Saturday, October 1, 2011
MY VELVET PURSE
I love purses but the irony is, I seldom carry one. Weddings, funerals, special events--all dressed up--yes, I'll carry a purse but since they've started the metal detectors at political events, poor Gerald has to carry my ID in his jacket pocket! When I go to a store, I carry my credit card in the "safe"--my bra--and my phone in a pocket!
I received my first purse when I was 13; it was in some items my sister-in-law had given to me. It was a velvet clutch with a zipper with a loop on the end of the zipper. I felt so grown-up but I had very little to carry in it. I had started experimenting with make-up, much to the consternation of my brothers (typical remark: "What's that shit you got around your eyes?"). I had a bottle of Campana make-up, Maybelline mascara, Hazel Bishop lipstick, a compact (which I still have!), some Kleenex and a pen and notebook. I didn't know that it was a fashion faux pas to carry a velvet purse for "everyday" use; I carried it everywhere!
During the summer when I was 13 my sister-in-law was pregnant and I was staying with her while my brother was working second shift. I don't know what they thought a 13-year old could do to help (maybe boil water?) but he would pick me up in the afternoon and take me to their apartment and then he would take me home at midnight. She had the baby the week before school started.
At that time our local radio station would give away movie tickets to the first person who called in with the correct answer. They had limits on how many times one could win so I would use a number of aliases. I won a lot of movie tickets and my sister-in-law and I would walk from the apartment on Temple Street to the Chakeres Fayette Theater.
One night we were sitting watching a movie and three young men (probably teenagers) came in and sat down behind us and they started making suggestive remarks to my very-pregnant sister-in-law. Despite my make-up, the remarks were not made to me. I had a short hair-do (which I'd had the beautician cut like Elvis' DA) and as I had not "blossomed", they probably thought I was a boy!
I turned around and hit one of them with my velvet purse which contained that bottle of Campana make-up! As it THUNKED against his head he let out a yelp and the three of them skedaddled! To this day, my sister-in-law tells the story to peals of her own laughter.
My velvet purse was stolen the next year.