grandmothers purse drips

Kay Tuttle

Imaginary Interview with my Grandmother

Kay: Grannie Annie, did you know Mom gave me all of your old purses?

Grannie Annie: Why, whatever for?  Those things are old, as old as your Grandmother.  And they are starting to get bedraggled.  What do you do with them?

Kay: Well, I use them as purses.  But, actually, one day I started drawing them.  I became kind of interested in the idea of a private, interior space inside the purse, and then the exterior that we show the world.  It seemed kind of symbolic.

Grannie Annie: (Laughing) Oh, I think you are reading too much into a purse.  I know I chose those purses with care, but really, they were just an accessory to keep one’s keys, and lipstick and powder in.

Kay: Let me show you a drawing.  This one is called Coquine/Coquette.  Coquine means Bad, naughty girl in French and Coquette means a girl who is always well made up, well presented and stylish.  I liked how those two words sounded together.

Grannie Annie: Well, what are all those plant like structures leaping around? And the drips?

Kay: That’s the coquine part, that part that can’t be contained.

Grannie Annie: Well, you artists do think differently…I like the flowers on the purse. That must be the Coquette part.   That was an evening purse.  It has held up remarkably well. .. Coquette… Colette…have you read any of her books?  I’m sure I have a copy in my library you may have.

Kay: Oooh, I’d love that. Why did you have so many purses?

Grannie Annie: Well, different needs. There was a purse, a nice practical one for teaching.  There was a summer purse, I see you are using it now, evening purses, small and shiny and impractical.  A blue purse to go with a blue dress, a whit purse for a white dress, and so on.

Kay: Why did you save them all?

Grannie Annie: Well, there was no need to be rid of them.  We had plenty of room in our attic.  I am glad you have found a purpose for them.


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