Bag of Tricks Bag of Tricks

Bag of Tricks: How My Purse Saves the Day

Satchel. Crossbody. Baguette. Tote. Hobo. Messenger. Bucket. Bowler. Clutch. Whichever style it is - whichever color, fabric, or hardware selected - a woman's purse is a tool that prepares her to take life by the horns. You see, as a Coco chick, each day you step out the house should be treated as an adventure; you simply never know what you're gonna get! Sure, there are some constants that we can count on. You know - work, school, volunteering, gym - the usuals. But every moment that leads to those destinations and every interval in between is a chance to happen upon something new and exciting, so you've always gotta be prepared. A superhero never flies off without his or her cape do they? Nope. So I, being the self-proclaimed super woman that I aim to be, am never without my bag of tricks.

At first glance, some may see the purse as a simple accessory; one of those girly things that we just have, just 'cause. Others view it as a bag of bricks, so to speak, weighty and overflowing with too much of everything; far more than what any one person should require on any one day. Or so they say. Surely men would consider it the "black hole", for many an item that once fell down into its cracks never saw the light of day again - and that I can't deny. But it's so much more than all of these things combined, you see. It's my home away from home, and within each of its rooms can be found the building blocks of my daily living.

It's My Office:

I'm never without the tools needed to get my work done, even when on the go. My smartphone keeps me connected via web, email, and apps, and my back-up charger ensures that I'm always juiced up! A superhero should never utter the words: "I've only got one bar left!" Things happen, sure, but when gadgets fade to black, there's no telling what monumental occurrences can be missed. When plans of action need to be mapped out more extensively, my bag holds my notepad, favorite pen, and highlighter for emphasis. And when meeting new people on the fly, and making connections that could lead to possible ventures, it stores my cards. Don't ever forget your cards - they leave a lasting impression.

It's My Vanity:

Sometimes you have to run out the house in a flash, but please believe my bag holds the items necessary to put my best face forward! No need to pack my entire makeup kit - simply the essentials. Pressed powder, mascara, lipstick and a gloss, perhaps a neutral shadow palette. To match the look, a scent is key. My atomizer has just enough fruity-floral spritzes to awaken the senses. And don't forget about the hand cream! One cannot save the day with an ashy patch between the thumb and pointer finger. No. Dice.

It's My Vending Machine:

Going, going, going - sometimes you just can't stop. But you have to give your body the fuel it needs to get the job done. With that in mind, I keep a light snack and drink at arm's reach. Bottle of water (or VitaminWater "XXX" - yum!), granola bar, piece of fresh fruit… When I've had the opportunity to actually sit down and enjoy a meal, it's never without gum or mints; nobody needs to know that you like extra onions on your turkey burger. Fail.

It's My First-Aid Kit:

No, I'm not a doctor, but my bag of tricks has my health in mind. Wet wipes and hand sanitizer are a must with all the touching that goes down in the city: dirty money (no Diddy), poles on the subway train, door knobs - can you imagine!? Then, when I feel a slight sniffle coming on, it has my Kleenex, and even better - packets of Emergen-C to ward off whatever's in the air. You can't save the day with a cold, and of all the super powers I have, calling-out is not one that I like to use. *A-choo!*

It's My ATM:

Cash. Credit. Debit. A little bit of each - just in case. I also keep my good 'ol rewards card on standby. Those Starbucks, Walgreens, and DSW points add up - you know! Be sure to always have an emergency card stashed deep down within the bag of tricks, as well. NO, a caramel frappuccino does not count as an emergency (not most days, at least. There are always exceptions to the rule). But say your Wolford tights catch a snag on the way to a major networking event? You should always have the means to make a quick stop on the go. H&M, anyone?!

It's My Walk-In Closet:

I'm almost always able to transform my look throughout the day, because my bag is a mini-wardrobe. When my door-knocker hoops aren't appropriate for the dinner I just got invited to, my Kate Spade studs are tucked away in the wallet. When I leave out knowing that these 5 inch heels are only gonna be good for about 5 (ok, maybe 3) hours, flats are on standby. And when the sun decides to shine it's gorgeous rays directly into my pupils? Or even better, when I wanna hide from creepy men on the streets? Sunglasses on deck, shawty. Won't catch me slippin'.

It's My Entertainment:

A wait is never an issue when I'm with my bag of tricks, because it always has the tools necessary to keep me entertained. Most days, I can barely stand to take my headphones out of my ears, because my iPod knows my heart! That shady little gadget, I tell ya. Even when on shuffle, it knows all the right songs to play at all the right times. When I'm in need of inspiration, or simply want to have a quick read, a book or magazine is there at my fingertips. Once I get to flapping pages over, there's no stopping.

And so you see, my purse is so much more than a weighty piece of luggage that I tote around for mere looks. If I were an artist, I would call it my palette, for it holds all the "colors" that allow me to paint the perfect picture on life's daily canvas. Let's see what today brings!

What's in Your Bag of Tricks???

- Chelsea Smith

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Actress Gabrielle Union attends the Being Mary Jane premiere, screening, and party on January 9, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET)
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Save the date! 👰🏾It'll be worth the wait. Join us for the series finale of #BeingMaryJane TUES APR 23 8/7c only on @BET! pic.twitter.com/jEwkbC71OW

— #BeingMaryJane (@beingmaryjane) March 29, 2019

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