’re sniffly, but we’re pulling through.

A few small items to address:

I want to congratulate Off Duty Mom for winning the author Elf Pack prize for Momma’s 12 Days of Christmas, and reader Shannon P for the reader prize.

Reader Wendy O snagged the Grand Prize, a Keurig brewing system, and reader Yvonne K won Momma’s 12 Days Stocking Stuffer, a Starbucks gift card.

I will be sending out prizes as soon as the river of snot begins to recede.

Congratulations and thanks everyone for your commitment and participation!

This year was an interesting one. It put me in moods I have never experienced. It had me battling with pest control folk, customer service representatives, my husband, and myself. I learned two major things: 1) Things are not always as they seem (ahem, this house), and 2) Sometimes it’s okay to a) fight for what you know is right and/or yours and b) to turn around and walk away, refuse a transaction, or abandon a process if that’s what’s best for your family, despite the way you may be perceived.

The first comes slightly easier to me than the second. I will tentatively say I’m still working on the second.

And that’s as much waxing philosophical as my congested brain can handle right now.

My particularly shining parenting moment of 2012, fortunately (or, as you’ll see, unfortunately) was captured on video:

You can put down the phone. He’s fine. And he hasn’t sprouted any whiskers (yet). He’s still walking upright, and I don’t anticipate him using the litter box (or the potty) anytime soon. (<Rimshot> Heyooo! I’ll be here all week. Try the lobster!)

Now, onto my New Year’s Resolution…

As I’ve mentioned damn near a thousand times now, I used to be meticulous, orderly, and organized. And, as I’ve mentioned just as frequently, that concept is now virtually nonexistent in my life.

I am not much of a resolution person. I’m more of a sit-back-and-watch-others-make-then-almost-immediately-break-resolutions person. If I didn’t have the intestinal fortitude to do something for 364 days, the 365th day will never be the clincher. I had no real intention of making (and, of course, subsequently breaking) any resolutions this year. That said, my purse has been – to put it nicely – neglected for the better part of two years.

And I don’t mean neglected in the Gee, I haven’t changed out this wallet with a newer and prettier wallet in a while sense. Not at all.

In October, and only after tipping the bag upside down to empty it, I found a significant number cheddar Goldfish in the bottom of my bag. I don’t know how long they were there. I don’t know if they escaped from a Ziploc bag, if they were deposited by a tiny do-gooder, or if they heroically escaped the terrifying fate of being eaten by my children. All I knew was there were a bunch of fancy-looking croutons in the bottom of my bag for an indeterminate period of time.

A few months passed, and I thought I had been doing well. Yesterday, I, as I had been planning for a few weeks, emptied Old Nelly onto the kitchen counter for what may be the only bath my poor bag and wallet would ever receive. And that’s when it all, quite literally, hit me. A fun-size bag of M & M’s from Halloween, a handful of pulverized fall leaves, a smashed orange jelly bean jammed between the folds of my wallet – the wallet I present to salespeople almost daily – and a Blockbuster card, in my ex’s name, issued in 2003, tumbled onto the counter with a thump. How’s that for Auld Lang Syne?

To add another layer of disturbing fact to this tale, as anyone with a purse will tell you, I had to have moved the Blockbuster card every time I changed purses since 2003 in order for it to be in my bag today. So, along with stale food, I have also, at some point, committed to carrying other flavors of rubbish like invalid identification cards belonging to people with whom I no longer associate, from companies that no longer exist.

I was horrified. I had reached into that bag dozens, maybe even hundreds, of times, and never saw, smelled, or felt the Goldfish, noticed the leaves, the card, or the M & M’s. My stubby fingers nary grazed the bag’s silken lining. For what may have been months.

I couldn’t, wouldn’t, be known as the Lady with the Garbage Handbag.

My bag was a war zone, except the battle’s long over, the place has been ransacked, and the wounded have been left to die.

I cleaned out the many and varied forms of trash, including several expired coupons, and shook the bag over the trash can. I was done being the Bird Lady from Home Alone.

Therefore, I declare, on this second day of January 2013, in the presence of my peers, that my handbag shall never, ever achieve the level of squalor I discovered yesterday. No food or organic refuse shall enter my bag, and if, perchance, it does, all remnants will be removed within 24 hours. Receipts from 2006 will be disposed of or put in an alternative safe place, and any and all membership paraphernalia from bankrupt corporations will be discarded.

