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The Purse

| Mar 28, 2016
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handbagsIs there anything more ubiquitous today than the purse? They are everywhere. They are tiny, large, ginormous, leather, cloth, hard, soft, shoulder strap, clutch, big straps to throw it over your shoulder — and some have a loop to dangle it from your wrist. They come in an unfathomable number of designs, construction techniques and purposes. Some are for the modern business woman who wants her tablet, smartphone, makeup kit, emergency supplies, and ballet flats for when they ditch the heels. Purses often hold hundreds, if not thousands of items we each feel is indispensable. Others are content with a driver’s license, one credit card, a few bucks folded in half and a cell phone. The total amount of items and weight of all that stuff in all the purses in the world must be astronomical.

Love ‘em or hate ‘em

During my research, I spoke to a cross section of the purse-carrying public. (Four woman, three cisgender and one Transwoman, is an acceptable sample, don’t you think.) 25% of my sampling group hated them and had one (yes, it’s true) only one purse. 75% of the sample had five purses or more. 50 % of those questioned had absolutely no idea how many they had because they were spread around in multiple locations and they lost count years ago. Needless to say, two of the four are in the extreme category. (Don’t worry, sweetheart, it’s fine with me.)

What is the criteria for a good purse?

Here’s where I got into the nitty-gritty of my research. I asked my sample subjects, “What makes a good purse?” With the exception of the one person who hated purses, owned only one and didn’t want that one (I know, I’m still in shock too!), all of the participants answered immediately and with conviction. Here are their criteria by subject.

 Subject One

1. Size

2. Color

3. Many compartments

4. Easy access to the inside

5. Cell phone pocket

Subject Two

1. Leather

2. Character, purse must make a statement

3. Pockets, lots and lots of pockets

4. Everyone must have at least one red purse

Subject Three

1. Must be friggin’ cute

2. Just the right size

3. Good pockets

4. Not too expensive

Subject Four

1. I know it when I see it

As you can see by these hard, irrefutable facts, these four subjects agree on some point and not so much on other. Don’t you love science?

I have a confession

I’m Subject Four. I have five purses. One I use most of the time. Another I use when I need one with a long strap so I can be hands free. A really big one, a Vera Bradley, a small, leather purse/wrist strappy thing and the last one I can’t find. If you were like me, in the beginning, you had a cell phone, a driver’s license, money and car keys. You might have questioned, as I did, “What is the big deal about purses?” The longer I go, the more I find I need in my purse and all of the stuff in it. It’s like a mobile, personal life support system. I also now understand how you can go to a big box store, find the purse section with hundreds of choices and walk away after an hour muttering, “They didn’t have a thing.”

In Closing

The purse is now and will ever be the indispensable accessory for woman. They are fashionable, utilitarian, make a statement and are something you can show off and discuss with your friends, neighbors, associates and total strangers. However, there was one question I asked during my research that I was not able to answer.  “How old is this cough drop in the bottom of my purse?”

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Category: Style, Transgender Fashion, Transgender Opinion


About the Author ()

I am Cate, a mature transgender woman. I am a writer, blogger, parent, grandparent, sailor, activist and happy. I am a widow, and live with my yorkiepoo, Belle. I love music, reading, cooking, outdoors, DIY, theater, antiquing and flea markets, home brewing, and seeing what is around the bend in the road or over the horizon. I own the website. It is an outreach, support and resource for mature trans* people and especially for those who, like me, came out after fifty.

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