What’s in my bag?!?

Let me paint you a picture…


About a year and half ago I was loitering in the English office at the school I worked at. The bell tolled, signalling the beginning of the lunch hour and one by one the teachers in the English department returned to the office to enjoy a leisurely lunch hour.

Being the conscientious citizen that I am, I decided that this was a good opportunity for me to whisk my handbag off the table in order to allow room for my colleagues to seat themselves.

I smiled to myself as I whisked the bag in question away, for I felt it was a very good deed indeed that I had just performed. Nobody else noticed my thoughtfulness though; their attention was captured by a small black creature that had fluttered down through the air and landed in the exact spot that my handbag had just vacated.

Silence fell in the room as one-by-one the women all turned to gawk at the mysterious hairy little being that had come to rest on the table top. Horror burned in my veins as recognition slowly dawned.

The little creature that was waving it’s little hairs at me from the the middle of the table was, in fact, actually an old false eyelash.

I did not hesitate.

I lunged across the table and snatched the offending lash off the table. I then proceeded to to sit at the table and pretend nothing had happened. Nothing at all. Even though my dramatic lunge had been in no way subtle and I knew for a fact that everyone had seen, I still met their questioning looks with a blank stare.

I sat there with the offending eyelash clutched in my sweaty fist, doing my best to ignore the awkward silence that hung in the air.

Eventually conversation did resume.

As soon as I thought that all attention had been firmly directed away from myself, I thrust the eyelash back into the handbag from whence it had fluttered.

And thus the situation was resolved.

But it did raise an important issue for me regarding the sort of crap that I seem to alway carry around with me.

I am confident that I am not the only handbag-carrier who finds themself carting around a whole load of unnecessary crap with them on a daily basis, but I do seem to take it to the next level. It has gotten to the point where it has become a sort of game to one of my close friends who happens to live in a different city — whenever we do manage to reunite, she goes on a mini-tour of all the loot that I have gathered since I last saw her.

Merely 6 months ago she took great delight in throwing out more little plastic fish containing soy sauce than she could carry (all the extras from every time I visited my favourite sushi shop). Seriously, she had to take two trips to the bin.

I don’t do it on purpose though. If I’m going to be completely honest, I walk a fine line between being a person who has a lot of stuff and being a fully fledged hoarder and my handbag usually does a great job of exemplifying this.

On occasion it gets bad enough that I simply switch bags instead of having to deal with sorting through all of the crap that I have collected — though you could argue that this is more of a testament to my laziness than anything. My last bag got straight up too heavy for me to lift anymore, so I simply fished a different bag out of my wardrobe and started carrying that instead.

How does this happen though?

I know that in my case I tend to pick things up during the day and if I don’t know where to put them down, I tuck them into by bag to deal with at a later date. And this is how I sometimes end up carrying around odd household items.

In the case of the rebellious eyelash – I had stumbled home after an eventful halloween party and, unable to think of a better places to stash my lashes, had simply chosen to shove them into my handbag. Clearly I don’t deal with fake eyelashes frequently enough to be well versed in what to do with them once worn. Do you just throw them out after every use? That seems like a waste…

I love watching “What’s in my bag?” videos on YouTube. I enviously glare at the level of organisation that the stars of these videos all seem to achieve within the confines of their little baggies. I marvel over the sheer lack of crap. I ponder whether they’ve taken the time to clear out the millions of receipts that one expects to find littering the bottom of a handbag, or whether these people are genuinely that clean and tidy.

These videos also satisfy how incredibly nosey I am. I really enjoy prying into the contents of other people’s bags. It genuinely fascinates me to know what other people feel the need to carry around with them.

Even though it’s now 5 years old, my favourite of these videos is still the one JennaMarbles made. I find it reassuring to know that even though she’s a successful adult, yet she still carries about 27 different lip glosses around with her.



I recently went on a ski adventure with some friends, and even then I found I had managed to pack some of the most ludicrous items into my daytime backpack.

Here is some of the useless crap that I brought with me…

Why do we do this?

Why do we all insist on carting a bunch of things that we don’t need around with us? But more than this, it UTTERLY BLOWS MY MIND that most men can go out with their keys, wallet and phone stuffed into their pockets AND NOTHING ELSE?!?


HOW do they do it?

marrypoppins bags

And how is it possible that I can’t do this — because I swear that I only started carrying a handbag a few years ago.

But there is no going back now. I am in too deep. In the most Mary Poppinsesque sense possible.


So if you’ve made it this far through the post and feel like you need some more entertainment, here are some of the weird things that I have found in my most recently carried bags…


handbag and things
This would be my current bag. I don’t know why I need 6 rolls of washi tape or 84 little bits of card that say approximately the same uncomfortably cheerful things.



surgical scrub brush
I ESPECIALLY don’t know why I carry around a Chlorhexidine Gluconate sterile scrubbing brush. Perhaps I expect that I may need to urgently scrub up and perform surgery? Or perhaps I just enjoy the squishy texture of it – though it would be significantly less strange if I just had a stress ball.
too heavy to carry
I stopped carrying this bag when it became too heavy.  Notable items here include the “Heart of the Ocean” ring that I purchased at the Titanic Museum in Belfast, various old broken watch pieces, a silver butter knife, and a cotton reel with no actual cotton on it.
very old apple
The last time I took this bag anywhere was to a seminar.  At the seminar I learned important stuff for Teaching English as a Foreign Language.  Animal Oracle cards and KPop Tarot Cards (a gift) are fairly LARGE items to just casually have hanging around at the bottom of one’s handbag.  And the apple is very very very old.  It reminded me of when you’re in primary school and you find old fruit rotting in the bottom of you backpack.  Luckily this apple wasn’t fermenting.  Instead it was heading more towards the desiccation side of things.  I should also note that EVERY THING in this bag was covered in a layer of glitter.


One final note…

If you were wondering how I knew for sure that I was the owner of the stray eyelash, and that I hadn’t just publicly swiped someone else’s dirty, used eyelash — the eyelash was a very distinctive coloured one. Katy Perry Feline Pharaoh lashes to be exact. I wore these when I was dressed as the My Little Pony known as Twilight Sparkle for halloween. I was very proud of this moment. It was one of only four occasions in my entire life that I have “successfully” applied false eyelashes to myself. And one of only two times that I haven’t glued my own eyes closed during the application process.

unicorn eyelashes
Unicorn Eyelashes
more unicorn eyelashes
Twilight Sparkle





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