Man’s Greatest Fear: The Handbag

Let’s be frank here, people. I don’t want to be writing this today, and you don’t want to be reading it (well actually, maybe you do want to be reading it…maybe you truly are so bored at work that you’d rather read about me not wanting to write than to answer tedious emails. And I guess that’s understandable. But I digress.)

Don’t get me wrong, though. I don’t not want to write because I hate blogging, or because I hate Monday, or because I hate you. It’s simply because I wrote 15 pages yesterday of what is now completely forgotten nonsense for a class I took what seems like eons ago. And writing is similar to eating Sour Patch Kids. It’s pretty wonderful at first, but after a certain point it makes you want to throw up a little.

But no matter; I do have one little story I’d like to share with you today.

So early last week (before the Iceman came and turned us all into depressed slugs), Hunter and I went to the Huf to become fit and trim and sexy. Our plan was to play Racquetball, but once there we remember that the Huf is a madhouse in January, and it would therefore be impossible to acquire a room for said racquetball playing. So instead we went our separate workout ways.

Mere moments into my time on the treadmill I realized I’d left my iPod in the car (because who needs an iPod for racquetball?), so I summoned Hunter and asked if he’d fetch it for me.

“Sure,” he responded. “Is it in your purse?”
“Yes,” I said.
“Where in your purse?”
“It’s umm…in the side pocket…well, just bring the whole purse.”


“But since you just need your iPod, wouldn’t it make more sense just to bring that?”


“Well, but I also want my phone.”
“Okay, well where is your phone?”
“In a different pocket than the iPod.”
“Which pocket?”
“Hunter, would you please just bring the whole purse??”

At this point Hunter took a deep breath, looked shiftily from side to side as if to ensure no one was listening, and muttered,

“So you want me to walk all the way through the Huf carrying your purse??

And this brings me to my latest query: What is the deal with guys and purses?

No matter the man and no matter the man’s self-confidence, I can guarantee you he doesn’t want to be caught dead holding a woman’s purse. Even those men who are in relationships cringe at the thought of holding their significant other’s handbag…why, whenever my sister asks her husband to carry her purse for a matter two or three seconds, you can bet he’s going to give her a pleading “OH PLEASE DON’T MAKE ME DO THIS” face before dramatically holding it away from his body as if it contains Anthrax or some violently explosive device.

And for years, we’ve all accepted this as normal behavior.

But it’s not.

Is it because little boys are told never to look inside their mothers’ purses? Is that why men are afraid of these leather-bound, ladylike satchels? Or is it because they were once told that girls carry “feminine products” in there? If that’s the case, then I’ve got news for you, dear fellows. Women have feminine products everywhere-in their glove compartments, in their schoolbags, in their jacket pockets-so if you truly want to avoid the dreaded tampon, you best avoid females altogether.

But something tells me I still don’t know the mysterious origin of Man’s Greatest Fear: The Handbag, and so I’m hoping you can help me with it.

Why do you think menfolk are so afraid of purses?

Once the true cause of Hunter’s attitude problem was brought to the surface, I agreed to tell him (with great difficulty, as mine is like Mary Poppins’ bag) where he could find my phone and iPod within my purse. He was instantly relieved to know I would not be forcing him to carry such an abomination of his manhood in public, and though I was dying to know what on earth was wrong with him I let the matter go. Something deep inside told me not to open that proverbial can of worms.

But if you’d like to take a gander at this age-old weirdism, please feel free to share your insight. It probably won’t encourage a single man to willfully carry a woman’s handbag, but it might help the rest of us understand exactly why purses make our manfriends act like crazy folk.

Much love.

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No Comments on "Man’s Greatest Fear: The Handbag"

  1. Marisa
    02/02/2010 at 10:50 pm Permalink

    I once had a professor that used “purse” as a euphemism for vagina. I guess, if poor ol’ Hunter had to carry a purse, it would be like he was displaying his vagina for all the world to see. Also, knowing both what Hunter and your purse look like, I can tell you that the shape of that purse is totally wrong for his body type and height, and that was probably the main issue all along.

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