Thursday, September 1, 2011

What's Worse than a Purse?

Virtually every woman on the planet carries a purse.
My lifelong question is, why?
At the risk of being branded a sexist – which bothers me about as much as being labeled a person that walks around trees – I can’t, for the life of me, figure out what the fairer sex has of such importance that it requires the carting around of what amounts to a shopping bag every day of their lives.
Sure, as George Carlin so succinctly pointed out, everybody has their stuff. And in some cases, that stuff has to accompany its owner as he/she moves about from here to there.
But the bottom-line question becomes, exactly how much do you need to carry around?
Men’s needs are simple – keys, wallet, maybe glasses, maybe a comb. I guess nowadays there has to be a place for the I-phone-4G-internet-texting-pad contraption. But that handful of crap can be stuffed into pockets and men are good to go.
Let’s see, there’s the same stuff men carry, plus makeup and tampons. You really need a bag for that? And not just a bag. In some cases these overgrown pillow cases women lug around could handle 50 pounds of turnips, with enough room left over for the tampons.
I mean, did you ever accidently get clubbed by a swinging purse? It’s like taking a bowling bowl to the solar plexus.
That’s because women figure, if I’m going to carrying this bottomless pit of a gunny sack around with me 24/7, I might as well try and fill it.
So the stuffing begins, highlighted by all manner of food, pens, pencils, Kleenex, sunglasses, the checkbook, the old no-longer-used checkbook, paper, cigarettes, mirrors, books, hair ties, maps, an I-pod and even mouthwash and toothbrushes.
And you know why? Because it’ll all fit.
C’mon, you’re going to the corner store, you need a map for that?
Mouthwash? God forbid you should offend the toothless high school dropout behind the counter at 7-11 with your breath. What are you gonna tell me, he could turn out to be your soulmate, or at least your future BFF? C’mon, ladies.
When I asked a woman why it was necessary to tote 13 pounds worth of crap around every waking hour of her life while suggesting she use pockets like the (apparently smarter) other gender does, she didn’t club me with her Gucci bag or even brand me a chauvinist wingnut.
Her rational explanation was that it was a fashion thing. Dresses don’t have pockets and most slacks, jeans or Capris have either no pockets or minimal pocket space. She pointed out deep pockets are not the most flattering fashion accessory, and stuffing them full of your stuff might either give the appearance of gained weight or protruding tumors.
So, with pocket space (when available) providing next to zero baggage space, women have no alternative but to upgrade to a suitcase-esque purse.
Got it.
But at what point in time did purses become fashion accessories?
True, it’s nice to have everything on your person match, but owning a white purse and a black purse should just about cover that, shouldn’t it?
Apparently not. So the market has been flooded with millions of purses. Cheap ones, small ones, big ones that cost a little and stamp-sized ones whose cost could feed third-world nations.
Designer purses, designer-knockoff purses, alligator purses, leather purses and glorious red, white and blue patriotic purses.
And they’re freakin’ everywhere. In stores and websites, as Today’s Special Values and Buy One, Get One sales come-ons. And every woman owns hundreds of them, stacked up in closets, hallways, attics, stairways and basements. There’s a corner in my upstairs hallway that is nothing but purses – all colors and styles – with all matter of buckles, snaps, zippers and straps. And most still have the sales tags on them.
And why is that, again? I’d almost rather see you bleed in your underwear.
Gentlemen, the next time you’re getting grief about watching football, drinking beer, buying the latest gadget from that yard sale or collecting baseball cards, tell the missus you’ll stop when she halves her purse collection.
The only drawback is you may get stuck toting the turnips.


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