Monday, 31 October 2011

It's all in the bag...

There is a saying that you can tell a lot about a woman from the size of her handbag.   Apparently, the larger the bag, the more extroverted a woman's personality. My theory is that it obviously has more to do with necessity than personality - after all, I have gone from carrying no bag in my youth, to carrying one now under which boy scouts could comfortably make camp with no fear of getting wet in the rain.  I doubt that my personality has changed that much.

Not only that, the contents of a bag are supposed to say a lot about a woman.  I once won a prize for being the only woman at a ladies meeting to have a socket wrench in her handbag (don't ask!). The Sweetpea meanly refers to my present handbag as the Bermuda Triangle because he swears things go in there that never have a hope of coming out of there alive.  When sorting out my handbag the other day, I found (amongst other miscellaneous and unidentifiable half-sucked and discarded objects covered in bag fluff) a fleet of six vehicles, three bags of no-MSG-added chips, a half-eaten stale biscuit (it was still quite good - give me a break: I am a breast-feeding mom and pretty much starving all the time), three odd socks, four pairs of sunglasses (only two of which actually have lenses in them), my cell-phone, someone else's cell-phone (lovingly packed up by one of my kids on a visit somewhere), some rocks and dried flowers, a lipstick tube with no lipstick in it (industrious fingers have scratched it all out), various scribbled works of art that I have thought worth saving, and a dried chicken bone (Why? Why?).  Not sure what this says about me as a person, other than perhaps I am a mom of three busy and creative children who think nothing of using my handbag as a dumping ground.

However, when it comes to finding things, the shoe is on the other foot.  Invariably, as we prepare to go anywhere, I gather up my receptacle for all that I will ever need (i.e. my handbag) while I smugly wait for the Sweetpea to say "I can't find my......" (wallet, keys, cell-phone - you fill in the blank), and then rush around frantically trying to remember where he used it/saw it/saw the children playing with it last.  At that point, just as tempers are fraying and ire is running high, I calmly interject "We could always buy you a man-bag?"  Nothing is guaranteed to cause more consternation in a red-blooded, testosterone-flooded male than the mention of a man-bag.  It is like kryptonite to Superman.  All his power drains away at the thought of that ball-busting object.  For the next few days, keys are hung on hooks, wallets placed carefully in cupboard, cell-phones left on the loudest setting so that an emergency phone-call from the land-line will be able to locate them without fuss.  Until he grows sloppy and the cycle starts all over again.  

It appears that the eternally-raging battle of the sexes can be summed up in this one illustration (probably stemming from the days of the caveman): the woman, the gatherer of the tribe, carries all she needs with her; the man of the tribe, powerful hunter that he is, does not want to be weighed down by carrying unnecessary objects.  Yet while out and about, even Neanderthal man was likely to come up to his counterpart at some stage of the evening and say "Please could you just put my club in your bag?"

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