Thursday, April 14, 2011

FAIL: Attempted Purse Minimalism

Last week, my purse was featured on the Everyday Minimalist's "The Minimalist Wallet Series." At first I was extremely flattered, but became a bit miffed when most of the comments are like, "Um, yeah. That's a lot of stuff to carry around, and I'm not even a minimalist."

I'm not used to my being a "self-proclaimed minimalist" being critiqued since 1.) I live in the Midwest where NO ONE is actually a minimalist and 2.) I'm fairly sure my mom, sister & friends Tiffany & Reb are the only ones who read my random thoughts about minimalism and they're supportive regardless.

So a little criticism can't hurt? It can only push me into achieving greater levels of minimalism and thus complete zenlike personhood, right? Exactly! (enter evil, foreshadowing laughter...)

This evening, I had plans to get together with a few friends for drinks. I decided, "Yes! I am going to go WAY minimalist & not even TAKE my purse! It's pockets all the way for me people! I'm shedding this lug of a purse and taking only that which I truly need! Plus we're under a tornado watch due to the currently raging thunderstorm, so I don't want to be carrying lots of stuff." (This is also a good idea for me since in the last six months while out with friends, I have almost lost my purse once, almost lost my jacket twice, and truly lost a credit card once.) Less is OBVIOUSLY better.

Off I go! Armed only with my (replacement) credit card, driver's license, cell phone, some cash, & a single car key, I make my way downtown. I couldn't be more of a minimalist unless I became a nudist! WINNING!!!

I parked, turned to pick up my cell phone from the cupholder and, oops, dropped my single car key in that crevice next to the seat where it quickly became lodged in the seat-adjustment channel. Not good. My fingertips can gently brush the key, but there's no budging it. Ten minutes later, I contorted myself into the next Cirque du Soleil show trying to reach the key from all angles then thought, "If I hadn't pulled this key from the ring with the others, retrieving this wouldn't be wasting my time."

If only I had a pen...wait, that's in my purse. Hmm, if only I had a nail file & some gum...wait, both in my purse. Dang it, I'm very frustrated, & I need my chapstick!!! Also in my purse. Drat you, minimalist peer pressure!

At that point it was definitely raining, and my friends came to help me out. They quickly joined my Cirque du Soleil contortions, and after another five minutes, a friend with very small hands was able to retrieve the key.

My reaction- I don't like being unprepared and tonight, despite my minimalist WIN, I felt extremely unprepared. It's possible that my purse wouldn't have had the right tools to fish out that key, but at least I would have had more options to try. Good thing I have awesome friends!

I might not actually be a strict minimalist, but at least I usually have the tools I need to be prepared for certain worst-case scenarios. I might be a "preparative minimalist." And after all that time wasting, Cirque du Soleil-ing, and general frustration, a gin & tonic with friends never tasted so good :)


  1. This is a great read, Kristen! Now you know to avoid losing the key in the void beside your seat, you got a good workout, and evidence of how great your friends truly are. I'd say keep fighting the good minimalist fight!


  2. Thanks for the shout-out. I do read your blog! :) And I like that you are one of the sole Midwestern minimalists!