The Man Bag. The Today Show is doing a segment on ‘Men’s Bags’ better known by we women as purses. Two football players come in carrying bags. A clutch bag! I’m laughing out loud. The ‘man’ element is strong while they talk about this usually ‘woman’ subject. Most of them look like brief cases. Some are duffle bags, Some are backpacks. I love it!!!!
When my children were little, I carried a diaper bag, a purse, a baby carrier. I was the champion of carryalls. When I worked, I thought fashion. Black shoes=black purse. Jeans=casual bag. I had bags for going out, for staying in, for evening wear. Bags were for summer, bags were for winter. When I traveled, I packed purses for every possible occasion or I tried to find one that was both black and brown matching any pair of shoes I wore at any given time.
Being a short woman, I soon discovered that I needed to carry a bag that was in proportion to my size. Instead of the bag carrying me, I needed to be in control. Closets were cleaned, purses taken to Goodwill and new purses took up less closet space.
What do we women carrying in our purses? Well, when my children were younger, I carried snacks, toys, paper and pen along with the standard fill. It was a survival kit. Band aids, safety pins, Chap Stick, Tylenol all resided near at hand ‘just in case’. Make up was a staple in case I cried, ran into a rain storm, found a random kiss or perspired my face off. Small scissors, nail file, hair brush, hand cream, etc. were handy in case of hang nails, broken fingernails, wind storms and soft hands in case of a random chance to hold hands.
When I worked, I carried a book, fat wallet full of coupons, pictures, credit cards, ID and business cards. It gave the impression of holding great amounts of money. Ha! The makeup kit was larger in case I was asked out later. Sometimes even a pair of nylons or a pair of shoes would find residence in the bag.
When I hit 50, I decided that this huge purse thing was highly overrated. There wasn’t a lot that could be done to make me look 30 again. I had no children to entertain or feed. I carried my book in a backpack in my car in case I dined somewhere alone. Hang nails could wait until I got home. A Kleenex could staunch the blood if I was wounded. My hair was a lost cause so no brush or comb would be needed. Hand holding and kissing were now focused on my grandchildren. Chap stick now substituted for lipstick.
I had no credit cards. I had no money. I had 2 pictures that I cherished. The wallet gave way to a compartment in my purse. The check book was replaced by a debit card. Yes, the small purse was perfect.
At 60 the aches set in. My back was constantly reminding me that I was older. I still carried the small purse on occasion, but found that I could carry ID in my back pocket, my Kleenex in my front pocket and all else could wait until I got home or back to the car. No bag to weigh on the shoulders and all was well.
I don’t know why men want to carry a purse. I always envied that they could get by with pockets. I even recently saw that some designers are putting pockets into the seams of wedding gowns.
My next transition: a Kleenex stuffed up my sleeve.