I long for the days when men were men and only women carried a purse.

If you have read any of my blogs you know I am a very curious person. I would walk up to total strangers, especially the ones with serious faces and try to engage them in conversation. I tend to ask a lot of questions, mostly just randomly until I pretty much know a lot of superficial useless information about someone.  I don’t gossip so you know. If you ever need someone to talk to, I’m not your man. 

Last Christmas I went to a dinner and found myself seated next to a lady on my left who I had never met before. Her husband was on her left. At first she was a little aloof; so my first thought was ‘this is going to be a long night’.  Took me about 30 minutes to break the ice but eventually I asked her what she did for a living. She said she worked in education and she didn’t seem to want to volunteer anymore. Geez I thought ‘what does working in education mean’. For the next two hours I came up with all kinds of tricky questions to get her to divulge what she did for a living. It got me nowhere, yet we got along really well. We chatted about all kinds of things, we laughed, we touched on her cleaning habits, her laundry room, where to buy fish in Calgary and how she has never been to Mexico, but not about her work. It was driving me crazy. I could have asked her again but it didn’t seem polite. 

If she would just tell me and  save a lot of time.

My kids tell me I talk too much, I don’t really, I just ask a lot of questions, that’s different. Just before we left home to go out for dinner that night, I had texted my daughter to ask about my grandson. He had changed daycare. He was not getting along well in a big group, he was getting into fights and so she found him a day home with just a couple of other kids.

 My kids have a problem, they are under the false impression that if they don’t respond to my texts for a few days or hours I will stop texting them. Makes me laugh, just makes we want to do it more. 

Anyway in the middle of a sentence with my new friend a text came in from my daughter, finally she was texting me back. I put my new friend on pause while I read the text. Great news, my grandson loved the new caregiver and the kids. I repeated what she texted to my new friend. Eureka, that was the key. 

 ‘Oh’ she said, ‘kids are like that, in my kindergarten class they fight like cats and dogs’. 

Two hours and 30 minutes to find out she is a kindergarten teacher. 

At the end of the evening as she was leaving, she told me that she had a lot of fun and hope we can do it again sometime. I think she was playing a game also. 

You are probably wondering, ‘where was your wife’, ‘why are you talking to a complete stranger for 2:30 hours’. If you have to know she was on my right chatting with other guests. After 30 years, we pretty much know all the things about each other as we will ever know. We spend a lot of time together; thank god she thinks I’m funny.   

There are some things I will probably never know about her, like what is in her dresser drawers or her purse. Sometimes as I pass by when the ‘special’ drawer is open, I would glance over and see something intriguing but never bothered to ask about it. 

Now Jo’s purse is a different story. If I ask her if she has a dime, she has to rummage through her purse for what seems like eternity to find it, even if it was on top. Drives me crazy, she says I am impatient.  I would like to spend a day going through it. 

The intrigue of a woman’s purse. 

A few years ago my teenage son had a girl friend that walked around with a very large purse, more like a small valise I should say. I must admit I often wondered why she needed such a big purse. One day the curiosity got to me so I asked, after all she was going out with my son and for all I know she could be packing an AK47. You never know these days. I was half expecting her to tell me to mind my business but instead she said, ‘it makes my butt look smaller’. 

Do you notice that more and more men are carrying a man purse? Do you think it is to make their ass look smaller? 

Ill soon get to the point. 

About 50 years ago, one of my older brothers returned from St Thomas carrying a ‘man purse’. Although he slapped me around a few times for laughing at him, I could not stop being embarrassed for him. When I saw him coming down the street I would walk the other way, pretending not to know him. 

It was not long after he left for England and I’d say not too soon, he was ruining my reputation. 

About four years later he returned at Christmas with his new wife and an even bigger man purse. What was wrong with this guy? I decided that since he was married I would look the other way. When he was leaving to go back to England he gave me his man purse. 

It took me a while before I started carrying it around and it felt good, not feminine at all as I had imagined. It is hard for a man to walk around with a purse, what do you do with it when you have a lift a lady across a puddle of water? 

When I was growing up, like my dad I walked with my hands in my pocket. Don’t know why he did it but I had a good reason. Usually I would have some marbles; a single rock in case I got attacked by a stray dog, maybe a catapult in my back pocket to ‘shoot’ birds and mangoes high in a tree and occasionally change for Sugar Cake and Fraco. Having my hands in my pockets was mostly to keep my pants from falling off.   

As I got older, I would carry a fat wallet, keys and other stuff in my pants pockets, as you know they can be bulky, after a short period of time your pants begin to look droopy. 

Then technology came to the rescue, I began to carry around a laptop in a laptop bag. I bet when they invented the laptop they were not thinking of saving men pants. I had a laptop bag with many pockets which was quite convenient, I’d sometimes put my keys, generally a book or two and always some kind of manual. As the bag got heavier and heavier, I switched to a backpack to balance the load. I always kept my wallet in my pocket though. 

Just over a year ago, I started a new job which does not require me to walk around with a computer. Hallelujah. Can I hear an Amen? No more backpack. 

Well I was wrong; I can’t seem to get rid of it. 

 My morning ritual when I get to the elevator at work is to take out my security badge from one of seven pockets on my backpack, let myself in and put my badge in my pants pocket. When I am leaving I place my badge into the same one of 7 pockets in my backpack, easy peasy. 

Sometime last week I got to the office with my backpack of course, reached into the ‘special one of seven’ pockets and whammo, the card is not there. I never take it out at home so I could not have left it there. I get to work really early, generally there aren’t too many people around so I decided to sit and wait for one of my co-workers to show up and let me in. 

As I sat there, I decided to look through my backpack again; maybe I put it in another pocket, although very unlikely, I lose things if I don’t follow strict habits. 

I started with the pockets on the sides of the bag although I had looked there before. In it was my phone power cord and a second power supply, not sure what it belongs to. Made a note to get rid of it, then I moved through the other pocket and here is what I found: 

LG cell phone, it’s a extra in case my phone broke although it has no service and power cord,

3- 16GB discs for my computer which I don’t carry around

Cannon Power Shot camera and power supply

A pack or raisins

A tube of Toothpaste

A Book, Oilfield Geology and Exploration

Johnson and Johnson Mint Flavoured floss,

Bottle of mouth wash

Ear phone which I don’t use, since I have an acute hearing problem

A cheque book

Every cheque stub for the past 14 months

A baseball cap

Pair of Gloves, not the ones I wear, they are in my coat pocket

Pair of socks

And this is the best part, an empty man purse my brother gave me when I visited him last year, yes the same brother, he has a least 5 for different occasions. 

I know you are wondering where I keep my wallet, my keys and my smart phone. Old habits die hard,  I still carry them in my pants pockets. 

So now the big question that I have been pondering all day, do men carry things in their pockets to enhance their body parts?

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