Got Moxie?

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…

28 Comments on Got Moxie?

  1. I’m sure your, um ‘man’ purse is totally fucking masculine and all… BUT, you ARE NOT Brad Pitt, and even if you were I’d still make fun of you for being so goddamn insecure about your bright pink, alligator skinned tote.

    Grow a pair, grab your purse/man bag and be on your way. What the fuck do you care if people stare at you? Let them stare, how many of those bastards are you EVER going to see again in your life?

    And just think, when it starts pouring down rain, or the when the lights go out who the hell is going to save the day? You! And why? Because you had big enough balls to carry a ‘fag’ bag.

    I heart you!

  2. Woohoo! Just wear the bag!

    I agree with Ashley, the chances are very slim that you will meet the ‘staring people’ again. Also, you won’t hit yourself over the head when you have an idea and didn’t had anything to write it down. Or had a sneeze attack and didn’t had tissues…you see I can only see the positive sides on this matter. The bag is there to make your life easier ^_^.

    Take care and wear the bag with proud!

  3. I totally get the urge to want to carry a bag. I’m one of those backpack toting guys, but only if I actually have to carry more than just a few things.

    But honestly, I’ve gone the opposite way. I don’t even carry a wallet. I have about about 7 cards including license, a few credit cards, library card, etc., kept in tow by one rubber band. It’s so easy, and it doesn’t produce any extra bulges.

    I also carry a small phone. Sometimes ipod, but that’s usually where the backpack comes into play.

  4. @[girls] – Let’s throw it down a little. It’s easy for you guys to say that about carrying a purse because you’ve done it all your life and people expect it. Just for kicks, I wonder how you would feel about walking into a dinner party or a with a military style, gray scalp buzz cut?

    Would you be feeling your proverbial pair or hiding under scarves and sensing they eyes and the comments all around? Something tells me Ashely could walk in buck naked and painted pink without batting more than her usually amount of flirtatious eyelids, but what about the rest of you? (nothing but love, Ashley — just having fun)

    That said, I know I’m being an ancient teenager here, but it’s amazing how strong the male taboo against this stuff can be.

    Thanks for the comments!

  5. I wonder if you’re not being overly self-conscious and imagining more looks than you’re actually getting. Since you’re not entirely comfortable with it yourself, you’re probably highly fine-tuned to the possibility of being ridiculed. Have you actually received any negative comments? Of course if you do, you could simply explain in the most matter-of-fact way the practical reasons why you carry a purse. Who knows, that might result in you and your critic having an interesting conversation.

  6. You must really like that Progressive Insurance commercial…

    I use a laptop bag as a briefcase, so going to and from work, I have an umbrella, my phone, pens and paper, and plenty of reading material. But I don’t take it out to dinner with me or anything.

    Anyone gives you any lip, tell them to dial 1-800-shutthefuckup.

  7. I like the look of a man carrying a bag like the one you described. Seems kind of necessary given all the gadgets we carry today. We need to get past these sexist images and allow people to be themselves. This is a sexy image; a man on the go; a man with lots to do; a man with a plan. Go for it and then use bluzdude’s line if anyone doesn’t like it!

  8. Do as you please as long as you’re not anyone else. That’s always been my motto. I would like to have a man purse on my person but I would get hung around here where I live. LOL

  9. Meant to say “hurting” anyone else. I skip words a lot. ooops.

  10. I agree with Kelly, do as you please as long as you’re not hurting anyone else.

  11. I think if you like and want to carry a bag then you should.:) Women carry one all their lives for good reasons. We carry our lives in there.So man up and do what you want to do and ignore the stares. You are an innovator and maybe they are just jealous! After all it’s very cool to be able to carry your things with you:) You are a trendsetter so carry your bag like a hero.:)

  12. Awwwww! You GUYS all know me so well….

  13. @Ashley…..yes we do! 🙂

  14. Carry a bag?? first of all lets start by saying thanks for your idea on my last post. I agree with you on different locations and red carpet etc, but I proofed my point with Jennifer who looks totally in control in one pic, and totally lost in the other. So I think in the end it is more about body language and facial expression than anything else.

    Be that as it may, your comment makes a load of sense and I am happy to get feedback of different points of view.

    Back to carrying a bag, I think, stuff those who think you are “different” or gay, I wear a moon bag with me everyday and everyday, I sometimes carry it over the shoulder, other times strapped around my waist. Now I couldnt care less if someone thinks I am ” skeef” (afrikaans for gay) but who ever suspects that is welcome to try me. My moonbag’s main purpose is to tote my .44 magnum, 4 inch barrel revolver in, (I was a police detective for almost 23 years) and also my identify book, wallet etc. Now I am also the author and owner of a celeb and fashion blog, (weird for a guy, and it took me almost 2 years to learn enough to kinda make sense when I write, and still learning) and if someone considers me gay because of that, so be it. My wife, knows I am not gay, and so do friends and acquaintances, if they know I am straight as hell, then I do not care about those who do not know me. Those important to me, knows there is nothing wrong with me, and that is all that counts.
    Oh, I also refuse to wear pink, no matter what it is.

    Thanks again and I so apologize for hogging your space.


