2 min

What’s in your purse?

“Socialite” Paris Hilton was arrested outside the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas on Aug 20. After being pulled over for suspected marijuana use (police said they smelled it coming from her car), authorities spotted cocaine in her purse during an escorted visit to the ladies’ room — which sounds sort of sexy to me.

Paris stated that most of the items in the purse were hers, including credit cards, cash and medication. The cocaine, the cosmetics and the purse itself, however, were not. She said she didn’t even know the drugs were in there.

Do you believe that Paris Hilton would borrow someone’s purse? Would anyone borrow someone’s purse and cosmetics? Would anyone with as much money as Paris Hilton say to a friend, “Hey man, can I borrow your purse?” Finally, we must ask, is it possible to carry around a purse with cocaine in it and not know about said cocaine?

It’s kind of a choose-your-own tabloid adventure. If you believe one, two and three are true but not four, read on.

Rewind to my first trip to California. It was my first business trip and so, under a wave of intimidation, I allowed my mother to come over and pack for me, using a special “wrap everything in tissue paper” technique, which both reuses otherwise wasteful dry cleaner packing products and prevents wrinkling. The next day, as I was checking in at the airport counter, one of the airline people asked if I had packed my bag and could confirm all the articles therein.

“Uh, no. Not really,” I admitted.

“What do you mean?” unnamed Canadian airline representative (UNCAR) asked.

“Well,” I said, “my mom packed, and I was kind of having dinner while she was packing.”

(In my defence, it’s not like she needed my help.)

Needless to say, following several rounds of questions and the assistance of two other UNCAR-ing people, it was confirmed that, even if I hadn’t packed my bag, my mother was a reliable person who likely hadn’t slipped cocaine or weapons in there. She did manage to break into my apartment while I was on said trip and repaint my perfectly nice coffee table pink and purple (but that, as they say, is another story).

The truth is, I’m not really sure what’s in my purse at any given time. Nine times out of 10, I’m guessing as to whether or not I have my wallet, keys or gum on me. It seems a weird thing not to know, given that a purse is something you lug around with you, something you constantly dip your hand into.

My bag is also, more often than not, really heavy. Is it possible that I’m recklessly and ignorantly hefting around a load of crap I don’t really need? Should I take Paris’s most recent run-in with authorities as a warning and dump my bag out every once in a while to see what the hell is in there?


As a follow-up to this story, Paris was recently denied entry to Japan because of the drug-purse incident. I’m sure this was mostly because of the whole cocaine thing, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was also, partially, a statement about the importance of organization and thrifty packing.

Or maybe that’s just a stereotype.

As a further follow-up, I pack my own luggage now, using my mom’s special tissue technique.

I’ve also checked my bag for drugs.


No surprises there.

Editor’s note: On Sept 20, Paris Hilton pled guilty to cocaine possession, admitting she had lied to authorities about the purse the cocaine was found in. The same day, Mariko Tamaki found some gum in her purse and three lighters she swears she doesn’t remember grabbing. Apologies all around.