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What’s In Your Bag?

Sometimes I wonder if I am the only person who feels the need to be completely prepared for any type of emergency at all times. Or, have I finally crossed the line into full-blown-crazyville? I will let you, my darling readers, decide.

But first, I should probably explain myself.  There are two specific reasons for my obsessive compulsive behavior.

1.  It’s no secret that I’ve spent most of my life overly concerned with the threat of a fire because I’ve already told you that story. But just to refresh your memory, ever since I was a little girl, before I could go to sleep, I would pack up my favorite things and place them neatly inside of a milk crate. And then I slept with that milk crate while cuddling my beloved items. I performed this ritual every single night – just in case – there was ever a fire and we had to run out of the house; I could easily escape with my milk crate and all of my treasured belongings.

And this went on for years.

In fact, it still kind of does.

Except now I don’t keep my favorite things inside of a milk crate.


Now I keep everything I cannot live without inside my gigantic purple pocketbook.


the OUTSIDE of my bag


Even though I have never been in a house fire, or even near a house fire, I am constantly obsessed with anything that might have the slightest possibility of suddenly exploding or bursting into flames.

Case. In. Point.

The furnace in my house is an extra special type of furnace. Mostly because it comes with some pretty neat bonus features such as: squealing, screeching, and other horrifying sound effects. The type of sound effects that can, and will, wake you up in the middle of the night, thus compounding your overwhelming irrational fears.

Plus, the way my house is designed, if my furnace were to actually spontaneously combust? Both my son and I would be completely trapped with no way out – unless we jumped out of our second story windows. As clearly demonstrated in the diagram below. Which is precisely why I like having my bag packed, and ready to go, at a moments notice, much like a pregnant woman in her third trimester.


furnace diagram


2. I live with some pretty Annoying Medical Conditions. And because of those Annoying Medical Conditions, I never know when I might suddenly have an allergic reaction, or a crohn’s attack, or become violently ill, or be rushed to the hospital, or how long I will be stuck there.

And since there is no way I can last longer than 24 hours without my precious belongings and my homemade survival kits, when I leave the house, even for something as simple as going across the street to CVS to pick up my prescriptions, I bring everything I can. And by everything. I really mean everything.

Let’s take a look INSIDE my pocketbook.

Shall we?


the INSIDE of my bag


*Not shown here: A complete set of pajamas, a pair of socks, and underwear. Because oddly enough, while those items DO fit inside of my pocketbook, they did NOT fit inside of this photo.

* Also, the red folder contains 968 pages of the novel I am currently working on. And even though I have it saved everywhere: online, in word documents, in emails, and on external hard drives, I still have to carry an actual paper copy of it with me.

And I wonder why my back hurts all the time.

So tell me boys and girls.

What’s in your bag?
And, what would you grab in the event of an emergency?


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  • Oh, I’m not nearly as prepared as you are. That is quite a pile of supplies you have there. I’d probably run around like a headless chicken in the face of an emergency. Would I be amiss to assume that you like purple?

  • This is incredible. I do remember seeing you walk around Philly being really weighed down, but I don’t remember any of us commenting about the fact that you basically had luggage. I guess we just figured “That’s Meleah.” I wish I had a bigger handbag, one to replace the tote I carry with a purse INSIDE IT, which is stupid. I can never get to anything. But I’m also lazy and haven’t been to Macy’s yet. And I’m afraid to buy one online because then I can’t inspect all the pockets and their locations, their size, etc. One day I’ll have a purse like you. But not today.

  • agg79

    That is one amazing bag. You could easily hid a body in that bag. You’re definitely one I want to hook up with during the zombie apocalypse. I’ve worked to thin down my list of must haves (car keys, wallet, knife, iPhone) but, on occasion, I will pack heavy in my cargo pants.

  • Okay, when the meteors rain down on Earth and the zombies take over, I want to be with you. You are one prepared chick! I guess you kind of have to be prepared. I usually have a bunch of crap my kids don’t want to carry any more in my bag: legos, lip gloss, hair barretts, rocks, little plastic action figures, Goldfish crackers, chewed gum…but there’s never anything I need. I once had a tampon in my bag that my son grabbed out and asked if it was a giant Q-tip that you use to clean out your nose. LOL!!!

  • OMG!!

    “a giant Q-tip that you use to clean out your nose”

    AhahHAhaHAhHAHhaah! That’s HILARIOUS!

  • Hmmm….

    Maybe I should have a contest next?

