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Thread: The Purse Thread

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
    Feb 2004
    on my 15 minute break

    The Purse Thread

    DW carries a purse worthy of a ‘Cathy’ comic strip. This thing is about the size of a small suitcase. No wonder she has such back problems. I was curious one time how much the thing weighed and we put it on the scale…..nine pounds. I don’t think most women lug that much crap around – I mean there is all sorts of useless stuff in there that I couldn’t even begin to think of a situation where it might be necessary (lint roller, two month old losing lotto tickets, or a small paintbrush) to have handy…….. BUT before I pass judgment let me ask the women of Cyburbia – what, um, highly useful/pragmatic items are you toting around? Is your purse smaller than most townships? Guys, how about your SO's - would their purses best be described as 'luggage'?

    Also, some folks here recently were joking about ‘man-purses’. Why is a purse the sole domain of females? think about it guys – a purse is simply a container, a bag with a strap, designed to carry useful items. Why is that ‘femme’? Clearly the idea that a man doesn’t carry a container filled with useful items became the norm at some point. But why couldn’t said purse be filled with ‘rugged’ items: power tools, beer, and tickets to Friday’s big fight? Is this a cultural norm you'd like to see changed?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  2. #2
    Jun 2005
    My purse probably weighs about 4 pounds. I carry my wallet, keys, keys for the other two cars we have (), digital camera, chapstick, hand lotion, a bottle of assorted painkillers (OTC, of course), eyedrops, checkbook, ipod, small mirror, pen, jump drive, work id, and assorted papers and cards (Today: coldstone gift card, 3 laundromat cash cards, and wedding registry paperwork). I also throw two cans of pop, my day planner, and a tupperware container in there when I go to work. The 4 pounds figure is not including the pop, food, and planner. Then it's more like 6...maybe?

    All but one of those things (the mirror) I use regularly enough to make it worth carrying them.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
    Aug 2005
    in a meeting
    I like small purses since I never carried a purse until about 5 years ago - before that, it was ATM, license and chapstick (hi Zman) shoved in a pocket (and a diaper/bottle in the coat pocket - so not even a diaper bag!)

    my shoulders are slanted downward so I carry the kind of purse that has a long strap that can go across the shoulder or I carry the 50's kind with the short handle that you carry on your wrist

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    my father carried a small change purse in his pocket

    my husband makes great use of his "camera bag" when we are on vacation

  4. #4
    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
    Aug 2005
    i hate purses.

    i typically just carry a wallet/id holder around. though i do make BF carry it on occasion when i'm not wearing a coat with pockets big enough for it.

    i have a small purse just big enough for wallet, cell phone, pen, and some girly stuff.

    for work i have a backpack that i guess holds stuff some women would keep in a purse. my book, lunch, umbrella, purse go in the backpack. i don't like being tied down by a purse.

    i think purses are just another invention by men to inhibit the free movement of women. high heels, purses, golden lilies, tight skirts etc.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian jmac's avatar
    Nov 2005
    Forks of the Ohio
    I bring my messenger-style laptop bag to work every day. Sure, it has a laptop and various cords in it, but it usually has plenty of random stuff. The current inventory:

    - L.L. Bean gift card
    - afternoon snack (brownie)
    - afternoon beverage (thermos of coffee)
    - Ipod
    - two pens
    - random change
    - and of course, chapstick

    It's a shoulder bag with 10 pounds of crap in it. I carry it to work daily. That's all I'm gonna say about it.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
    Apr 2003
    Somewhere between the mountains and the ocean.
    I too have a messenger bag instead a brief case. It can hold a laptop and a 3 inch 3 ring binder, my note book, three blue pens, one red marker, two jump drive sticks, my parking lot card, two tins of mints, stack of business cards, twelve quarters (for parking) and a phone list for co-workers.

