They were formidable, those dames. You could spot them a mile away, standing under elaborate hats and toting pocketbooks. If you were smart, you didn’t approach them, you changed course. They had better radar than a missile silo and could read minds like a fortune teller. Caught in their penetrating gaze you’d confess to anything from stealing candy to the Lindbergh kidnapping.Sadly, they’re a vanishing breed. The world will little notice their passing, but we’ll be infinitely poorer for the loss. Those women ran the world with the unflinching, steely-eyed resolve of a master sergeant. If there was a job to do, they stepped up and did it. No matter how unpleasant, no matter how thankless. We’ll not see their likes again
The pocketbook was their power base. They’d reach in, root around, and, presto, out came a 2-quart saucepan. Root around a little more and, voilà, the keys to the kingdom, meaning the house, the car, safe deposit box, liquor cabinet, and your diary, too. There at the bottom? Hand tools, a pot roast, and a lace hankie.
Roomy, steel-framed, and jet black, it was a geometric marvel dangling from a forearm. My grandmother used hers as weapon, for swinging at the dog. Queen Elizabeth, herself a pocketbook lady, is rarely seen without one — what’s in there? Marlboro Reds and a Zippo? Nope, the basics: lipstick (she’s a fan of Clarins), reading glasses, mints, a fountain pen. Possibly a mobile.
She has people, remember? Her ladies-in-waiting carry spare tights, gloves, and a moist, lavender-scented cloth in case of heat. The pocketbook is used to signal her attendants — indicating she’s either tickled pink to be in the company of her guests or bored out of her mind and requires rescuing. Isn’t that a hoot?
Plus, it’s believed she carries a hook to protect her bag (a £1,057 custom-made Launer) from grimy, germy floors around the world. She attaches the hook under the table and hangs her purse there. Clever, no? A dinner guest is said to have seen Her Majesty spit into the plastic suction cup before attaching the hook to the table. Puh-lease. Spit? A pocketbook lady?
God save the Queen.
Copyright © 2015 thewhirlygirl