Women’s Purses (A Survey)

My question to women (or any other-gendered person who carries a purse) is this: do you actually have anything useful in there?

In my experience, you do not.

Prove me wrong. Dump your purse on the table right now and list the contents. Be honest. Don’t embellish. I am on the search for truth.

Why do I care?

Because sometimes I have to hold a purse when you go into the washroom.  Sometimes I have to go back into a place when you forgot your purse. Sometimes I have to “guard” a purse.  Sometimes I have to put something in my pocket when you don’t have your purse and you wore those impractical pants that don’t have pockets (more on pockets later).

There must be an up-side to all this inconvenience.  There must be something in that bag of inventory you carry on your person that will prove useful one day.

The other night at the fancy restaurant the kids were getting restless.  No problem, there must be something in your purse to entertain them.  Nope.

“Pass me a pen and paper.  I need to write this down.”  Dig as you might, you came up with no pen; no paper.

Allergies.  A runny nose.  Surely you have a tissue in there.  Negative.  Allergy pills?  Negative.

So why lug that thing around?  Is it just for fashion?  Is it solely for hiding feminine hygiene products and miniature umbrellas?

I have some experience lugging a bag.  It was a sixty-five-litre pack.  Its contents sustained my life during an eighty-kilometre hike on The Bruce Trail.  Believe me, everything in that pack was useful.  I wasn’t about to lug anything over that treacherous terrain that wasn’t going to come in handy at some point.  Practical.  Functional.  Zen.

In my regular life, I’ve thought about how a purse could be handy.  I could carry Kleenex, a swiss army knife, a bottle of water, a pen and paper, a flashlight, a crossword puzzle book, some granola bars, toys for the kids…  These are just items I thought of off the top of my head.  Of course, if I was actually going to carry a purse I would have to make a much more comprehensive list and then filter it down to what would actually fit, based on the potential frequency of use of the items.

A purse is too impractical for me, though.  It hangs annoyingly off the shoulder.  It can get lost.  It can get stolen.  It can get caught in the turbine of a jet engine and turn me into strawberry jam.

The most practical way to carry additional items on one’s person is via pockets.  The more the better.  Cargo pockets on pants or shorts.  Pockets on vests.  Fanny packs.  Velcro things that strap onto biceps like joggers wear.

The world’s fishermen (fisherpeople?), military and police personnel have already figured this out.  And they aren’t carrying half-eaten rolls of Rolaids in their pockets.  They are packing the practical, tactical gear that might save a life (or catch a fish).

So, ladies (or purse-carrying men), it’s time to see which side of the function/fashion line you stand on.  You’ll be assessed based on what’s in your purse.  Is it full of grocery receipts and lint-covered cough lozenges, or do you actually have anything useful in there?

Or should I just shut up and mind my own business?

40 thoughts on “Women’s Purses (A Survey)

  1. You should probably mind your own business… but I’ll play.
    I carry everything. Wallet, checkbook, phone, keys, sunglasses, reading glasses, an extra pair of reading glasses because the husband always forgets his, business cards because the husband always forgets his, antacids because the husband always forgets his, (are you noticing a trend?) tape measure, makeup, aspirin, tissues, antibacterial gel, 2 reusable folding bags, a granola bar, small pad of paper, 2 pens, comb, hair spray, perfume, lotion, mints, bandaids. a safety pin and super glue.
    My purse is large…. and ready for the zombie apocalypse.
    Any more questions?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. 🐏, I’ll play.

      So, I’m guilty (and quite proud) of my love for purses, but I will admit they can be burdensome yet useful. I carry big purses, big enough to store a rolled up blanket. Everything gets lost or not within reach which is an annoyance. All my bags are in storage. My brand BTW is Dooney & Burke.😁

      Now because of the boys, I have resorted to carrying K2’s toddler size bookbag. I actually downgraded from Mal’s diaper bag, which clashed with everything😂😂😂And I have a Dooney &Burke travel size purse, which is big enough to fit cards(now, that’s a post to write about. Too many damn cards in the world), lipstuffs, candies. Well, I throw that into the bookbag with pampers, wipes, and the boys’ snacks. I still want to be a separate identity than “mom” all the time. Bust out the small purse and I’m me again.

