The incredible expanding handbag

When I was growing up, I noticed that over the years, my mother’s handbag just kept getting bigger and bigger. She had everything but the kitchen sink in there, and hauling it around was no easy feat. So my own handbags, when I started carrying them as a teen, were tiny little things with strings for straps and only enough room for my eftpos card and a lippy.

Now I’m a mum, I’ve recently noticed a worrying trend. Not only do I have a huge love for a Personalised Handbag and my collection is getting bigger and bigger, but in turn, my handbag is also getting bigger! Currently it’s more like an overnight bag or a piece of carry-on luggage than a handbag. It could fit a bowling ball. Possibly two. Among other things.
When I had my first child, I got my first nappy bag, and to be honest my subsequent handbags haven’t got any smaller than that nappy bag was. In fact, I kept using the nappy bag as a handbag until it wore out. And then the next handbag I bought was actually bigger.

My current handbag takes up the majority of the passenger seat of my car. It should probably wear a seatbelt, because if I have to stop suddenly it inevitably lurches off the seat and spills all manner of “treasures” onto the floor of the car, and then I have to spend days looking for one of the six lippies I keep in there, or the two hairbrushes, or the too-numerous-to-count lozenges, spare keys, and loyalty cards (side note: WHY can someone not come up with a universal loyalty card so I don’t have to have so many? I must have 100 and I can never find the one I want when I want it). Not to mention the travel-size packets of baby wipes, earbuds (I never use them yet I have about eight sets all tangled up in the bottom of my handbag like an electronic snake pit), and pens.

And then there are the things my kids chuck in there. Toy cars, coloured pencils, random sequins (???), lolly wrappers, disembodied Lego minifigure heads. And the things they remove without me knowing it: That fancy bar of chocolate my colleague gave me when I was having a bad day, for example. I don’t even know what flavour it was. All I know is that when I went to eat it, it was gone. They left the wrapper behind, shredded but still recognisable.

At least big handbags are on trend right now. God help me if the tiny little matchbox-sized purses of my teen years ever come back into fashion. Because I’ll have to get about 70 of them and knot all the straps together just to make it through one day. And it’ll take me even longer to remember where exactly I packed that muesli bar and the half-crushed blister pack of expired paracetamol I’ve been meaning to toss out for the past three years. If I could only find it”

Have a great week
Katherine Granich

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