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A purse is a purse, is a . . . pocketbook?

Maxineby Maxine Davis

I am “a little” older than most of the Georgia Romance Writers, but, hey, I’m not complaining—I should tell you some of my memories—or not. The other day I was writing and stopped to reread the last couple of pages.

In the scene, the heroine was transplanting tulips as her grandmother was attempting to prod her twenty-five-year-old granddaughter into flirting with the obnoxious, wouldn’t-get-his-hands-dirty, clothes-horse, neighbor.


               Finally, the grandmother got up.  “Well, I’m on my way.  Your grandfather is taking me out to dinner tonight, but I did leave you a pie I made.” She paused a minute.  “You know, pies are always better when shared with someone you should have sex with.”

              Erin sprang to her feet, laughing and wiping her hands on her jeans. “GranAnn!  You never cease to amaze me—or make me laugh. You better not let Mom hear you talk like that.”        

             “Erin, dear, she made a pie for your father this morning.”  She winked at her granddaughter.  “Don’t go by there this evening.”

             “Euwwww, GranAnn, how am I going to get that picture out of my brain?”

             “Never mind, hon, just hand me my pocketbook, and I’ll be on my way.”

             “Your what?”

            “Purse.  My purse…”

I decided to leave that in my book when, at one of the last GRW meetings, I panicked exclaiming, “I can’t find my pocketbook!”

My friend sighed, looked at me and cleared her throat.  “Hey! anyone seen Maxine’s purse?”

“Ooo, I did it again, didn’t I,” I asked her. “Well, it was pocketbook when I grew up.”  I looked at one of the girls at the table who was smiling.  “I also make cornbread and biscuits.”

The girl laughed, “And now you’re going to say, from scratch? Oh, sure. HaHa.”

“And you don’t?”

“You really do?”  She kept glancing back with a look of awe

“She does.”

I grabbed my things. “Let’s go, ladies. Panera Bread is waiting. And I still have to make a pie when I get home.”

I laughed at my own inside joke with a little extra chuckle at the fact that the young sometime do not have a clue about getting “a little” older and the fun involved.  There’s a lot of truth in that old saying, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”  So put that little bit of wisdom in your purse, ladies.


Buttermilk pieheart

Marilyn Baron - January 2, 2014 - 7:45 am


I think we’re of the same generation but I say purse. Maybe it’s a matter of where we grew up. Some people say “bag” or handbag instead. Cute post.

Maxine - January 2, 2014 - 8:56 am

Hi Marilyn, You’re kind to say that. I just thought it was funny when some of the girls didn’t seem to recognize pocketbook and thought maybe it was a “pocket book.” Happy New Year.

Pam Asberry - January 2, 2014 - 9:03 am

I never heard the word “pocketbook” until we moved south. I think it’s a regional word as opposed to a generational one. In the midwest, we call them “purses.” Thanks for helping me get my New Year started with a smile, Maxine! :-)

Sia Huff - January 2, 2014 - 4:21 pm

I love your wisdom, Maxine and love Erin’s & Gran’s conversation. My hubby will tell you, the way I caught him was by my cooking.
Pocketbook, purse, handbag… I grew up using all three. Maybe it is regional. Great post.

Carol Burnside - January 2, 2014 - 5:52 pm

Just like wallet and billfold or sofa and couch, I think it’s more regional than age related. Either way, it works in your dialogue because the g’ma could be from another region originally.

Anybody remember a ‘divan?’ Now that’s dating me. I better shut up.

Susan Carlisle - January 2, 2014 - 7:57 pm

You are too funny! I call it a purse sometimes and other pocketbook. Wisdom is a gift from God given to the old. I hope I’m gaining some.

Maxine - January 3, 2014 - 3:31 pm

Pam, Thanks for commenting. I think you are right. It’s probably an “old” southern term. My grandmother always had her “pocketbook.” (and it had snuff in it :))

Maxine - January 3, 2014 - 3:33 pm

Sia, smart husband. I’ve tasted your cooking. I know he loved it. Of course, you didn’t need to cook. I think you two would have been a happy couple anyway!

Maxine - January 3, 2014 - 3:34 pm

Carol, Yes. You brought out some good examples. And, yes, it is sad, but I definitely remember “divan.” But that is probably regional, you think??:)

Maxine - January 3, 2014 - 3:36 pm

Susan, I love your thinking! I’ll have to remember that saying. Don’t worry, “when you start getting old about 20 years from now”, you’ll gain more wisdom, not that you need any more!!!

Hildie McQueen - January 4, 2014 - 10:52 pm

Very cute excerpt. It’s funny to me to hear pocketbook, I always wonder where that name came from.

Tami Brothers - January 5, 2014 - 6:28 pm

This is great, Maxine! I love this. Every time I grab my purse, I think of you and your “pocket books”. :)

Connie Gillam - January 6, 2014 - 11:07 am


I’m of that “older generation” also. My mother always referred to her purse as a pocketbook. She was raised in the South. Sometimes I do call my purse a pocketbook. So that could be regional or from another era.
But I never heard of making a pie for the man you were going to have sex with. That’s a new one. LOL.

Maxine - January 6, 2014 - 11:12 am

Hildie, Thank you for stopping by. Pocketbook? Have no idea where it’s from, but I think it’s fading, fast!

Maxine - January 6, 2014 - 11:14 am

Hi Tami, So good of you to stop by, my friend! You know, of course, I was referring to you in the blog. You’ve got to keep me on track and up to date!! Happy New Year

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