Meridian Star

February 1, 2013

The perfect purse and handiest handbag ...

By Anne McKee / guest columnist
Associated Press

MERIDIAN —     This week celebrated a unique event – Power of the Purse. Oh, it was really fun, perfectly planned, but most importantly, the fundraiser benefited children and literacy. The Power of the Purse (POP) event was an effort to raise money for Imagination Library, a literacy program for children, first introduced by Dolly Parton, country music entertainer and legend. The fun event was planned by the Women’s Leadership Council of the United Way of East Mississippi, with Susie Broadhead and Angie Denney, who served as co-chairs.

    The fundraiser was held in the Temple Theatre Ballroom and the room was packed with happy, giving hearts, joyful laughter, and also with designer purses, many donated by area shops, and in addition, all facets of creativity were included – original artisan pieces, painted canvases, pottery, jewelry, plus several additional items. All monies collected were donated to Imagination Library, which includes children who live in Lauderdale, Clarke, and Kemper Counties (ages 0-5 years).

    Attendees participated with a live and silent auction throughout the evening, ate/drank the fab food and wines, enjoyed the company of area ladies, laughed, and most importantly, raised money to benefit 1,000 area children, who will receive books of their own – a priceless gift that will introduce the children to the world of imagination. POP was a grassroots, team effort, which included the support of several local shops and nonprofits.

    I was privileged to share a story for the event:

    What a thought-provoking question, I must admit! So, grab your bag-in-hand as we march in our uncomfortable, but gorgeous shoes — hand-bag to hand-bag, and purse to purse traveling to our purse/bag destiny!   

    A bag here, a purse there, my, how the time is filled ... oops, I mean how the bag is filled over and over again, seemingly bottomless – always there when needed. Yes, shoes are shoes all day long, but the handy bag/the perfect purse is a true relationship, a sisterhood of sorts, and lifelong friend.

    Granny said, “Always be within grasping distance of your purse.” Good advice. As I bag reminisce I would be amiss not to mention the closeness of our relationship, literally. I can’t count the times I have relied on my bag buddy to slick me through skinny circumstances, skinny being the operative word. For example, you remember, don’t you, the times that the car parked next to you so-o-o closely and you wondered if you could slide through? Purse to the rescue! Yessirree!  I just whip out my handy purse/bag and measure the skinny opening through which I hope to slide my person and Wham, if the bag fits — then I fit! Got that technique straight from the O.J. trial! You remember – the glove didn’t fit?

    And this little tidbit will certainly assist the bag’s owner in many other dilemmas, such as a shopping assistant — when trying to decide if a new pair of jeans will fit properly, and no time to try them on, just hold up those jeans and slap the handy bag next to them as a measuring stick, and “Voila,” you are the owner of a new pair of designer jeans, with perfect fit!                                                                                                     

    Oh, yes, there is one little requirement you have probably figured out. When purchasing that “purse of opportunity,” the “bag to the rescue,” one must make certain the sizing is compatible to your personal needs. Yes, your specific needs, or you could get “stuck” in more ways than one! Knowing that the most important calculation in this situation is a simple rule: bag size equals tush size.

    Certainly you realize the importance of bag congeniality, harmony and just plain out friendliness — remembering that your perfect purse will always be there for you, always. But you in turn must reciprocate in the spirit of bag respect and kind regards, upholding and appreciating your bag buddy at all times, never eyeing another bag for a possible replacement until it is the dear bag’s proper retirement time. Another must – never devalue the attributes of your very own perfect purse or handy bag. All of this you should have learned in “Perfect Purse/Handy Bag 101” — for Pete’s sake!

    When I think of it, there has never been a day when my bag buddy has not played an important role — in just about everything!                

    Remember the times you searched for keys or lipstick? Hey, you could still be digging if it were not for a helpful bag. The same is true when leaving your house for the most important appointment of your life or even just a quick trip to the convenience store. If your bag is having an off day, then it could very well be disaster time. Yes, it could happen, but not with your handy bag buddy or perfect purse.

    Oh, and I must point out the many additional types of bags, such as a bowling bag, golf bag, laundry bag, etc — the list goes on and on, and, yes, they are very nice bags, I suppose.

    But when it gets to the nitty-gritty, to the final horn, to the line in the sand, well, you get the picture — just how handy is your bag, how perfect is your purse?  Handy and perfect enough, I hope!

    Congratulations Power of the Purse – can’t wait until next year!

    Anne B. McKee is a writer and storyteller. Visit her website at