    The wife has a purse that is on the small size. She puts her keys, wallet, and phone into it. Beyond that, everything is in this crazy massive backpack that she brings to work.
    If you're not growing, you're dying. - Lou Holtz

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Salmissra's avatar
    Aug 2004
    Central Texas
    I try to carry purses that are smaller, but in a comparitive study in my limited area (4 women), it's about medium. I currently have a very nice purse that has the short handles, and individual internal side pockets for the cell phone and sunglass case. There are two small extrernal side pockets that I don't use.
    Inside the main body of the purse, I have the following:
    makeup bag (chapstick, lipstick, powder, comb, fem. items)
    ID badge (when not in city buildings)
    $1.25 in change (for meters at City Hall)

    I can also fit, when necessary:
    library book
    breakfast bar/granola bar/snacky stuff

    The purse will change out soon, due to seasonal preference. My current spring purse does not have the internal side pockets, so the cell phone and sunglass case will end up jumbled in with the other items.
    "We do not need any other Tutankhamun's tomb with all its treasures. We need context. We need understanding. We need knowledge of historical events to tie them together. We don't know much. Of course we know a lot, but it is context that's missing, not treasures." - Werner Herzog, in Archaeology, March/April 2011

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
    Sep 1999
    400 miles from Orlando
    Good Morning America had a funny segment this morning about the four different purse personalities: the ones whose bags are luggage are prepared for absolutely anything, etc. Stated the average woman has 67 items in her purse.

    My everyday purse is medium sized. But I have at least 20 others for various outfits, dressy, etc. RJ was appalled by the number of purses I have. And I bought another one last week, just because....

    I typically carry wallet, checkbook, cell phone, gum, emery board, chapstick, bandaid(s), hand lotion, cigarettes and lighter, prescription glasses with magnetic sunglasses, feminine supplies, Pepto Bismol, tissues, a pen,keys, OTC meds (Aleve, ranitidine acid reducer tabs), anxiety prescription, and loose change I just toss into the main compartment. It sure feels heavy, but I just put it on the bathroom scale and it didn't even register.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
    May 2003
    Northwestern Ohio

    Collection By Katie, LTD

    Katie's purses are not large. Rather small, in fact. Simple reason.....


    She loves purses, like Emelda (sic?) loved shoes. What a collection. And a freakin' riot when we are ready to go out and she is trying to decide which purse to take. I get to watch her dump everything out, grab a fresh empty, and scoop all the stuff into a different purse.

    She has fancy-schmancy purses, wicker purses, leather purses, a purse made out of an Indiana license plate, white purses, black purses, rainbow purses, excessive amount of buckles purses, etc. blah blah blahbiddy blah.

    Oh well, enough about her purses. I have to go dust my CD collection.


  10. #10
    Cyburbian Plus Veloise's avatar
    May 2004
    Grand Rapids, Michigan (Detroit ex-pat since 2004)
    For years I've been a fanny pack (belt bag) gal. Nowadays I travel even lighter:

    Shopping, outings, entertainment need a wallet and my keys, lip balm. All go into a pocket. (All of my clothing has pockets; if it doesn't, I install some)

    Work sees an APA-loged shoulder bag (Making Great Communities Happen), just another small step towards my preferred career. It contains:

    two plastic divided file folders, one full of house papers, the other with invoices (in case it's payday and I feel like paying down the bills)

    Day planner (more like a fortnight planner)
    Biz card case
    Both cell phones
    daily assignment pocket planner (perfect size to write down daily food intake, which I read is The Way to change one's physique)
    small folding hairbrush

    Michigan APA lanyard (see APA bag) with Stooopid Company Photo ID Magnetic Swipe Card on it (not used at my building)


    Small notebook with the latest home improvement shopping list and measurements

    I have other bags that generally come with me to work or car trips.

    lunch bag: several fruits & vegs, sometimes a power bar, office keys

    Gym bag: t-shirt, shorts, socks, shoes, "Y" pass card, combo lock

    Meijer fabric shopping bag: the day's entertainment. (I have 10+ hours of conference calls a week, and I'll be @#$%^&*( if I'm going to sit there when I can be clipping my coupons or reading Upgrading Your Kitchen magazine)

    If I'm out playing music, I'll bring a belt bag with a water bottle holster, sometimes my digital camera holster. If the music is on the sousaphone, I have its neck bits, mouthpieces, valve oil, and extra lip balm in a special belt bag (sized to hold the horn's bell to its body when disassembled). And tuba biz cards.

