I empty the contents of my handbag on the coffee table and try to make sense of how the pieces that fell from it, reflect the lifestyle choices I make.
The bag itself is partly a lifestyle choice and mostly a lifestyle dream. I bought her on my most recent trip to Paris whilst The Interior Decorator was shopping for a Louis Vuitton bag. I would far rather have something unique, different and quirky than a well-known brand name where it is difficult to tell the difference between the real thing, which you need to mortgage your mother for, and a Chinese knock-off that is so cheap that it is being sold by vendors at traffic lights in the city where I live. She’s a constant reminder of how much I love Paris and to keep following the dream to live there. One day. When I am big.
It was interesting to realise that there were in fact two lipsticks in my handbag. I very seldom, if ever wear any make-up, let alone lipstick. Yet, I have been known to do a 104km bicycle race around the Cape Peninsula with lipstick, perfume and some money in my saddle bag. Oh, and I guess some tools too.
The lipstick and perfume where there in case I fell and needed to be taken to hospital. The money for in case I decided I couldn’t cycle any further and needed to call a taxi to take me home. I never figured out what the tools would be used for.
But I digress. The lipsticks. Who knows? Am I subconsciously this well-groomed lady with immaculate make-up? I’ll have to ponder this for some time.
The theatre tickets were for the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra’s performance last week. Schubert’s Rosamunde Overture, Bruch’s Concerto for Clarinet and Viola and Beethoven’s Symphony No 7. Awesome. Fantastic. Wonderful. A delightful evening with dear friends, lots of laughter and a good few glasses of wine. And some interesting insights.
The tickets represent a number of lifestyle choices. For years I have neglected my love of and flair for entertaining. Last week I went completely over the top with the most extravagant and lavish pre-theatre snacks. For years I have neglected my love for going to the theatre. Thanks to my Famous Friend and The Musician, I now attend many opening nights and worthwhile performances.
My wallet. Mmmmm. What to say? What to do? It contains the obligatory variety of plastic bank cards. Most of them simply that. The accounts they link to have all been maxed out, some have even exceeded their limits. There’s very little cash in my wallet, but a thick pile of credit card slips. Accusing reminders of my inability to reconcile my champagne taste with my beer income. My wallet is a definite reminder of lifestyle choices that are in serious need of focus, attention and action. I can feel my heart getting heavier and my mind clouding over. Let’s just leave it at that. One day. Soon. Very soon.
A comb, a scrunchy and hair pins. The comb is as superfluous as the lipsticks. I don’t recall ever using it. The scrunchy is indicative that a considered and beautifully coiffed hairstyle simply just isn’t me. It would appear that I have given up the battle against grey. Who knows? But every now and then I do have the need to feel somewhat more stylish and pin my hair up with jewelled pins.
Very importantly though, it struck me as I was writing this, the scrunchy is a reminder of a mindset. Many years ago my Mills Friend, who barely knew which side of a needle to thread, and I made scrunchies, hair bands, hairclips and all kinds of hair accessories which we sold at flea markets all over Cape Town. In the process we also made the most wonderful memories which, to this day, make me cry with laughter thinking back on them. However, I realised it just wasn’t good economic policy to invest so many hours making things that could only be sold at a relatively low price. There really is a limit to what people are prepared to pay for a hand sewn scrunchy! Whenever I conjure up a money making scheme where I realise the amount of time and energy that I am going to invest is disproportionate to the amount of money I could make, I remind myself not to give in to my ‘scrunchy mindset’ and encourage myself to think big, to think out of the box.
The hand lotion and reading glasses are functional. I simply cannot stand having dry hands. And spending endless hours over many years staring at computer screens means that my arms have now become too short to be able to read a thing without glasses. I’m an avid reader. The reading glasses are a must. Oh, right. My mobile phone also falls in the functional category. With it I remain connected to people, I take photographs and, most importantly, I while the time playing Sudoku. How these items relate to being lifestyle choices I am so not going to ponder now.
But then there are my cigarettes, my lighter and a roller ball to occupy my hands when I cannot smoke. Smoking is a lifestyle choice. It is one I did manage to give up once. But as a good smoker, I soon found out I was only a puff away from thirty a day. For now I smoke. But it is a lifestyle choice which is on my bucket list to change. I’m not ready to put timelines on this one yet.
These are then the parts of my life I lug around with me on days that I carry my stunningly beautiful handbag.
The music: I honestly do love Paris in every season, every day and in every way.
The photograph: My beautiful ‘bought in Paris’ handbag and the second challenge for this week displayed.