Friday, October 14, 2011

The Man Purse

In an effort to be more involved with recycling, I have decided to re-share a post from 2008. The good news is that I finally broke my man purse habit and have since moved on to using a back pack instead.

For the past ten years I have been carrying around a big black computer bag with me when I go to work each day and whenever I travel out of town. It looks like your standard laptop case with handles and a shoulder strap. The average observer might not think anything of this, but they don't know the whole story.

My secret is that there is no computer in the bag. It is full of color coded folders sorted by topic for things like goals, bills, fitness information, time lines, home repairs, study topics, movie data, business ideas, etc. My bag is really a mobile office. The side pockets contain things like an MP3 player, fingernail clippers, checkbooks, coins, a jump drive, a phone charger, batteries, cell phone, coupons, etc.

So basically I'm admitting that I carry a man purse with me. I'm not proud of this but I can guarantee I carry more stuff with me than most women do in their purses. Last week I even found a small flashlight in my bag. Maybe my need to haul around so much junk stems from seeing too many episodes of Let's Make a Deal when I was younger.

People will occasionally notice my bag and ask why I brought my laptop with me to social settings where they might not expect to see one. Once I explain that there is no computer inside then additional questioning inevitably starts and it goes down hill from there. I feel awkward as I attempt to justify why I would need to haul around all that paperwork with me. I watch the other person's face as they try hard to pretend that this is normal and I'm sure most roll their eyes as they walk off.

Confessing my obsessive bag addiction to others can be awkward, but the greater problem is that I'm so paranoid about protecting it. When I leave home with it I can never just set it down somewhere and come back for it later. I don't dare let it out of my sight since it contains checkbooks, bills, debt charts, blog ideas, and other personal information that I wouldn't want falling into the wrong hands (any hands but mine). Maybe I should transfer it's contents into a brief case and attach it to my wrist with handcuffs since that would be more telling of my relationship with my man purse.

I've seen little kids with their security blankets and my bag kind of acts the same way. I've recently tried finding a mentor who has overcome this addiction but apparently the only other people who suffer from this malady are pushing shopping carts full of garbage around bus stops and freeway underpasses. I have even tried to wean myself from it's constant companionship by downsizing to a smaller attache, but then I realized admitting that I carry a purse is bad enough but calling it an "attache" would only compound my problems. So for now I will feel awkward for carrying excess baggage around with me, but someday when I'm at a party and the power goes out and someone wants to see a timeline I will be prepared and I will be the hero.


Eric said...

I usually carry around tons of stuff in my pockets. Weird random things like, a diamond file, or maybe bits of wire or string. I mean you never know, right?
Yep, me, walking around with my 'chipmonk cheek' pockets.

Charlotte said...

My dad totally has one. We just call it his "man bag". But honestly, I can't blame anyone for that. I carry EVERYTHING around in my purse and I don't know how people get by without them!

mCat said...

Love the confession of the manbag carrier. Eric is right in that there is really no difference between what other guys carry in their pockets. Wait, there kinda is

Congrats on your self confidence!!