Good morning followers and first time readers and welcome to Le Allegre Comari.
As we settle around the table let me bring out the cappuccino for Giulia, the espresso for the rest of us and today I’m offering you a piece of Sicily through my delicious cassata.
Giulia – Thanks for the cappuccino, Annamaria. Haven’t you got a croissant too? In Italy we call it ‘cornetto‘. I’m a bit traditional for breakfast. At the bar I always ask for ‘cappuccino e cornetto’. Don’t tell me I’m too hard to please, my friends. Our next chat I’ll bring a crostata for you… or maybe a Tiramisú, if you like it.
Annamaria – Yes, I remember the light breakfasts I used to eat as a child in Italy. ~takes a sip of espresso~ Giulia, how are you this beautiful morning, I must say I really like your purse, where did you buy it?
Giulia – I must say I usually love big ones in which I put a great part of my everyday life.
The one I have with me today is a Fendi shopping bag. I use it because it’s indestructible, goes with every dress (at least with those not too elegant) and I can put everything I want inside it.
My sister gave it to me as a gift and I really enjoy wearing it
But let us make a joke, dear friends. Let us see what we have in our purse right now. Please do not cheat and be sincere.
Annamaria – If I tell you about my purse, you’ll have a hard time believing me. You see this little envelope purse. ~holds up a small light brown purse~ I bought this when I was seventeen. Yes, my dear friends, this little handbag is more than 25 years old. It’s not designer, only good leather and it’s one of my favorites. What about you Jennifer, where’s your purse. Show us, please.
Jennifer – Wow, Annamaria, 25 years with the same purse. I’m very rough on my things and I don’t think I’d have a purse last me that long. But, my purse (growing up in Boston, we called them pocketbooks) is a Louis Vuitton backpack. It’s the newer checkered pattern, brown and small. I love the backpack purses because they leave my hands and arms free. Plus, they’re perfect for traveling. My husband bought me this purse one year for my birthday and I love it. Diana, I also love purses, but I’m also a sucker for shoes. Those are my two vices, but lately I’ve been more reserved.
Okay, so let’s see what I have in my purse. Oh, goodness. I have tons of papers and change at the bottom of my purse. I have an Edward from Twilight makeup case that has more papers–business cards, some lipsticks and perfumes. My Louis Vuitton wallet is so full of more papers, store receipts, and credit cards that I can’t button it. My sunglasses case, which is quite big and takes up a lot of space. I have a baggie full of medicine, like, Dayquill, Pepto, headache medicine, and Alka Seltzer Plus Cold. I tend to be the local pharmacy for everyone when they get sick. All of my employees know to come to me when they’re not feeling well. That’s about it. ~Now thinking about cleaning out this mess~
~Annamaria – shakes head gazing at Diana~
Diana – I got my last purse at Marshall’s, where I find a lot of designer items. It’s a Kathy Van Zeeland. I love her purses. (Holds it up). Gold is my favorite color—if you saw my website photo, you’ll see that gold jacket I’m wearing—my friend Helen said ‘that costume is outrageous. Did you rent it?’
This’ll sound strange, but I don’t carry my purse all the time, only when I’m going somewhere important, like a meeting. For running errands somewhere local, I just bring my wallet, cos all I need is my credit card or checks. Everything else is in compartments, but I STILL forget what compartments I put these things in! One compartment holds a business card holder, a pen and a small writing pad. The other one holds the real important items: a comb, a mirror, tissues, and Tums. In the third compartment, I carry a toothbrush and floss. And believe me, that DOES come in handy! Ever eat out, then realize you’d KILL for a toothbrush or floss?
I’ll put lipstick in my purse after I decide which one I’m wearing.
Other essentials are in my car—Motrin, another comb, an emery board, more tissues, more lipstick, a stash of protein bars and always a bottle of water. So if it’s not in my purse, it’s in my car.
~Refilling smoothie cup with coconut almond milk and protein powder~. But my very favorite purse is one I bought on my first trip to Italy when I was a freshman in high school, 1972. I went to a Catholic high school, St. Dominic’s, and they offered an ‘art and music tour of Italy’ every year. Even though it was 42 years ago I’ll never forget it. I bought a brown suede shoulder bag in Assisi, and the shopkeeper engraved my initials on the inside in gold. I’ll treasure it always. It cost $30, and that was a lot in 1972. But it was a very special occasion. We also went to Padua on that trip, and I’ll never forget visiting St. Anthony’s Basilica. Of course you know how popular he is among Italians; my father’s name was Anthony, and I still wear a St. Anthony medal. In the Basilica is an ornate reliquary containing his tongue, which never deteriorated, even though he lived in the 1200s. It also has bits of his robe. I’d always wanted to return there, and when I brought my husband to Italy for the first time in 1995, I made sure we went to Padua & St. Anthony’s. I wasn’t feeling too great that day, but the second I walked through the door, I felt like a million lira. There’s a strong charge of energy in that place, and I’m not psychic and don’t pick up on such things, but it is there without a doubt.
Did you know he wasn’t from Italy and his name wasn’t Anthony?
Annamaria – I didn’t know that, and I find it pretty interesting. More coffee any one?
Lots of things make it into a woman’s purse… that’s why I carry such a small one. I keep my wallet with the essential credit card and driver’s license, health insurance card, bankcard and always my library card. Chewing gum is a must, I never go anywhere without it. My girls can drive me crazy if I don’t have any with me. Papers, my purse is always full of papers—the grocery list from last week I forgot to throw away. The grocery bills I forgot to log in my manager’s book—yes I’m the manager and I try to run my household like a business. Pens and pencils (mechanical pencils) they are essential, in my opinion. When I go out I slip my cell in my purse. I also keep a checkbook, Chapstick, and no money; I never carry cash in my purse. I have business cards I’ve picked up along the way and have never used, and probably never will. Hold on, what’s this? ~Unfolds a piece of line paper~ oh! And sometimes I have that piece of paper I wrote part of a story on while waiting at a doctor’s office. That’s it for my purse.
What about you Giulia, what do you keep in your bag?
Giulia – I really don’t remember what’s inside my bag, so let us see together… Here it is the notebook with the notes of my new novel. And this little bottle… yes, my Bach flowers. Then papers, papers, papers. Like you, Annamaria, I write everything I have to do on papers I usually forget somewhere.
But let’s go ahead. Wallet, make-up, cell phone, sun glasses, a little rock crystal that my son gave me as a gift and… here is ‘the’ key. It opened my mom’s house that I sold one year ago. My mom is no longer with us, but I have the key always with me. I keep thinking that with this key I can still go back to her and to all the memories of my days with her and of my youth. I get emotional every time I have this key in my hands, ~takes a moment to compose herself~.
What’s still in my bag? Oh, here is the watch I could no longer find. There’s everything in this bag, but not even a pen. I can buy dozens of pen but they always disappear, don’t know where. There must be a place where all the pens and odd socks we never find end up.
About watches… I see that it’s already eleven! Sorry, ladies. This ‘chiacchierata’ has been very pleasant but I have to do some grocery shopping. It’s very hot today, so I think for lunch I’ll prepare some ‘pasta fredda’ with tomatoes, mozzarella, olive oil and capers.
Hope to see you soon, ladies.
Annamaria – And there you have it folks, what some authors keep in their purses. Yes, this was a silly talk, but hopefully it gave you more insight into Le Allegre Comari. As the world of Indie Authors brings on stress, we have found a way to relax for a few.
Until next time, Arrivederci.