Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Mom's Purse

Whenever we would ask my mom for a pen, a piece of paper or gum; my mom usually didn't have it. Or she would say, "What do you need it for?" I'd answer with shrugged shoulders and that was the end of that conversation. Over the years the mom's purse changed in size and color. She never switched purses until it had been beaten and used to death. Growing up I quickly realized the importance of mom's purse. There were a few times when we'd leave the house only to go back because Mom forgot her purse.

We were never allowed to look inside the purse. I used to guess what could be in there; semi-precious stones, candy, toys - all the stuff I think would be important. We were only allowed to carry it or bring it to her but never, ever look into it. I remember riding in the Datsun with Mom and her purse was unzipped in the center console. As I peered into it I remember being disappointed. I saw papers, the money holder, Mom's "wip-stic" and napkins. I quickly looked away so Mom wouldn't get suspicious.

I got yelled at once because I set Mom's purse on the floor. I was 15. Being the snotty teenager that I was I said, "Who cares? What's the big deal?" Mom explained to me that "If you put your purse on the floor, Satan will reach into your purse and steal your money." I rolled my eyes (which I'm really good at, my eyelids flutter and everything). This was no doubt one of those Mexican myths passed on from Gramma to Mom. When I pictured it, I tried my best not to laugh because Mom was already so mad at me. When I think about it now, the myth was a scapegoat. Maybe it was Satan taking all the money she worked so hard for with two jobs; just enough to make ends meet sometimes. Her purse was usually heavy; heavy with worry and stress. Those disappointing papers were bills to pay and bank statements. I think I might of seen a bottle of Advil in there too. The purse was an unforgiving weight over her shoulder reminding her of all the she has to do.

Mom doesn't carry a purse now. She's gone from working all hours of the day to being a homemaker. The big purse is non-existent. She has a tiny zip up tote, there's just enough room for her I.D., a credit card or two, a pocket for money and maybe a pen. Way to go Mom.

1 comment:

  1. too true. Mom's carry the weight of the world on a shoulder in a super cute, but durable tote. SIGH!