straight down the line

It’s rude to snoop through a lady’s purse


How uncultured.

Let’s begin with my beauty items-

  • Powder Compact

I sing under hot lights all night, I can’t look oily! I’m the backbone of the whole place, imagine if Frank Sinatra came in one night and saw me looking anything less than perfect? I would be ruined.

  • Perfume

Darlin’ if you’ve ever been backstage, you would know why I need perfume. All kinds of grease and greasy people.

  • Nail File

Long nails rip up long gloves somethin’ awful, and the lounge takes it off of my check! Slimy business, I tell you.

  • Lipstick

Defined lips are a must, unless you want to look washed-out. You wouldn’t want me to be washed-out, would you?

  • Eye Pencil and mascara

Eyebrows and eyelashes are almost as important as lips. They frame your whole face!

  • Bobbi Pins

A lady’s unprepared if she goes out with anything less than 30 Bobbi pins. Who knows when a dashing stranger will need to pick a lock?

  • Nylons

It’s always good to have a spare, in case the ones you’re wearing get a run or you spend the night away from home…

  • Gloves

Do you know how cold it gets at night? Forty degrees in the winter! They also protect me by hiding my fingerprints should I ever get swept up in shenanigans.

  •  Cigarette

That’s definitely a real smoke. Not bubblegum wrapped in paper. Nope.

  • Pen

I take notes, sometimes, of people who come to the bar. There’s one ol’ man who could be working for the Cubans. Or, maybe he just lost a few teeth. But it could be the Cubans.

  • Money Clip

I keep a whole $5 with me when I go out, in case I have to bug out and pay for a cab or a room.

  • Gum

I want to be ready for my big head moment- You know, where the music gets real loud and the stars come together and the camera zooms in and all you see are their giant heads kissing? Movies don’t show the bad breath, though.

  • Sewing Kit

Just in case. In case a button falls off, or a seam pops, or I have to stitch someone up.

You know, after looking through my bag without my permission, it would be even ruder to ask how I fit it all in my purse.


For a mandatory three-star assignment, this was pretty fun. I had to think of what Delia would carry with her, why she would keep everything. I tried to be as period-realistic as possible and use my vintage makeup cases. Unfortunately, vintage gum isn’t readily available. I also practiced writing in Delia’s voice, trying to in down her accent. New Orleans and Louisiana are very interesting because of the huge differences in dialects even within the city. There’s uptown/French Quarter, which is a lot like standard english but drops the ending “r” and “g” consonants, and the “Yat” accent which is a lot like a Brooklyn/NJ sound. I see Delia as having a moderate Cajun accent, slow-speaking. Some of it would have been trained out into standard English during vocal instruction.

Here, I just laid out everything on a side table I had and laid it out nicely. I didn’t have any cigarettes, candy or otherwise, and my smoking neighbors all use e-cigs, so I made one with an index card and painter’s tape. I took the photo with my phone.

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