Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Shoulder Bags, Hand Bags, Purses..........

Decades ago, after giving up on meaningless heterosexual relationships with straight women, and becoming a quasi vestal virgin :-), I used to frequent my place of work in male mode, carrying a shoulder bag, or a hand bag containing my daily essentials. I thought nothing of it.

Recently, while visiting a message board, that I have frequented outside of the T-world for several years, I came across a post, discussing the subject of men carrying bags, or as some preferred to call them........purses. Of course many of the posts ridiculed males who carried bags, while some even made references to the hideous "f" word. "F" of course, meaning fag. Shame on them! Maybe I am not one to defend the carrying of purses, shoulder bags, handbags, or whatever you like to call them, but the entire debate is so ridiculous to me. There is nothing inherently female, or effeminate, about having a bag to carry once's essentials around in. And even if it is a stylish leather bag, instead of some sports inspired canvas or nylon bag, Who the hell cares?

When working, I carried both woven canvas and nylon bags, and more stylish leather bags, that contained, my lunch, my snacks, my newspaper, my cell phone, any medications I was taking, and any other miscellaneous items I thought I might need during the day. Why should anyone be condemned to carrying all of their necessities around in their pockets, simply because they are male? Can we all agree, based upon simple logic, that shoulder bags, hand bags, purses, etc., are simply unisex conveniences? I am happy to report, that Allah the merciful, or God Almighty, or Yahweh, or Jehovah, or whatever you like to call your deity, has no opinion on whether or not you should carry a bag to keep your things in!

Today was an absolutely wonderful day! I awoke to temperatures in the low to mid seventies, and throughout the day, they never rose above 80° F! For the first time in several weeks, I was able to cut my A/C units back from full blast, and shut off most of the fans in my house! I can't believe how quiet the house is now! Will I be able to sleep tonight without all of the white noise? I certainly hope this cooling trend lasts! When we have had horribly hot summers before, it seems that the onset of August often marked the turn around to more reasonable temperatures. If I was still a vestal virgin, I would offer up a special prayer to ensure cooler weather from now on for everyone. But of course I'm not a vestal virgin (sigh). I'm simply Melissa, living in the Virginia Piedmont, and hoping that the rest of you are all enjoying the remainder of your summer!

Please enjoy a sweet number by Billie Holiday...............
Melissa XX


Caroline said...

This is one of the many ways the male of the species shows just how stupid they can be and is absolute proof that we really cannot possibly be one of them!

Caroline xxx

Jenny said...

Ah the joys of being British, a country where "I could murder a fag!" is an expression of smokers craving rather than a homophobic threat.

Funny, the whole bag thing. I carry a backpack with me. Very utilitarian, perfectly acceptable in a bloke environment, yet serves exactly the same function as a handbag. Lose the straps, give it a couple of handles and maybe a nicer fabric, and I might get a few funny looks.

I have considered the possibility of a man-bag when I start at my new employer. It's an environment in which I'd get away with it without a murmur. But the trouble is I've yet to see one aimed at blokes that I like. Quite simply they aren't stylish enough, or they're just too big. Meanwhile I can't help coveting Mrs. J's Orla Kiely. Sigh.

Glad to hear you have a respite from the heat.

Melissa said...

@ Caroline

I know for sure, that you and I are not one of them! :-)

@ Jenny

The respite from the infernal heat is indeed a wonderful relief! Not to play the martyr though. We have all truly suffered this summer! I just hope it's finally over with!

Melissa XX

Halle said...

Some years ago, my style for most of the year was bulky sweaters and size 38 pants with even wider hips. There was lots of room in the pockets and no good reason for a bag for my wallet, keys, etc.

These days, the slacks I prefer for the new body are slim and sleek; no pocket space so a bad really not only makes sense, but is essential.

I also favor the backpack, but will likely pick up a more stylish bag this fall.

An interesting post. I am happy you are getting some cooler weather, as are we; a bit dryer too which helps!


LeAnne said...

