Goshen News, Goshen, IN


February 27, 2012

A woman’s dream: Finding the perfect purse

— It happened the other night. There I was, scrabbling around in my handbag, trying to find the Chapstick. Digging, digging, blood pressure rising…

From the bowels of the closet, this is what The Mister heard, “I’m ready to throw this thing in the English Channel!”

In the bowels of the closet, this is what I heard, “Lord, help her find the perfect purse.” I hadn’t thought you could pack a “roll of the eyes” tone into an arrow prayer, but, by cracky, if he didn’t nail it.

I laughed. “Here’s the deal,” I said. “I’m going to gut it out for the rest of the winter with this totally unsuitable black purse. But come spring…” I peered at him meaningfully. He paled, feeling helpless in the face of my handbag issues, and headed for his favorite spot on the couch to Google something manly, like basketball scores, on his smart phone.

A woman and her purse is a mystery to a man. In his world, “If it doesn’t fit in your pocket, you don’t need it.” But in her world, “I have to make this fit because I might need it.”

It’s odd. The very men who snort and whiffle at the size of a woman’s handbag (“what do you have in there, the kitchen sink”) are the same ones who expect you to have everything and the kitchen sink.

Nurturers that we are, we just want to be prepared for any emergency; hence, the big bag. With the first-aid kit. And the cough syrup. And the fruit snacks. And the paperback. And the Fix-A-Flat. Because you never know.

A man doesn’t understand, either, that color matters. All he wants is a sturdy, serviceable wallet to tuck squarely in his back pocket. He’s not out to make a fashion statement or to “express his personality.” But a girl? Oh, my.

Color and style matter. A lot. And personality? Oh, yeah. Whether in bright reds or florals, sober solids or playful prints, a woman carries hers on her arm. It’s a wise man indeed who learns to check the emotional weather vane by noting which purse she’s using. That way, he’ll know whether to tack into the wind or to spend the evening tinkering in the garage.

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