This is a logistical issue known only to women, and maybe to a few men who use man-purses. Or murses. Or satchels. Or whatever adorable name they’re giving those things.
I switched purses for Easter. Because, you know, Easter. So instead of my usual lighter-than-air cross-body bag, which has convenient zippered pockets for everything I could possibly want to carry ever, I went with my reproduction lightship basket. “Reproduction” is a fancy way of saying “cheap knockoff.” I would love someday to own a real lightship basket — they’re made in Nantucket, they’re steeped in history, they are absolute works of art — but while my reproduction cost about $100, a real one, featuring hand-woven details and ethically sourced ivory, would be about $1,000. So I am sticking with the reproduction. (I get compliments every time I use it, and sometimes I feel compelled to explain to people that it’s not real. Because honesty-to-a-fault is my main character trait.)
Shockingly, you can’t fit too much stuff into a basket with a shoulder strap. So I had to pare down my usual amount of stuff. This is why I left my usual writer’s notebook home. We were going to services, we were meeting Grandma for lunch, I certainly wouldn’t have time to write.
I forgot about the nearby playground we’d be visiting after lunch. And also that I get cold easily, especially in a skirt. So by the time we got to the playground, I’d decided to hide in the car instead of braving the cold.
I had the entire car to myself. I had writing time! And no notebook!
Frantically I scanned the car. There had to be something to write on. The newspaper? A stray receipt? An Easter basket?
Fortunately Grandma had given the kids activity notebooks to occupy them in the restaurant. You know how those little notebooks always have a piece of cardboard in them to keep them straight?
That’s right. I wrote on cardboard.
I made some good progress on my current story, actually.
When we got home later, I transferred the writing from the cardboard to my notebook. Because I’m disorganized enough as is, and there is no way I can keep track of a bunch of notebooks and random pieces of cardboard. But it served me well.
And next time, I’ll remember to squeeze a notebook into my basket. You never know when you’ll get writing time.