The losing of the purses, I have decided, is a metaphor for how I like to deal with commitment. Not relationship commitment so much as employment commitment or geographical commitment. Exhibit A: The very first purse I lost was after my sophomore year at Bowling Green when I began to feel like this whole college thing was truly overrated. It was a small, square, rattan number with a very annoying pineapple appliqued into one side of the rattan. Witness fashion perfection. We'll hitherforetoafter refer to this little ditty as 'The Pineapple'.
It was mid-summer before my first year of nursing school, and I was living in Glorious Toledo Ohio, the venerable "Armpit of America". Most of my friends lived in BG and were working joke-jobs for the summer and going out every night, while I was spending 40 hours a week doing clinicals and homework. Yum. Finally, I decided to break out of my anti-social, anti-fun shell and head down to BG for a night of binge drinking and dancing. Thursday night, I arrived at the group house where most of my friends were living for the summer and we proceeded to have a great time grilling out, drinking, and acting like idiots. All the while, carrying my hot little Pineapple around with me.
Some time around 12am, when we decided we were bored with each other and needed to hit the dance floor, we headed to Uptown (both bar and dance mecca for the completely inebriated). I'm basically three sheets at this point and made the all intelligent choice to have the two nice gentlemen stationed beside the bar watch my Pineapple while I went off to strut my Micheal Jackson imitation dance moves. THREE HOURS LATER, du-duh-duh, (we can see where this is going) I return to the bar in search of my Pineapple. What? What's that? Those two nice gentlemen didn't decide to fore-go their night of entertainment in order to safely guardian over my purse? The hell you say. Guar.an.teed those guys hit the door the second I turned my back, holding my Pineapple hostage.
So, now I start to sober up. I'm thinking about the items in the bag: car keys, house keys, wallet, cell phone, money, gift certificates, social security card, etc. I have no idea how to get back to Toledo or even just move my car so the guy parked in front of me in the driveway can get out. Yikes. Friday morning, still no Pineapple, I make the dreaded phone call to my parents begging them to overnight my spare set of keys from Columbus. (Because that is the only logical place for my spare set of keys to be, considering I let perfect strangers watch my purse at 12am in a bar.) My mom reassures me that yes, it will be okay and yes, I am the idiot I think I am. Then I drag all of my friends back to the bar to look in every trash can, ask every wino, and leave no stone unturned trying to locate the purse. Why these people are still my friends I have no idea, because we were hungover as hell and it was 100 degrees outside. Yes!
Still no Pineapple, I wait for my keys to arrive the next day and return to Toledo. I'm a walking zombie for two days, worrying about all of my things and re-ordering important identification documents. All the while I'm thinking in the back of my head, (the part I was not using when I propositioned the boys at the bar) that some one would find my purse and send it back to its rightful owner. Boy am I naive. The dread sets in and I give up hope, congratulations cruel world you won. And yet...
Wait, what's that I hear? Naivety winning in the end? Get this, on Monday afternoon I return to the apartment after class and the little red light is blinking on our answering machine (ah memories, remember answering machines?). I retrieve the message and it's this little Asian-accented man babbling about the post office and blue mailbox and A PINEAPPLE PURSE. I immediately go deaf and dumb, stuttering thanks and praise to my new best Asian friend. We made arrangements to meet at the post office in an hour and I hung up, completely in awe of the situation. I quickly tell my two roommates who were standing by watching the soap opera unfold in disbelief and we're all jumping up and down in the kitchen praising Allah and Jesus and Tom Cruise.
Then I stop. I had just made a crushing revelation and my heart sank into the pits of despair, yet again. Cruel World = 2, Me = 0. This had to be a joke, because during the crying and the wringing of the hands and the blood letting of Saturday, I had made the comment to my friend Sara (the epitome of a best friend and also the greatest and most heinous joke player known to man) that once I saw on Oprah how people find things other people have lost all the time and drop the items in blue mailboxes because they know the postal people will return them to their rightful owners. That little b.i.o.t.c.h just had some guy call me, pretending to be a mailman, and fed me that lie so that they can all gather around a beer cooler in the post office parking lot, waiting for me to come flying in there expecting my Pineapple! I was furyocious. (New word.) I immediately call Sara, and start yelling at her that the joke's over and I know her little tricks and we're broken up best friends now. Only she has no idea what I'm ranting about and I finally realize it's true. The Pineapple is back!
(Wow this is the longest post I've ever written.)
So I'll be brief. Ha. I fly down to BG, go straight to the post office, and am literally crawling out of my skin before I see my new Asian friend behind the counter. I ransack him and explain that I am the Pineapple owner and he leaves to retrieve my treasure. As I watch him walk back to the counter the bag comes into view. I hate what that stupid purse just put me through but I have never been so happy to see a Pineapple in my whole life. Everything was in the purse. The phone, the keys, even the gift certificates, but there was no cash (which may be because I had spent it all ordering Buttery Nipples before leaving the purse with the thieves at the bar).