Women’s clothing, as those of you who are female know, often has no pockets. If pockets exist, they’re more decorative than functional. Yet women, especially mothers, have to carry around piles of junk and debris. If you have kids, you need to haul stuff for them. But even if you don’t: a woman’s wallet is not made to to go into a pocket. Hence, the purse: a pack for a pretty little camel.
Some time ago, I decided to throw over those traces. I wanted to quit lugging a purse around, once and for all. Reasons abound:
- Hauling a bag over your shoulder or in your hand everyplace you go is a nuisance.
- It makes you a target for purse-snatchers and muggers.
- Purses are easy to misplace, easy to forget.
- Once you’ve lost a purse with your wallet in it, the resulting hassle defies belief:
- Searching from pillar to post for the thing
- Calling the bank to disable use of lost bank cards and checks
- Ordering new bank cards and checks
- Lost cash, if you carry cash with you (I no longer do so, for exactly this reason)
- The amazingly time-consuming hassle of replacing a driver’s license
- More hassle to replace other forms of ID and entry cards
- Buying a new wallet, which at best rquires an Amazon order, but more likely will require traipsing to a department store
- Putting someone else up to buying groceries and the like until replacements arrive
On and on and on…
Contemplating these joys, and, after having been chased around an Albertson’s parking lot by a panhandler (thief?), I decided to go into full rebellion: REFUSE to carry a purse around.
This is more difficult than one would think, because of the way women’s clothes are designed — presumably to fit some clothing maker’s idea of “sexy.” About the only clothing item that consistently has pockets is a pair of jeans. And even then, pockets in women’s pants are often shallow and tight, making it difficult to carry even a small wallet. And most women’s wallets are anything but “small” — the maker’s assumption being, reasonably enough, that the thing will be carried in a purse.
So…how to pull it off?
Several strategies, at least one of which entails some risk:
- Hide your driver’s license in your car, so that you always have it at hand..
- Get copy of your driver’s license to carry into a store, in case someone demands to see it when you go to write a check or use a charge card.
- Get a metal card carrier and stash all your ID and credit cards in it.
Obviously, keeping your driver’s license in your car is, in some respects, a bad idea: anyone who steals your car or even just breaks in will be stealing one of your key pieces of identification. However if you’re lugging a purse around, all you have to do is forget it someplace or get it yanked off your shoulder as you’re walking across a parking lot. I’ve come to regard stashing it in the car as worth the risk.
Accepting that risk frees me from having to lug a bag everywhere I go, from trying to find someplace safe to stash it when I get to where I’m going, from having to remember to take it with me when I leave that destination, and from the risk of purse-snatching. It also means I have to look for clothing that has pockets — and pretty much precludes wearing anything very “fashionable.”
Fortunately, because I no longer go into an office, I can live in jeans. With the shift from office to working online from home, this is probably true for more women than it has been in the past.
And I’ve found that it’s very much worth the effort to shed the purse-hauling custom. Without a bag full of identification, cash, phone, bubble gum, and whatnot, the local Albertson’s parking lot — a haven for panhandlers and shady types — becomes a great deal less menacing. The risk that I’ll misplace an indispensable piece of identification almost disappears. No bag hanging off my shoulder means no sagging clothing, which means I can wear lighter, cooler shirts in the summertime. And it’s one fewer thing to have to remember all the time.