Tag: Pretty Things

I like purses.

I have a lot of them.

Different shapes.  Different colors.  And…different sizes.

They make me happy.

But I must admit I tend to gravitate toward larger bags.

For me…size does matter (you knew it had to show up somewhere in this one).

I’m not sure why.  It’s not like I put more in a large bag than any other bag (the proverbial “evening” bag being the exception since you’re lucky to fit a lipstick and license in those).

I put the same stuff in every purse that I assume other women put in theirs.  Wallet, checkbook, phone, lip stick(s), Advil bottle (filled with a variety of pain relieving substances), pen, and reading glasses.

Oh…and tissues, card holder (with my She Thinks business cards), tic tacs and loose change of course.

And sometimes my e-reader.  (You never know when you’ll have the chance to finish a chapter.)

And a sweater or scarf.  (You never know when you might get chilled.)

I think a big purse makes me feel secure.  Like I have options.

Ya know…the option to carry more stuff should I have the need to pick stuff up and carry it somewhere.

Maybe it’s a girl thing.

Or a mom thing (God knows, we moms seem to carry a lot of stuff).

But there are women out there who use really small bags and seem to have everything they need in them.

I admire that.  I couldn’t do it.  But I admire them for it (it makes me think they must be VERY organized and efficient).

The other day someone (a guy) saw me with one of my big purses slung over my shoulder and asked me if I always carried my “luggage” around with me.

I wasn’t offended.  Guys don’t understand big purses.  They’re intimidated by them.  Like they’re scare of ‘em (or they’re scared of what they might find in them).

How many times have you heard a guy say “what do you carry in that thing?”

As if we carried a bunch of deep dark scary stuff like poisons or snakes or bags and bags of feminine hygiene products that we’re ready to whip out in public at any time.

But the bag in question wasn’t that big.  It was a hobo bag and it was just a bit stretched out from months of swinging it from my shoulder to the floor, or over into the backseat of the car, or onto the end of the banister where it lives when I’m at home.

But the comment did give me reason to take a good hard look at what had become my “go to bag”…and I was forced to admit that it did look BIG.

Or rather…long.   Months of daily use and abuse had caused it to look more like a woven laundry sack (albeit with a nice leather strap and matching leather bottom) than a stylish shoulder bag.

Not what I was going for.

Apparently I had become too lazy to change my bag and I had entered into a purse rut.

Normally, I love to change my purses to go with my outfits.   It’s part of the game of mixing and matching different colors and textures to make a full outfit, with purses adding another piece to the puzzle.

But over the course of the winter I seem to have ignored all the other bags lining the top shelves of my closet…and my one “go to bag” was obviously now showing the worse for wear.

I’m so embarrassed.

I guess I have no choice but to seek out one of the many big purses I have at the top of my closet, so I have the option to fill it with lots more stuff.

I don’t know what (if anything) purse size means.  Maybe that you’re an important person with important things that you need to carry to important places?

I’m trying to come up with a reason as to why I carry bigger purses.  Is it because I need that much room?  Is it because I have so many things that I need to lug around?

Is it because I’m important?

Nah.

I love purses, and usually I adopt the motto of “the bigger the better”.

I have plenty of smaller purses that I think are adorable, I just don’t use them as much as the gigantic ones.

Why?  Because I have shit to carry that I need!

Actually, I only have a few things that I actually need to carry.

My wallet (which is pretty tiny) my book or e-reader (which goes everywhere with me), my phone, and my keys.

Other than that, there’s really nothing I need to take with me.

So why do I insist on carrying around an oversized purse?

Because they’re pretty.

There’s really no other reason than that.

It’s personal preference.

I guess I like that I have the room to shove snacks (I like to carry snacks everywhere in case I get hungry, because if I get hungry I get cranky.  I’m basically 3 years old), or a sweater (I’m also basically 78).

But as long as I can carry those few things that I need (like my book), then I’m fine.

In order to answer this question I found myself walking around my house looking at all of the “stuff” I own and asking myself if I thought one thing or another  was the most important.

I knocked lots of things off the list right away.  Electronics, clothes, shoes (come on…I like ‘em but I’m not that shallow!), furniture, bake ware….ya know, all the stuff that sits in and on cabinets and closets throughout the house.

And then I thought about my artwork.

The oil painting hanging over the couch in my office was my first piece of art worth more than $100 and I do love it.  It’s a beautifully done oil painting of flowers in an exquisite frame.  It is the most beautiful painting I own.   But truthfully, it’s not even close to being the most important thing I own.

