Beautiful Chaos: Girls With Messy Purses Have Their Lives Together More

by Zara Barrie

There are two types of girls in the world: girls with perfectly neat, organized purses and girls with a ferocious mega hurricane existing within the confines of their leather adorned handbags.

Growing up, I was always teeming with envy for the girl with the immaculate purse.

I can distinctly remember a high school acquaintance of mine who had the most perfectly organized purse my eyes had ever borne witness to.

Her purse held court to only the likes of a clean wallet (the kind with the bills arranged in order), a rosebud salve lip balm and a cute, petite, travel-sized comb.

She had perfect blonde hair that never got frizzy in the thick summer humidity, and her impossibly smooth skin was blissfully free from the pitfalls of acne. Her perfect purse seemed to be a perfect metaphor for her perfect life.

I -- on the other hand -- was a far messier story.

I was the teenager whose tattered designer purse was a bottomless pit filled to the brim with full-sized hairbrushes, 17 different shades of lipstick, three different prescriptions for antidepressants, rainbow-colored rubber bracelets, crushed cigarettes, fervent love notes, fashion magazines, scratched CDs and four cracked bottles of black nail polish.

Unlike my “perfect” classmate, my head bore a halo of frizz the moment the first heat of summer hit, and my skin was forever marred by a massive, seemingly alive pimple pulsating on my face.

My messy purse felt like a messy metaphor for my messy life.

Sometime around the age of 23, I got my sh*t together and began to embrace my messy purse (and not so ironically, the antidepressant prescriptions flew the coop).

Though the contents of my messy purse evolved (rainbow rubber bracelets were replaced by wooden bangles) — it still remained an equally cluttered disaster.

I began to frame my messy purse differently and subsequently changed the way in which I viewed my life.

What I once saw as a symbol of dysfunction transformed into a beautiful metaphor for my fabulous, creative and adventurous life.

I accepted who I was and claimed my power.

I believe the time has come for all girls who have been made to feel ashamed for the crazy contents of their purses to rise in sheer glory.

OK, so maybe we’re NOT the girls with the perfectly ironed hair or the girls who make grocery lists and have pristinely manicured nails all of the time -- but is that so terrible? Is perfection really so exciting?

I happen to find a wild mane of hair, ripped stockings and a purse full of secrets to be the sexier alternative anyhow.

Ironically, once you push past the façade of perfection, you will come to discover girls who have messy purses lead more together lives:

We’re not busy organizing; we're busy living

Certain people dispense endless energy into perpetual organization as a way to avoid dealing with real life.

In fact, what better way to distract yourself from a pending meltdown or the perils of a life crisis than to vehemently reorganize your purse?

Don’t you ever secretly wonder what overly organized people are hiding behind? Are they simply attempting to control their out-of-control lives by controlling the neatness of their bags? Is the fastidious reorganization a way of working through some deep-seated issues?

Those of us with totes akin to a tornado don’t hide beneath the mask of false organization. Who has time to organize when there is so much living to do?

I would rather engage in stimulating conversations, read a novel, watch a documentary, fall in love or kiss someone new than reorganize my purse.

In a world that is rich with so much possibility, how boring is it to spend your precious time on the incredible planet cleaning a bag?

We aren’t cold and collected; we’re warm and giving

There is something inherently cold about perfection, don't you think?

Something unemotional and removed, and the people who try to embody it seem as if they’ve intellectualized all of their feelings away.

The girl with the perfectly organized purse seems like someone who wouldn’t give you her last piece of gum.

In kindergarten, she was the stiff-lipped little girl with the tightly wound pigtails who had sharing issues and didn’t want the "dirty" hands of her peers to tarnish her collection of mint-condition Barbies.

We girls with messy purses, on the contrary, have the massive heart of the great lioness.

Half of the reason our purse is so packed with sh*t is so we can help our friends in moments of need.

If I’m at dinner with a slew of girlfriends and we decide we want to venture to a scandalous after-party, my purse attains an army of lip colors, one of which will suit each individual.

If it’s been a long day in the hot sun and a comrade is feeling faint -- don’t worry, we (my purse and I) have a bag of almonds.

So your feet are in excruciating pain at 2 am from your stilettos? We have flats.

What's mine is yours.

We don’t fear the unknown; we create our own adventures

If you're so filled with fear about the notion of the MESS, how do you ever embark on a risk?

Any time a girl takes a risk, she chances tasting the bitter sensation of dirt in her mouth after she wickedly tumbles to the ground.

A risk means she can find her favorite dress splattered with the unwashable stains of public embarrassment, which is, without fail (physically and emotionally), messy.

Herein lies the dilemma: If you’re too timid to get DIRTY, you’re too timid to dive into a risk, and if you’re too timid to dive into a risk -- your life will forever remain shackled in the handcuffs of an endless mundane routine.

A messy purse is the direct reflection of an adventurous life. We take chances, and our life is an adventurous story (which we wrote) because of it.

We aren’t cynical; we’re sentimental

We girls with messy purses are the sentimental, spirited souls sifting through an otherwise cynical world.

We are sentimental women who want to keep the things that matter to us close to our hearts at all times. Our purses carry our past into our future.

For our handbags are full of passionate letters from beloved exes, faded photographs chronicling precious moments, phone numbers scrawled on paper napkins that were slipped to us under bar stools by shy admirers, coins from life-enhancing trips abroad.

If our apartments were to be robbed, it would be undeniably horrific and tragic, but the possessions we valued the most would be right with us, held safe in the haven of our handbags.

There is something poetic and romantic about a girl who cares enough to carry around little objects that hold meaning a world of meaning to her.

It’s the only baggage we have

The perfectly tidy girl might have a blissfully empty purse, but most likely she's got suitcases of sh*t at home.

While those of us with purses full of cluttered treasures might carry a lot with us -- that's the only baggage we have.