I sometimes like to run what I call Experiments In Stupidity. These EIS’s are harmless except to my ego and pride. They yield no scientific data whatsoever, but are often good for a laugh. At least, they make me laugh.
My latest EIS started thusly: I was in my truck after coming back from lunch when I spotted a man emerge from his car with a bag. It wasn’t a backpack, briefcase, or laptop bag. No, this gentleman put a strap over his shoulder and carried a purse as he trundled toward his office. A Man Purse. A Murse. I noticed nothing out of the ordinary that would label him odd or eccentric. He simply preferred his belongings encased in a finely crafted leather handbag rather than what I carry: a black, rugged nylon backpack with rip-stop webbing on which I can hang bandoliers and ammo if necessary.
I’m very comfortable with my masculinity. I’ve long given up on the boy-color/girl-color thing. I love the color pink and wear it often. When I do, people must look at me and think, “There goes a man’s man who is comfortable with his masculinity.” Either that or, “Wow, that’s a big bottle of Pepto-Bismol!”
But am I comfortable enough? Would I still carry myself with the same manly swagger if I were carrying a Murse?
I didn’t know the answer.
Since I couldn’t answer, I decided to test the hypothesis that my manliness wouldn’t take a hit if I carried a purse. It would be a copout to simply stand somewhere publicly and hold one. We’ve all had to do that from time to time for our lady folk. No, I had to model this purse in all its splendor from parking lot, through an entire store and back.
And so we go.
I found there is much more to purse selection than we guys put into picking a wallet. When I pick a wallet, I look for one with three credit card slits, a flap for my license, and copious room for the cash I intend to inherit from a long lost uncle someday. My criteria is only threefold.
It seems that women go through some seventeen decisions of size color, pattern, pocket, strap, buckle, and design before they can narrow the field to three hundred and forty-four potentials. To keep this exercise hidden from my family, I thought I might be able to pick one up on the internet for ten bucks. Think again. Did you know there are purses that wouldn’t hold my wallet but cost $300 and up? I’m done, not buying anything. I decided to scrounge around the house for an unused one. I searched some storage areas and found two: a blue lacy strappy thing and a dark brown leather one that had seen better days. I chose the old one and discretely smuggled it out of the house.
My experiment went off without a hitch. I wish I could detail odd reactions and interactions, but no one seemed to notice. It was fairly anticlimactic. The only conclusion I reached from this EIS is that people are basically oblivious. I did see a funny sight, though – a young woman who must have been wearing high heels for the first time, staggering around like a drunk baby giraffe. I could never wear high heels…
or could I?