In addition to the painting, I now have 3 amazingly beautiful sculptures that Brian has given me since we separated (I know…don’t even get me started) that I certainly would make a point to grab and put in my car if I was told that I had 15 minutes to gather my possessions before my house were to blow up.  But again…when it comes down to it, they aren’t the most important items I own.

So then I thought of all of the sentimental stuff I have.

Obviously, the first thing I thought of was our family photos.  After Brian and I split up, I was the one who declared that I would be the keeper of the family photo albums (of which there are probably 20-25) and I have them neatly stacked on top of each other on storage shelves in the basement.  Not that I don’t love to look through them, and cherish all of the pictures/history/memories in them…but the reality is that they “live” in the basement.  So in all honesty, how can I proclaim them the most important items, when they gather dust in the bowels of my house 99.9% of the time?

Jewelry?  I do now have some amazingly beautiful and sentimental pieces, and I would be absolutely heart sick if I ever lost them…(like a necklace that was my mom’s and another from Ally, a watch from my grandmother, earrings from Brian and a bracelet from Matthew) but I just can’t elevate any one of them to the status of “most” important thing that I own.

So how about books?  There are a few (not many as I’m not a voracious reader like the other members of my family) that have shaped my life.  They influenced the way I look at the world.  They occupied hours of my life by taking me to places and times I’ll never visit.  They broadened my mind.  But they certainly are not the most important things in my life.

So what the hell could it be?

It’s my dogs.

We could get into a philosophical argument as to whether or not our pets are our property or chattel?  But the reality is…that they (there are 4 of them now) are the most important “things” in my life.

I don’t treat them like things.  I treat them like pets.  That I love.  And cherish.  And care for.

And when it all comes down to it…if my house were on fire, the ONLY thing I would run in to rescue without thinking about it twice…would be my dogs.  The rest…while important to one degree or another…are just not the most important things in my life.

It’s funny.  I have stuff.  Lots of stuff, actually.  Too much stuff, some would say.

But what’s actually important?

What would I grab if there was a fire?

What do I love more than anything.

Of course, first and foremost, there’s the dogs.  But most days I feel like they own me, and they’re not really things.  And the importance that the two of them hold for me should be assumed.

So in terms of actual THINGS that I own, what’s the most important thing to me?

My computer has so much important stuff on in that it would be a total bummer if, for whatever reason, I no longer had it.

But is it the MOST important thing I own?  No – it’s definitely not.

I have a ring that Mike gave me several years ago for Christmas.  I love it.  I wear it every minute of everyday.  It makes me happy every time I look at it.

Yeah, I would say it’s a pretty damn important thing that I own.  It’s not only beautiful, but holds an incredible amount of sentimentality too.

And the only thing that’s tied in first place with THAT ring is a new ring I got 2 weeks ago.

One of those rings.

THE ring.

The big one.

The one that came with a question and a promise from a boy who wears glasses and who’s my best friend.

Yeah, that’s my most important thing.

:-)

PS: I also got into graduate school for next Fall.  I’ll be going to the University of Colorado for Speech Language Pathology.  I was trying to come up with a cute way to make that part of the actual post, but I can’t come up with anything.  BUT YAY I’M GOING TO GRADUATE SCHOOL.

(Followed closely by OH SHIT I’M GOING TO GRAD SCHOOL.)

(I have no similar fears about getting married.)

I have to admit…I take the whole gift giving thing pretty seriously.

In my world, gift giving is much more of an art than a science, and I’ve learned to appreciate the finer art of gift giving for a significant other.

It starts with listening.  Listening to your loved one about what THEY like, what THEY appreciate, or what THEY would never get for themselves…but would love to get.

It’s supposed to be about THEM.  Not US.

But the truth is…it’s downright tough to think about them and figure out what they’d like!

And I know this from experience.   I wasn’t always good at this stuff.

I mean, no guy should have to get a sweater with leather patches on the shoulders and elbows each year for Xmas (sorry Brian).  But then again… no woman should ever have to get a hot-air popcorn popper for her birthday (again…sorry Brian).

But I’ve learned (and so has Brian).

And I think now I’ve gotten pretty good at gift giving, especially for my significant other (lucky Matthew).

Cause I think I’ve figured out the rules.

Finally!

I mean, you’d think someone would have told us all the rules by now!!!!

So…in an act of community service during this 2010 Holiday season, I offer you…

The Rules of Gift Giving for A Significant Other

by Cindy Carrillo

Part 1: Rules for Giving Gifts to a Woman (Significant Other)

Rule #1…NEVER give a woman who is your spouse or significant other an appliance Of ANY KIND for a special occasion or holiday.  I don’t care if the toaster/washing machine/vacuum cleaner just broke and she ASKED for a new one.  Get it next Tuesday…but NOT for a holiday or special occasion.