I received a flu shot a few weeks ago. During my appointment, the pharmacist and I were chatting. When he handed me a 20% coupon, I looked up at him with a twinkle in my eye, and said, “Thanks. I will add this to my collection of expired coupons.”  I’m proud to say I remembered and used that coupon, both in record time.

And if you see me out and about, I fully expect to submit to periodic purse inspections. In fact, I insist upon it.

16 Comments Add yours

  1. Maggie S. says:

    What? No food caked orthodontic appliances belonging to 8 year-old boys? No craftsman tools?

    Happy New Year!


  2. Mayfair Mum says:

    Good work lady! I remember one of my first, oh-so-grown-up Jackie annuals had an article showing us young laydees how best to de-clutter our handbags (English purses!). I didn’t even carry a bag at the time but that sense of control that came with the first as a result of that darn book has stayed with me through every subsequent arm candy. Emptying my bag/s regularly is now almost a compulsive habit and not one I’m convinced is entirely good, if you know what I’m saying! Enjoy reclaiming that small part of your life – us mums have to hold on to every square inch!


  3. ambernacolle says:

    Lol that reminds me I’m sure my purse is of equal squalor one more thing on the list to do! Loved your sons face with the cat treats too :)


  4. finneyfer says:

    Love that video for a couple of reasons. 1) I am from Texas and down here we wouldn’t say Dextah. I love it. And 2) Both my kids (ages 2 1/2 and almost 1) eat the dog food. It completely grosses me out. And my son is constantly getting into the dog treats, too. According to the nice people at Pedigree, Dentastix are not harmful to humans. Just, you know, fyi.


    1. Ha! I can only hide my Rhode Island accent to a certain degree and for so long. It’s horrible, so I apologize! I feel terrible, but he’s fine. The food from McDonald’s is probably worse.


      1. finneyfer says:

        I visited my friend from college one year up in NYC. Her family, the Pahkahs (Parker) lived in Massachusetts and we drove up there and went skiing up in NH one day during the trip. There were two little kids that went with us and I hung out with them most of the day playing games in the lodge. (Skiing is not really my thing.) Anyway, as I’m marveling at their accents all day, the little girl tells me, “hey, you tahlk funny.” Ah, touche, little one. Touche. So you’re in good company. I tahlk funny, too. :)

        And for the record, my son uses two syllables for one syllable words. Bed becomes Bay-ed, Red becomes Ray-ed. My little Texan.


  5. musingmar says:

    It’s been years since I’ve had little hands depositing their treasures and trash in my handbag, yet it’s still full of detritus. I guess I have to admit that I’m problem! Happy new year, and good luck with your resolution!


  6. Dallas always complains about the amount of stuff in my purse. It’s because I have to carry everything. For everyone. All the time! Grr….maybe not carrying everyone else’s crap should be my resolution.


  7. Wendy O. says:

    First, I promise to love the Keurig as if it’s my first born child. Thank you oh so much for that! Secondly, my purse is a war zone. But the thing that has even more outdated things? My fridge (the outside, not the inside). Just yesterday, I was cleaning off the different things we had posted on it and found receipts from October 2010 which were receipts for Christmas gifts in case they needed to go back. Well, Christmas 2010 came and went, as did 2011 and 2012. *sigh* Apparently posting things on the fridge “where we’d see them” doesn’t work, because we never noticed how outdated those receipts were.


  8. mom2natkatcj says:

    Stopping by from SITS. I’m not a resolution girl either, but this year I put together a list of goals. I prefer to call them that because goals seems more like something I would work at attaining. So I think your goal of a cleaner more organized purse is a great one and definitely doable. So here’s your first inquest. What’s in your purse today. Quick go look and come back and tell me ;) .


    1. I checked it. All clean!!


  9. {Melinda} I feel your pain! My day is going to consist mainly of decluttering. Sigh. I want to believe it will stay that way, but I am not a stupid woman. I will have a sense of satisfaction for about 30 seconds.

    The video of your son is hilarious — what a good sport. He just kept chewing away!

    Visiting from SITS!


  10. motheringfromscratch says:

    {Melinda} I left a comment, but I don’t think it took, so forgive me if this is a duplicate. Your son is such a good sport — he just kept chewing! What a cutie. Happy New Year!

    Visiting from SITS!


  11. Little Sis says:

    LOL. I know this purse. I carry this purse. I will join you.


  12. Cassi with Tennessee Posh says:

    Oh my! I feel that our purses may be related. I find goldfish crumbs in mine, every stinking time I clean it out!


    1. Last thing I found in my bag was a lightbulb. Beat that.


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