If I had a purse…

Posted on November 3, 2012

Perhaps I am just feeling liberated from my recent trip to LA during which I proved my masculinity beyond the shadow of a doubt by facing my fear and riding Mickey’s Fun Wheel, but it has got me thinking about breaking down more manly barriers. Before riding the ferris wheel (back when I only had a provisional man card) I wouldn’t have dared even thinking about the subject of this blog. But now, I am ready to face a societal hypocrisy. And that is our culture’s insistence that only women have purses.

I would be willing to bet that your first instinct is to think I am crazy for even considering the idea of carrying around a purse. That was how I used to think as well. In fact, I used to think the same way about something else that one does not normally associate with manlitude: mini vans. I fought and fought for years to avoid driving a mini van. I told Karina I’d do anything to avoid it, preferring to drive an SUV instead. In my mind mini vans were only driven by soccer mom’s and Hawaiian taxi cabs. However, I was soon faced with a proposition that was too good to be true and found myself the owner of a mini van. Let me tell you, it’s practicality soon won me over. Sure, they may not look the greatest, but when it comes to wanting the flexibility to carry either 7 people or perhaps a medium sized television, nothing beats a mini-van.

I know it sounds bizarre to think of men carrying around purses but hear me out. It is totally socially acceptable to tote around briefcases, backpacks, sport duffle bags, and even toolboxes for men. But what is the difference between any one of those and a purse (or clutch, or carry-all, or lady-bag, or whatever you choose to refer to them as)? I submit the only difference is the items that are being carried. In either case, the object is a container for carrying multiple items with a convenient strap or handle for carrying. Why then is there a stigma associated with purses? As I have conclusively proven, there should not be.


Seriously, the only difference is the color of the leather and the handy shoulder strap

While I have no plans to go out and buy a purse (unless I feel like it because that is how men do things!) it has gotten me thinking about what I would choose to carry in my purse (should I choose to get one). Here are a few items I thought would be handy to have within reach at a moment’s notice:

  • Toe nail clippers: You are probably saying right now that toenails grow so slowly you can’t possibly see the need to have toenail clippers in a purse. And that is precisely why I need them. They grow so slowly that I forget to clip them until I am out gallivanting about and one toe nail starts poking it’s soft, fleshy neighbor, and before you know it I am rendered immobile by the pain.
  • Umbrella: I figure it would be handy to have an umbrella ready in the event I run into an unexpected rainstorm and need to protect my hair.
  • Hat: I would need to carry a hat in the event that I am unable to get the umbrella out fast enough during the surprising rainstorm.
  • Knife: I often find myself needing a sharp object to open packages for my children or to reset my various Microsoft electronic devices. I would also like to have a knife ready in the event a whittle contest breaks out.
  • 3 small rats, a paper clip, and a box of elbow macaroni: This one is obvious and needs no explanation.
  • Brass knuckles: I would need these for any hairy brawls and/or tussles I may get into regarding which beer is best or whose leg hair is the longest.
  • A good book: There is nothing wrong with being manly AND a scholar. This is why I’d like to have some good, educational reading material at the ready in the event I find myself in a line (or waiting for my wife outside of her fitting room at the mall). For example, I find myself mentally challenged reading some of the advanced scientific writings of Michael Crichton or searching hither and yon for the whereabouts of a certain bespectacled character named Waldo.
  • A few manly movies on DVD: Specifically I would have Dumb and Dumber so that I could show my company the context from which my many movie quotes originate. I would also want to have my Best of Chuck Norris and Tom Selleck collections ready in the event a situation arises and I am unsure as to how a quintessential man would react. I could quickly watch how these men handled the situation (oh no, some neon-wearing hoodlums are eyeing my 1984 Ferrari Testerossa, what do I do? According to Tom Selleck, lower my Detroit Tigers cap, thoughtfully stroke my lush moustache, and confront them with a witty comment).
  • Portable DVD player: I would need this to watch my movies.

That covers most of what I’d bring with me. I’m sure some other things will pop into my mind and perhaps by then I will have my purse. Until then, what would you recommend men carry around in a purse?

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