    “Guess how much my bag weighs?”

  • I am dying laughing at, “That’s Meleah.”


    I’m also laughing that none of you found it odd I was lugging around so much in my bag!

    And…. Oh, yes. I must be able to inspect the INSIDE of any bag BEFORE I buy it, just to make sure it has all the right pockets and compartments!


  • HA!! Yes, obviously, Purple IS my favorite color.

  • LOLZ

  • Yes. You SHOULD totally do that.

  • And I can assure you, IF you ever DID need anything, I would totally have it! xoxo

  • What’s money? I have no idea either, KellyPea!

    And YAY! I am so happy to hear that I am like a character in your book. That’s awesome.

  • lolz

  • HA! Yes, purple is my favorite color!

  • Oh yay!

    I love that I am like a character in your book!


  • I’m sure if you needed something, I’ll have it!


  • Yes!

  • Oh yes!

    I have to inspect the INSIDE of a bag before buying it, just to make sure it has all the right pockets and compartments!

    Also, I am dying laughing at, “That’s Meleah.”

  • Maybe I should host a contest.



    “a giant Q-tip that you use to clean out your nose”



  • agg79

    Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! I’ll play! Put me down for 15.2 lbs. Of course that depends on which pair of pajamas you stuff in there. You’ve become my favorite bag lady…

  • Ahahahhahah @ Bag Lady

  • Abby Normal

    Total inspiration! I’m going to go pack me a bag today – maybe not one that I take *everywhere*, but one for grabbin’! But what… no snacks?

  • lolz!

    Sadly, no snacks. I’m allergic to so many things. I can’t exactly pack a plain grilled chicken breast or cheese!

  • You know, I’ve had my house go poof in flames and yet I still only carry a small wallet/keychain – it has house and car key, 2 credit cards , driver’s licence, insurance cards and a small amount of cash. You think I might be more likely to use a wheeled carry-on bag.

  • I would have thought YOU would carry luggage like I do!

  • In the event of an emergency, I think I’d grab you. 🙂

  • Good call!

  • That is really impressive. I can’t imagine being that organized. I’d grab my dog, my cat, my laptop and some photos. Hmmm, I probably should grab my birth certificate… Have you ever thought of hiring yourself out to people for the explicit purpose of organizing their emergency packs? I’m serious. Put some ads out and charge $25/hour. Hell, I’d pay for that.

  • Hahahahahhaha! Great idea, Jayne!

  • Mike

    What’s in my bag? Uhh… testicles.

  • lolz

  • Fragrant Liar

    The only thing not in my bag is my vagina. There.

    And wha-WHAT?!?! 986 pages of a novel? Wow. 300 pages weighs a ton!

  • lolz

  • I am impressed with your bag, gingah. I don’t carry a purse. Ugh, you have to have a certain type of moxy to carry a purse. Don’t ask me what it is, I only know I do not possess it. There’s also a type of moxy necessary to wear a leather jacket — bomber or otherwise — and before you ask, no I don’t have that moxy either.

    I carry my wallet in summer and my keys are on a wristlet which serves double duty. I wear it on my right wrist so if I have to punch a ninja who is intent on hurting my kids I will also take an eye out with my car and house keys.

  • Bahahahahahaha!

    Oh, Kelly! You crack me up!

  • My bag is so heavy because my coin purse is always full. No bills but a lot of pennies. Then there are all these lipsticks that I never use. I’d gladly leave the whole thing in case of emergency. Hey Meleah, I’ve just given you a Sunshine Award. Hope you don’t mind!

  • Awwwww! Thank you so very much!

  • Well deserved!

  • My coworkers used to call me Mary Poppins because no matter what they needed, I had it: wipes to take stains off a silk tie, nail polish for pantyhose runs and a tiny sewing kit–the kind I’d take out of my bag when I’d used one color but never throw away. I have my medical records on a thumb drive in a credit card style holder but I don’t think anyone will look for it so I have an ICE sticker over the top. Let’s see: migraine medication, Benadryl–this is fun! I am proud of myself that I only carry one Band Aid but, come to think of it, that doesn’t seem like enough….
    The other day I spilled coffee over everything in my purse. I have to reconstruct every page of my Filofax! But you are making me feel almost lucky that I don’t write much. 968 pages would break my back for sure. (You’re also making me want to smoke a cigarette. Argh!)

  • Ahahahahahahahha!



    Someone ELSE who’s prepared!


  • xoxox

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