You knew that I would have to respond to your post about handbags. As soon as I saw your title line, you had me hooked!!
Hand bags are the best!! I must have said this to my honey a dozen times a month "HOw did I ever live without a hand bag!" My world is in that thing! And I do take it to work, every day. And in no way, does it look like a sports bag, lunch bag, or an old bag. LOVE IT!!


Anonymous said...

And of course, not all women like handbags! I've known a couple (they are in the minority) who think they are just a nuisance...except that they have no viable substitute. They don't or won't use pockets. They don't or won't carry a shopping bag instead. Only one of them will sometimes consider a small backpack. They are not the sort to shove cash in their bras. Consequently, as you might guess, they carry only their purse (in their hand - vulnerable!) with not much more than money in it. I need hardly add, they tend to leave their phone and hairbrush at home, which is annoying thing for whoever they go out with!

Personally I can't see how anybody can lead a normal life without a bag of some kind. And boo to packets!


Lucy Melford said...

I don't know what happened there! The 'Anonymous' comment was mine!


Stace said...

I have to agree with Jenny - I was reminded by the shock and horror that an American friend of mine had when I mentioned someone had gone out to smoke a fag. Two cultures seperated by the same language :)

As for the bags, I suppose the Kippling that I got for my small laptop easily qualifies there. Though I did almost instantly discover that a bag is never big enough. So far only one person has said something to my face, one of the managers made a joke when I picked it up after an external meeting 'Did you forget your handbag?' I just sort of smiled and left without saying anything. But then he is the classic Alpha Male (who, should I transition, I am quite afraid of telling - not a direct manager thankfully, in a completely different business unit)


eleanor said...

Hi Melissa,
I started carrying a mil-surplus shoulder bag after my chiropracter admonished me for having a bulky wallet and keys in my back pockets. I put all my stuff in it and took it everywhere. It has since been replaced by a small, stylish leather 'man-bag' that is useable in femme mode too! Who says that purses are only for women?

Veronica said...

I used a backpack for most of my life. I could never get all I needed into my pockets, although that's where my wallet and keys used to live. The backpack was for things like books and writing stuff and maybe some clothes.

Before I transitioned, I switched to a shoulder bag. It was pretty unisex, if there is such a thing as a unisex shoulder bag. I had started to wear girl jeans, and to do so I gave up pocket room. A shoulder bag was better than a backpack for wallet and keys and stuff that used to be in my pockets. I never got any grief for carrying it.

That bag transitioned with me. :)

I still mostly use shoulder bags, but they're more explicitly women's bags. I love having all my stuff right there. I realize it's a single point of vulnerability, but so far I've managed to keep the bag close to me.

Sweetie tends to go with her backpack unless we're going out somewhere. She'd rather carry stuff on both shoulders than on just one (too heavy on one shoulder can trigger sciatica).

Glad you have some cooler weather!

Anonymous said...

I tend to carry a backpack to and from work with my things in it.
I know of one guy at work who carries his things in a satchel and one of the women who brings in a handbag and a small backpack.
I might think about getting something a bit more unisex to carry things with if i can find something large enough.

Melissa said...

@ Jenny and Stace

Yes, if I told someone I was going out to either murder, or smoke a fag, I think the first they they would do is get on their cell phone, and dial 911! Two cultures separated by a common language indeed!

@ Everyone

Yes! A bag makes so much more sense than pockets filled with wallets, cell phones, keys, checkbooks, receipts, and whatever else you may need to carry with you.

Melissa XX

Anonymous said...

Hi Melissa,
You're so right about the stupidity of the "PC" bags for men/women.
I too have carried a backpack for many years to hold books, notebooks, etc.
The backpack (by itself) weighed as much as one of my science books. I aIso carry a laptop most days.I think you get the idea of where I'm going with this...
Since I live in TX (not one of the most liberal places on the planet), it was the only "PC" option in my situation (still in the closet).
Well, this year I've come to my senses! I just ordered a shoulder bag that will pass good enough for "uni" style. Let the rednecks make their snide remarks!!
I have followed your blog for may months now. Only wish I had your "moxie" to come out and express my true self. Someday soon I hope...
I sympathize with you about the heat. We're melting in north TX too.