Mind Of Man: Don’t Call It A “Man Purse”

It’s not a “man purse,” pal. Nor is it a “murse,” or a “crapsack,” or a “scrote bag.” If you must call it a satchel, fine. But your clever putdowns don’t emasculate me. I need this … portable gear container made out of dead cow hide that hangs from my mighty shoulders by a strap. Mock me all you want, but this modern-day quiver is not a fashion accessory. It’s purely for practical purposes. I have things I need to carry around with me, like a cell phone, iPod, and grappling hook. How else am I supposed to lug around my comic books? If I carry them under my arms, I’ll stain them with gladiator sweat. I can’t have that.

There was a time when I believed that once a man stepped out his front door, all he needed were his keys and his wallet. A good, wide, well-worn wallet that fit easily in his back pocket and contained just cash, his license, and a condom. The idea being that a man needed to travel light, much like the Apache warrior.

When it comes to carrying around life’s important junk, women win. Right now, every woman I know has a handbag that’s like the famous wardrobe in the Narnia books – a portal to a vast, alternate dimension full of stuff. I’ve known women to keep the following in their purse: makeup, birth control, lotion, keys, cell phone, two books, five magazines, a first aid kit, a full pharmacy, enough food for a week in the wild, an inflatable raft, and our nation’s nuclear launch codes. This is the bare minimum, too. Most women will swear that every single item they carry is a necessity. Well, I have things I need to take with me on my day’s journey, and I get emasculated for it.

I am not ashamed.

There was a time when I believed that once a man stepped out his front door, all he needed were his keys and his wallet. A good, wide, well-worn wallet that fit easily in his back pocket and contained just cash, his license, and a condom. The idea being that a man needed to travel light, much like the Apache warrior.

How can I run across freshly fallen snow and leave no footprints if I’m wearing a backpack? Besides, grown men who wear backpacks always look like they need help finding their mommy. Fanny packs were never an option; there is really no masculine way to zip those tiny hip pods open.

I sort of wish briefcases would make a comeback. They’re not the most comfortable things to carry around, but my dad used to have one. He’d come home and set it up on the living room table, and it would be full of files, and newspapers, cigars and spy books. Everything a busy, serious man would need would be in there. They should make briefcases that open like multi-tiered tool boxes. And then I could put every single thing I would need for every life scenario possible. The first level could be all my work stuff, pens and paper and mobile devices. The second level: all the entertainment I need. Third level, flash grenades and lock picks. But baring some huge briefcase comeback, I’m forced to carry this … this … bag.

Ideally, Batman’s utility belt becomes the big thing. That’s the Dark Knight’s sleek and stylish belt that carries everything any self-respecting urban vigilante might require. Throwing stars. Knock-out gas. Or maybe that’s just the little kid in me thinking out loud. I suppose fashion designers could just make men’s pockets deeper. As a kid, I always carried around coins and paperclips. But until such solutions materialize, I’m forced to fill this non-descript bag. This … fine … whatever. Man purse.

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