    Organization is the key. If you routinely go do the same things, go get a designated bag and pack what you'll need in it. My dance bag contains my prompt card binders, post-its, writing implements, an assortment of atrocious cheap neckties (the extra women wear them to portray the other role), flyers for other dances, knee braces.

    I have a special garment bag packed with all my Civil War accoutrements (hair, jewelry, lace mitts, pince-nez) and for each event I load in my ballgown, matching socks and shoes. That bag goes into the car. The special hoopskirt-shaped one, likewise.

    Recently awarded an AARP travel bag (renew now!); haven't initialized it yet.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Otis's avatar
    Mar 2002
    Upper left edge
    Mrs. O hates purses. Usually she carries a tiny thing that holds credit cards, cash, and various ID cards. It's about 2"x3"x1/2". Keys and cell phone go into pockets.

    She has a small belt pack that she uses when she wants more stuff. That includes her checkbooks, daily planner, and a hairbrush. With those things and the other little purse and cell phone, it is crammed.

    For dress-up time she has a black leather purse that carries those same things. It rarely is dress-up time. More often it is "Carry this for me" time.

  12. #12
    Aug 2001
    Western Pennsylvania
    I carry a small saddlebag-style purse. It holds a wallet, hairbrush and chapstick.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Fat Cat's avatar
    Nov 2006
    Rockwood, MI

    Fat Cat

    When I worked in the Chicago area a few years ago, it was common to see men carrying a shoulder bag similar to a womans purse, I thought it was a practical idea,
    Depending on what my day is going to be like, I am on various boards not related to the city but the appoints go hand in hand with my position, Sewer Authority, Area Agency on Aging etc, than I have tote on wheels with my lap top and what ever I need for the day,.I use my personal lap top for these organizations.
    Otherwise I carry the normal briefcase that will contain whatever I need at work for the day.
    Mrs Katt carrys a large purse and I am not going to say a word to her because quite she carrys my "stuff" in her purse when we are together, She volunteers to do this and it sure does help me out,

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
    Aug 2001
    The Emerald Coast
    Everything I need fits into my pockets....except, maybe, the crack pipe.
    Annoyingly insensitive

  15. #15
    Apr 2005
    Section 14-12-7, 3rd PM
    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    Everything I need fits into my pockets....except, maybe, the crack pipe.
    Dude, lose the hairbrush, keep the crack pipe

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Plus
    Jun 2003
    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    Everything I need fits into my pockets....except, maybe, the crack pipe.
    SAW -
    You say everything; So do you carry a cork screw ?

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
    Jul 2003
    San Diego, CA
    Chiming in late (as usual): I carry a teen, tiny purse. I have carried a small purse for several years. I am constantly working on pairing down what I consider to be essential. The one I have now is basically a wallet with a wrist strap.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Jen's avatar
    Aug 2001
    When I head out the door, I have the purse in tote/courier bag. The purse holds just the essentials, wallet, checkbook, phone and sunglasses. The bag has the purse, a water bottle, library books and DVD's to return, gloves and anything else i remember last minute, outgoing mail, bagel, can of tea etc etc. I usually leave the purse in the car in the bag and grab the wallet when goinginto a store.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
    Mar 2002
    Most of the dressier ladies pants don't seem to come with pockets so I carry a variety of small bags some are nicer than others but always small and understated for the most part.

    I carry:
    keys-very few
    paper day planner
    lip glosss
    biz cards
    2 pens
    maybe breath mints
    oh yes and 2 of those little shout wipe things
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

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