I was listening to a call-in radio show on CKLW the other day, and the topic of the hour was men and purses..."murses" as it were.
Can guys get away with carrying some kind of bag for hauling all their stuff like women do? Of course, they referenced that Seinfeld episode about the "man purse." In it, Jerry caught a lot of grief when he traded in his over-stuffed wallet for a man bag. He kept saying, "It's not a purse! It's European!" Hysterical.
So the name is important. It cannot rhyme with purse. And it cannot even remotely look like a purse, especially when it comes to the handle. If you've ever seen a man hold a woman's handbag, you know what I mean. Men have rules: Don't touch the handle, (cooties), hold it at arms length, (more cooties), and most importantly, display just the right balance of impatience and disgust. ("Can't you tie that shoe any faster, there are cooties on this thing?") I've also observed that a man will not make eye contact with other males while holding his wife's purse. And I totally see his point, until I realize that half the stuff in that purse is HIS! His keys, his sunglasses, his cell phone, his comb, all make their way into HER bag.
Anyway, there is a need for more mobile, manly storage space. And how are many men filling this need? Two words: Cargo Pants. Yes, who needs a "man bag" when you can have 28 pockets with Velcro flaps at your fingertips? Of course, cargo pants aren't always the answer. Laptops don't fit in cargo pants, at least not yet, which leads us to a disturbing fact. Some guys have turned their laptop case into a purse and they don't even know it. Sneak a peek in some of them and you'll find everything from lunch and lint rollers to cell phones and Swiss Army knives. This trend is also occurring in backpacks, book bags, and brief cases. Purse, purse, and purse. Oh, the times, they are a-changin'.
Other men may not actually carry all the necessities of life with them in their cargo pants or laptop case, but they've expanded the "Don't leave home without it" list by stocking their vehicles with interesting items. They are ready for anything at any time. Along with the usual glove box items like straws, napkins and various sauces from every fast food restaurant in town, they go the extra mile. Here is a partial list of things you might find in their trunk: Bottled water, a pup tent, extra clothes, duct tape, bungee cords, a compass, extra shoestrings, a case of SPAM, a C Crane radio, Starland Vocal Band tapes and Pop Tarts. This goes way beyond man bag.
On the other hand, there are women who carry a purse for no apparent reason. I fall into that category according to my husband, because I never have what he needs. (By the way, he is a leather satchel man Monday through Friday and mostly a cargo pants guy on the weekend. There is only an insulated Aldi bag and a spare tire in the trunk, but he thinks throwing in a box of Pop Tarts would be a good idea.) Here is a list of frequently asked-for items that I may or may not have in my purse: a band-aid, aspirin, nail clippers, nail file, safety pin, Kleenex, tweezers, sewing kit and money. But you will always find my drivers license, debit card, insurance card, medical alert card, and reading glasses.
Just enough to fit in a nice pair of cargo pants...