“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” Famous quote from Albert Einstein
Of what then is a cluttered handbag a sign, I wonder?
Just wondering though because I don’t actually have a problem with my bag or my mind. (Just as people in an AA meeting don’t have a problem either until they are forced to say “My name is…and I am an alcoholic”.)
My revelation came last week at a supermarket cash desk of all places. My shopping had amounted to the princely sum of € 50.32 and as I was paying by cheque I was asked for two pieces of ID. Not one but two – understandable of course, having to identify myself twice as after all this was an enormous amount of money for a few bits & pieces and if you’re a leading supermarket chain you can never be too careful.
The two required pieces of information were unfortunately not conveniently at the top of the bag thereby necessitating an indiscreet & full rummage around in its cavernous bowels.When I failed to locate the passport & driving licence within the first couple of minutes Emma joined in the search, muttering away to herself in French & drawing enormous unwanted attention to the intestinal condition of my poor handbag cum holdall.
With two people now unable to find the necessary documents I was beginning to panic that I may well be forced to empty the entire contents out on to the cash desk. I smiled apologetically at the evergrowing queue and grovellingly asked the cashier if she would accept my carte vitale (social security health insurance card) instead. It was in my high viz large salmon pink purse which was relatively easy to find 😉
Now if I were in Scotland this would be the point when I would have expected a humorous remark & some easy banter to ease my obvious embarrassment but no, this is
France (maybe best not to make such sweeping statements) my local Carrefour and instead I got a steely glare and a straight “No” along with some very loud drumming of her fingers on the cash desk catching the attention of the people at the end of the queue who up until now had been blissfully unaware of the reason for the hold up.
I was just about to admit defeat and leave ( first having of course humiliatingly replaced all the unpurchased items back on their respective shelves myself as this is outwith the remit of any of the staff’s job descriptions) when I spotted the burgundy edge of my passport sticking out between a carry out menu and a pair of pop socks. Crisis averted and another life lesson learned.
“My name is Elena and I have a cluttered handbag.”
Here we go….
- Paint sample charts
- Two lipsticks
- A nice bundle of pens (probably why there are none on my desk)
- 14 individual packets of sugar
- 5 wooden coffee stirrers
- 1 large notebook
- 1 small notebook
- Wallet with store loyalty cards
- Tourist information leaflets
- Some receipts
- Empty wallet for car registration papers (wrote off the car last January)
- Two cases for reading glasses
- Only one pair of reading glasses
- 2 cheque books
- Small calculator
- Cleaning cloth for computer screens (for the reading glasses)
- Takeaway menu for a Chinese restaurant in Brive
- A paper clip
- Measuring tape
- 1 pair of pop socks (I don’t wear pop socks so they must be Emma’s)
- Broken light bulb (need to match a replacement bulb)
- Collectors booklet & stickers for supermarket promotion
- Roll of sellotape
- Small piece of electric cable (??don’t ask,no idea)
- 2 wrapped boiled sweets
- Sample tube of moisturiser
- Money off vouchers
- Perfume samples
- Set of house keys
- Loom band snake (bought for €1 when some of our enterprising young guests held a charity loom band sale – must have fallen off the keyring)
- Big high viz salmon pink purse
- Driving licence
- Dust, crumbs and other unidentifiable debris
Well, I suppose that’s me well on the road to recovery….first stop, I’m off to buy a much smaller handbag, but one still big enough to home the high viz purse.
Next stop,off to have a good look at my desk…..