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I’m Pretty Sure Some Guy Invented the Purse

December 12, 2012

I have a theory on the evolution of the modern woman’s purse as it’s known today. I believe that some guy invented the purse with A LOT of input from his wife.

I think the modern day woman’s purse has its roots in what’s known today as the backpack. A backpack is the most practical solution to carry around your stuff since you use two straps to carry it on your back thereby leaving BOTH hands free to do other stuff. I believe that some guy was watching how his wife was using the backpack and made some modifications to it. He noticed she carried it around only by one strap on one shoulder, it was never zipped closed and she constantly complained about the color.

The evolution continued with daily input from his wife that began with the five words that are like nails on a chalkboard when uttered by a spouse, “It would be nice if….” “it came in a different color, it wasn’t leather, it had a wider strap, it had a shorter strap, it had an adjustable strap, it didn’t have a strap, it wasn’t so big, it wasn’t so small….etc. etc. etc. blah… blah… blah….”

All of these iterations were cast aside in attempt to incorporate his wife’s feedback, and were the origin of all of the purse styles our wives speak of today when looking through an issue of InStyle magazine and reading the captions out loud… hobos, totes, clutches, satchels, evening bags, shoulder bags, exotic skins, editor’s picks…

In an attempt to anticipate his wife’s ever changing desire for functionality, he began adding practical features to the purse such as dividers, zipper closures, various pockets, a place for keys and eventually a special pocket for a phone. It’s some of these features that were important clues that eventually led me to the basis of my theory. You see, the phone pocket (much like a place for car keys) makes so much sense, but only a guy would use it. For example, my wife finds it exceedingly difficult to use such a feature. She prefers to drop her phone (and car keys, or worse, my keys) into the black abyss of her purse only to dig through a maze of dark pockets when someone is blowing up her digits. This is why it’s only on a rare occasion that my wife actually answers her phone before it rolls to voicemail. This is also why I, and many other husbands, prefer to text. The phone makes its text ringtone, and, 10 minutes later after my wife has found her phone, she answers my text. The zipper doesn’t get used either, but I don’t have space to list all of features that go unused.

I can’t pinpoint when, but I think this guy along with others got frustrated with trying to create features, colors and styles that would satisfy their respective wives and stopped making purses and adding features. After all, women are constantly changing purses, which is good because if they didn’t I’m convinced you would find a pacifier in my wife’s purse from when my 12-year-old was a baby. I’ve had the same wallet for almost twelve years. Purses have a useful life of a year… at best.

I have come to my conclusion that guys stopped making purses based on a couple of observations. The first is the absence of a light inside the purse. I wish had a dollar for every time my wife got frustrated looking for something like car keys or glasses in her purse only to dump all of its contents out and search through a pile of personal items. The lighting feature is the logical next step and would be the equivalent of a closet light inside a purse, but they don’t exist which tells me guys are no longer involved. My final clue is the latest style of popular purses known as the Neverfull. It’s just a big bag without pockets or a zipper. You just drop stuff in it, and it opens wide so you can easily see to dig through your stuff.

The human race has come a long way from the backpack, but I suppose it doesn’t matter much because whether it’s a backpack or a purse every guy in the world would still be listening to their wives dig through their bags like a badger in search of grub worm and mumbling, “Where’s my phone?”

© Johnny Hea – 2012 All Rights Reserved


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