Found at: Sainsbury’s
After a few short years as a teacher, the contents of my purse has forever changed. It used to be that I could leave the house with nothing more than my ID, credit card, and Motorola Razr (RIP) and I would be fine for the rest of the day. But now that I’m into my late 20s, I can’t seem to leave home without a medic kit full of band-aids, Advil, wet-wipes, and snacks.
My brother, the minimalist, regularly admonishes me: “Do you own your stuff or does you stuff own you?” and while he is not wrong about my need to downsize, about my purse, I do not yield. There is not a day that goes by that my purse full of treasure does not come in handy: I hand around cough drops during flu season, pass band-aids to my limping classmates, and I toss around Advil like beads at Mardi Gras. I feel like Florence Nightingale without the heroism and the danger.
But the truth is, I do not carry around my medical kit for selfless reasons, but to hide the fact that I am a bit of a jerk. Those who have lived with me know that I can be a very harsh and irritable person: I am easily annoyed by the sound of people coughing, refuse to slow down for people in uncomfortable shoes, and have no patience for people complaining about feeling ill. If you tell people to buck up, they think you’re being mean. If you hand them a tissue, they think you’re looking out for them. And they also stop SNIFFLING THROUGH THE LECTURE I AM TRYING TO LISTEN TO, CYNTHIA.
And since moving to the UK, I’ve added two or three Oreo Crème eggs to my kit. In part, because they are delicious – a cookies and crème filling in a chocolate eggshell – and because they hold up very well in the laundry-machine environment of my handbag. They are a handy snack when I feel my hanger levels rising (which is fairly often). But more importantly, they are a nostalgic, comforting food to many of my UK classmates. Whenever I pull one out of my bag, people look at me as if I have performed a magic trick – that I’ve conjured up a little bit of childhood in the middle of a lecture. In fact, they are so delighted to receive one that they forget that they’ve been talking to me for an hour about something I do not care about. Or that they have been completely unhelpful in the group project because they didn’t eat lunch. Or that they need to get over that breakup because IT’S BEEN SIX MONTHS AND I’M TIRED OF HEARING ABOUT IT EVERY DAY, CYNTHIA.
But they don’t need to know that. They don’t need to know how mean and heartless I can be. All they need to know is that I have an Oreo Crème Egg with their name on it.