From “Suburban Guy”…..
Let’s just put this right out there. I’m a man. No doubt about it. I have all the plumbing, and while I don’t think there is anything wrong with singing show tunes, obsessing about clothing, and saying things like “you bitch!” to other men, I’m not on that team (not that here is anything wrong with the other team, honestly). To put a fine point on it, I’m just a regular guy. That said, I’m different in one very big way: I have a purse.
I don’t call it a purse, of course. And, I can’t stand those silly names like “murse” and “man bag.” Holy crap. It’s a bag, just that. I put stuff in it that I like to have with me when I go places. Frankly, it’s very butch looking. I got it for eleven dollars on Amazon as a “messenger bag.” It’s black and cool and I wear it low like a saddle bag on a mule, usually even over two shoulders. I imagine people think its full of gunpowder and lead for my concealed musket. Okay, maybe not.
I used to use a backpack since they are socially acceptable for men to carry. The only problem is that they are ten times too big and you can’t take one with you to a dinner or a party or the movies. Have you ever seen a man enter a fine restaurant with a backpack wrinkling his suit jacket and then tuck it under his seat? Sure, but it’s very rare. Bring one to the movies, and twelve ushers will ask you to check the contents. Like a woman couldn’t sneak a rogue Twix bar or a gallon of Smirnoff in some freakin’ Vera Bradley monstrosity? You could fit a whole watermelon in some of those things!
I can hear you out there, men and woman alike. You can’t help it. You think that a man carrying a bag is ridiculous, silly, effeminate. Wow! Know what, and this surprised me — so do I. As much as I’d like to be brazen about it and take it with me all the time, I still leave it in the car more than I actually wear it into social settings. When I do, I can just feel the eyes and comments all around me (I can be such a middle-aged teen sometimes!).
“Is that man wearing a purse?”
“Is he gay? I didn’t know…”
“Look at fancy-boy with his purse!”
I keep trying, and I’m getting better. Logically, I can’t see what’s wrong with a guy wanting to have some stuff with him wherever he goes. I keep a good book in there, a flashlight, a couple of pens, a notepad to jot down ideas. I added a small umbrella and one of those little ten-packs of tissues. Someday I may even add some Purell. Who knows — the sky’s the limit. Consider this: what we are allowed socially is what will fit into a wallet. Thanks. I’ll fold up a single page of the book I’m reading and tuck it behind my Visa card. Perhaps I could slip a tissue in with my tens and twenties.
The problem is that even though I know the logic is sound, logic isn’t winning out, not yet. I wish I could be like good old Kosmo Kramer sometimes, just not give a rat’s ass about what other people think — hair sticking up, plaid trousers with a rumpled shirt, wearing a bag over the shoulder. I know a lot of celebrities are carrying bags now. I saw a picture of Brad Pitt with one (also wearing a goofy knit hat that screamed “I’m so attractive I don’t even look bad when I try.”). But, I guess I just don’t have that sort of moxie. I’m working on it.
The whole thing is really very silly, really. In some countries, men wear dresses and skirts. Not yearning for that, but in comparison, you’d think carrying a little ten inch black bag ought to be as easy as wearing a pink shirt, right? Oh, yeah, I forgot. I still haven’t gone there either…