Rule #2…If it has some utilitarian function…don’t get it.  She can (and probably will) get it for herself.  However, giving gifts of “experiences” (things SHE likes to do!) are like gold to a woman (‘cause then she doesn’t have to make all of the plans herself!!!!).

Rule #3…DON’T listen when she says she has everything and doesn’t want anything.  But DO listen to what she talks about and shows interest in, and DO pay attention to what she pauses to look at in the store.  Exception:  collections are fun and all…but don’t take the easy way out and get her another cow or turtle or coffee mug (that’s what your other family and friends already get her!).

Rule #4…If it would make her feel pretty or special or pretty AND special…get it.  It’s worth every penny!

Rule #5…It doesn’t matter if she already has 17 pairs of earrings, 12 necklaces, 15 bracelets and 6 rings.  The new one you get her this time…will end up being her new favorite.

Part 2: Rules for Giving Gifts to a Man (Significant Other)

The rules for Men (I think) are somewhat different…but still…follow the same basic premises as above:

Rule #1…Never give a man an appliance as a gift…as if a woman would ever get a guy a washing machine for his birthday!  Exception:  Power Tools (unless of course he’s Jewish…in which case you want to give him a gift certificate for a handyman).

Rule #2…If it has utilitarian function…GET IT.  Again…that whole power tool (or electronic) thing.  Not sure why, but men seem to like stuff that actually does something useful.

Rule #3…I have yet to hear a guy be coy about what he wants, because men don’t play games like women do.  So if he tells you what he wants, get it.  He doesn’t need the surprise or for you to figure it out for yourself (like women do).

Rule #4…If he’s into lookin’ good…it’s worth every penny to help him feel that way with a great addition to his wardrobe.  But if he doesn’t care how he looks…don’t get him clothes…or you’ll risk being thought of as his mother (which we all know is the kiss of death to a relationship!).

Rule #5…Unless he collects cufflinks or ties or sports team paraphernalia (or whatever!) …don’t get him stuff he already has.  “Choice” just doesn’t mean the same to him.  Think “the latest electronic” or gadget or game.  He’d rather turn something on and play it, than wear it!

There you have it!

I hope you’ll follow these rules and have years of happy and fruitful gift giving between you and your significant other (and never receive a popcorn popper or leather patched sweater ever again!).

I’m speaking (mostly) from a girl’s perspective here.

(Obviously.)

Appropriate:
Something she wants, that she didn’t even realize she wanted.
Inappropriate:
Something you want, whether or not she realizes she wants it.

Appropriate:
Something she would never get for herself because it’s too extravagant.
Inappropriate:
Something she would never get for herself because WHO WOULD WANT THAT?

Appropriate:
Something she’ll use.
Inappropriate:
Something she needs.

Appropriate:
Something she wants that she explicitly asked for.
Inappropriate:
That mattress pad that she explicitly asked for.

Appropriate:
A book by her favorite author.
Inappropriate:
A self-help book about how to stop being a control freak, even if it’s by her favorite author.

Appropriate:
A gift certificate for a full day at the spa.
Inappropriate:
A gift certificate for a full body waxing… even at a spa.

Appropriate:
A cookbook.
Inappropriate:
A diet cookbook.

Appropriate:
Lingerie
Inappropriate:
Lingerie two sizes too large (or too small).

Appropriate:
Something for the house.
Inappropriate:
Something to clean the house.

Appropriate:
A DVD of a movie that you both loved.
Inappropriate:
A DVD of a movie that you loved but she fell asleep or covered her eyes through.

Appropriate:
Some nice lotion.
Inappropriate:
Nice lotion that has “anti-aging” or “clears acne in one week” on the bottle.

Appropriate:
A sweater.
Inappropriate:
A sweater your mom picked out.

Appropriate:
Candles in her favorite scent.
Inappropriate:
Scented candles for the bathroom.

Appropriate:
Diamonds.
Inappropriate:
Fake diamonds that you pretend are real.

Appropriate:
A new car.
Inappropriate:
A muffler to make her old car sound “manly”.  (Mike asks me every year if I want one… Every.  Single.  Year.)

Appropriate:
A gift certificate for a massage.
Inappropriate:
A homemade coupon for a hug.  (Unless it accompanies diamonds or a new car.)

You get the idea.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule.

Maybe she really wants a muffler!

But, you know, better safe than (really) sorry.