  15. I’m glad One Of The Guys stopped by my blog otherwise I never would have found this delightful blog. This post was hilarious so I’ll definitely be back to read more about how you guys think. As far as the bag, I think it’s a great idea for men and even though I’m a mature person I don’t even bat an eye when I see a man carrying a purse or man bag, guyliner doesn’t bother me either.

  16. I e-mailed you by the way!

  17. Just the fact that your willing to discuss this tells me your on the way to not giving a care about what others think…it’s functional and smaller thus, better for your back. My philosophy is unless your making regular and substantial deposits into my bank account for my choice of use I don’t really care what your thoughts are, keep em to yourself unless I ask.

    Wear the darn bag and forget about the rest of the world most of them will never know you or care about you when you really need something…period.

    Dorothy from grammology

  18. Murse- its a murse! Where’s your manziere or your bro? 😉 I love those words and I will use them by golly! But seriously, isn’t the beauty of being a guy that you don’t have to carry crap with you all the time? I do like how prepared you are. You’re like aboyscout! I think guys in europe rock the bags all the time. Go for it! But I will still call it a murse!

  19. I guess you haven’t taken the train or subway to work lately. You’d fit right in!!

  20. I guess it depends where you are geographically as to if it is deemed .’posh’ or ‘gay’.

    I live in a University/College town and trust me…I have seen it all.

    Personally I think a guy sporting an over the shoulder bag is damn sexy. More so because he dares to be different and does not care what the so called protocol of the day is.

    Hey it is far cheaper than hiring a bag lady…so carry on…( no pun intended there)

  21. @All – Watched The Hangover with my son last night. Any of you see it? There is a great scene about a purse. They “guys” are heading out for their mondo night on the town in Vegas and Phil, the uncoolest of them all, is wearing a “sachel.” Alan, the coolest of them all flips out “You’re not really wearing that, are you?
    …You’re actually gonna wear that or are you guys f*king with me?” I know, who cares what the cool jerk thinks, but this paints the real story – you have to be ready for a lot of “regular guys” to give you a lot of crap if you don that “man-bag” and head out into the sunlight. Not saying it isn’t a noble cause, but depending on what the crowd is (commuters to Hahhvahd U excluded), you may get significant crap. Oh, and in that movie? Guess who else is the only one with a a purse? The flaming little “queen” mobster Mr. Chow.

  22. @All — oh, forgot to mention: I really appreciate all the comments and the suggestions to “grow a pair.” Fun stuff. I’ll have to write a 1 year follow up to let you all know whether or not I’ve learned to head out the door donning a bag, a pink shirt, and a Scottish kilt.

  23. I carry a leather bag you would typically see a businessman using for his paperwork. Many of them have pouches for pens, purell, tissues, and all of your necessities. They are a bit larger then the bag you seem to have described, but they aren’t as bulky as a backpack and far more formal in my opinion. I’m not saying you shouldn’t use a “Man bag” but if you have self conscious issues about people staring at you, this could be a different option.

  24. i think it should be more socially acceptable for men to wear purses! i know someone who uses a messenger bag but..he’s gay. it can be really handy though, no matter what your sexuality is! and i happen to think it looks good on men 😛 it’s kind of this hipster fashion.

  25. If I was a man, I would definitely NEED a “purse” because I can’t leave my house without 99% of my ‘electronic devices’ [IE: Computer, Camera, Chargers, Phones, ect…]

    And I gotta tell you, I laughed OUT LOUD when I read the following paragraph, mostly because I HAVE used my GIANT pocketbook to smuggle many a things into the movie theater

    “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!”


  26. This may be the most I’ve laughed while reading one of your posts (and that’s saying quite a lot.) I hate those male purses, but I can’t overlook the fact that when I go anywhere with my husband I usually carry multiple items for him in my purse (and then I have to dig it all back out again when we get home.) A messenger bag doesn’t sound too bad, but you really need to post a photo so we can see how much it resembles a purse.

    Well, I’m off to see how many Twix Bars I can fit in my purse.

  27. I am ROFLMAO at the term “murse” !!! I have never heard such a thing and it makes me cringe bigtime lol

    The best thing about man bags is you can wear them over your shoulders leaving you hands free.

    I say, keep wearing it! The more you use it, the more nonchalant you appear and the more cool man bags will seem (people are so fickle but I’ve seen men wear their hair in pigtails and everyone thought it was cool for some reason lmao).

    And since you mention men skirts.. omg some of them are so HOT! They have that whole Braveheart thing going on, very sexy. And yes, I say that with a straight face!

    Great post, thanks Suburban Guy!

  28. Thanks for all the great feedback, and I’m glad you enjoyed the post. After writing Inner Child, it was fun to just blow out a bit of a rant on a simple topic. I don’t mind that you all know I’m a wimp. There’s no shame for me in letting my weaknesses hang out here. Nobody’s perfect, right? And, I did take the bag into my son’s basketball game the other day (entertainment during bench time), so see — your comments weren’t in vain. Just don’t expect to see me in a pink shirt anytime soon. Here’s a thought: maybe we should offer a pink Guy’s shirt just to see who will wear it? Colin? Rob? Jude? Buzzdude? Sexy Legs? Nothingprofound? Got the Moxie? Ladies assumed. We’ll put out a Guy’s skull-shaped tattoo as big as a water rat to test your moxie (none of that “hidden on the butt” stuff either).

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