Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Purses! Foiled again.

December Flower, Celebrate Woo Woo and I were having a little side conversation in the comments down a few posts regarding the female bag hoarding phenomenon. Where does it come from? Why does it happen? I find it odd, but so many women are drawn to handbags (not to mention shoes and accessories) that there has to be some sort of natural (aka biological) reason behind it, doesn't there? Or is there a time in every girl's life where we are societally indoctrinated into the handbag craving phenomenon? It's one hell of a craving for some people so there has to be something behind it. Millions of woman can't just randomly want purses, can they?

Perhaps it has something to do with womanhood and power. I remember in my middle school, you didn't carry a purse until you needed to, i.e. you had to carry around feminine hygiene products, or you wanted people to think you needed to. I was of the don't ask/don't tell philosophy so I hid them in my back pack. Some girls were happy to carry purses (i.e. announce their womanhood) and filled them with other trappings of "womanhood" - mirrors, lipstick, NowandLaters (ok, so they weren't a trapping of "womanhood", but they were really popular back in the day. We called them nomalaters. I didn't realize for years that that wasn't their real, albeit odd, name. But I digress.)

The other aspect of handbags is that men don't carry them (lucky bastards). Purses are purely female. (Although some metrosexuals are embracing the idea of carrying around all their crap as well.) It's certainly reasonable for a Mom to need to carry a whole bunch of stuff around. And we, as females, do tend to need more stuff than men, but why is that? Why can't I wear my cell phone in a holster and carry a wallet? Probably because we think ahead and recognize that sometimes we're going to need a pen, a check book, lip balm, tissues, sunglasses, wet naps, gum, etc, etc... Oh, to be male and ignorant (sorry guys). Or maybe I should say, Oh to be male and able to rely on the nearest female for all the things I've forgotten or neglected to carry around with me. Maybe we actually like being the person a man can rely on. We can't always open that jar of pesto without help (the one in my fridge currently is the bain of my existence) but we can pull all sorts of MacGyveresque feats with the contents of our purses.

That still doesn't quite explain the need for a king's ransom of knockoffs, but it gives me a little more perspective on the need for at least one pocket book. Thoughts?


pagalina said...

Well, one COULD say that as the gathering members of the "hunters/gatherers" team that is the male and female relationship, we must have bags in which to put the twigs and berries we gather. Axcepting now that I've typed "twigs and berries" it makes me giggle cause, you know what THAT'S a metaphor for! hmm. that has interesting connotations. Now, doesn't it?

Sassy Pants said...

OR, because we are the gatherers and no longer have need to gather, as you say, twigs and berries, (giggle)perhaps we are gathering shoes and purses instead.

The theories are boundless!

tjdygon said...

I don't know either. I don't really have a purse obsession. i would like to find the "perfect" purse. That is just the right size to fit just enough crap, but I can carry over my shoulder. I now carry an wristlet from coach- the outlet mind you. and it's good but I feel so unorganized can't find anything in it. and it doesn't fit my cell phone.
I DO have a shoe obsession. I've gotten much better about it. I hate cheap shoes and for some reason love payless shoes on everyone else. But can't find a pair there to save my life. My closet is filled with them!

DecemberFlower said...

I personally would go totally bagless (I hate calling it a purse - what is that about?), but I find it impossible to carry my wallet and my cellphone without one. Those are the only two necessary items that I carry in my bag, and I think it's really absurd that I need to carry around this massive (it's actually quite small, but given the contents, it feels massive), floppy bag with nothing in it.

I think I'm going to need to write a post of my own about this purse phenomenon, just to sort out all my thoughts. :P

Celebrate Woo-Woo said...

I think pagalina may be on to a good theory as to why women are much more prone to this behavior.

My purse collection began after I bought a cute red purse that was on sale (at TJ Maxx, for like $12) and began to invision it matching so many things I had. From then on, I would seek out pretty colors in purses for the sake of coordination.

My shoe obsession began as a small child, at which time I had to have every color of those plastic jelly sandals, just had to;>