      I’m trying to do better with at least not turning my bags into kids’ bags.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Fair enough. It’s a whole different situation with small kids.
        A rolled up blanket could definitely come in handy.
        When you say cards, do you mean greeting cards, playing cards, or business cards? Or all of the above? A deck of playing cards is something I never thought of carrying, but I might start!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh no, cards needed to gain discounts at particular stores. Grocery stores are notorious for them.

        My card stash: driver’s license, business cards from various business I may have frequented, and grocery store savings cards.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh I see. Yes those kind of cards are a nuisance. I have a slim wallet with a money clip that holds many cards and doesn’t take up much space. There is no room for spare change though.


      4. Don’t get that card holder that was as seen on TV. It was a case that you could clasp, but it held not even close to as many cards as it said. My husband was so mad: he bought it from T.V. and Walgreens sold it cheaper😂😂


  2. 1. You don’t want a purse, you want a Bug-Out Bag.

    2. Women’s clothing almost never features capacious pockets, even when the item is one that you’d think would lend itself to pockets, like an A-line dress.

    3. Even of clothing that does, most of what you’d put in a purse is impractical for pockets. The back jeans pocket stuffed with a huge wallet screams, “steal me!” The cargo pocket stuffed with useful things flops back and forth on your knee as you walk, rattling all the way. The front jeans pocket digs into you when you get behind the wheel if it contains anything other than keys and lip gloss. I guess you could wear a sleeveless fleece jacket and cram the front pockets full, but that would create two huge lumps right under your decolletage.

    4. My purse: Wallet, checkbook, phone. Sunglasses, lipstick case. Bottles of Aleve, Tylenol, and Tums. Used to carry bottles of liquid allergy medicine for the kids, but they are seldom used now. Hand sanitizer, comb, Tic-Tacs, ginger chews. Emergency feminine supplies and a few Band-Aids. Travel-sized Bible and sometimes a library book of similar size.
    Plus the requisite crumpled receipts, out-of-date coupons, lint-covered cough drops, and forgotten Legos.
    Little packet of Kleenex? No, sorry, all used up. Pens? Millions. Pad of paper? That’s a good idea, but nope. My sons’ drawing pads are way too big to fit in the purse.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh that’s my problem sort of. I have transitional lenses on my prescriptions but I want fashionable sunglasses. There are prescription sunglasses but I don’t want to sacrifice a well visit for fashion.

        Some people resort to wearing their sunglasses on top of their actual glasses. If there big enough, it can be done.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That is a genuine struggle. I bought transitions a few years back but they still go dark in low level light and take ages to change back once indoors. I feel like a berk walking around with ‘sunglasses’ on for no reason hence why I went back to switching between dedicated pairs of glasses.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. The worst is when you park the car, and go up to your buddy’s apartment only to realize you are wearing your sunglasses and your other glasses are in the car!


    1. Things I looked up after reading this reply:
      1) The word capacious. I’m going to use this one a lot.
      2) A-line dress.
      3) The word decolletage.

      You should keep the Bible in a breast pocket. There are many stories of Bibles saving lives by stopping stray bullets. Some of them might even be true.

      Great list. You are the second person to say checkbook. Are cheques accepted in many places in the U.S.? I haven’t used a cheque in years. I have a checkbook but I certainly would have no need to carry it on my person.

      Thanks for participating.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are right, capacious is a great word. I picked it up from my husband.

        My travel Bible is about 6″x 4″. I am dying laughing at the image evoked by keeping it in my breast pocket! However, I have heard those Bible-saving-a-soldier stories too.

        It’s true that I don’t often need a cheque when out in public, but occasionally. Co-pays at the doctor’s office, paying for kids’ lessons at the community center. If I were to leave it behind, I’d guaranteed need it that day.

        Couple more things I found in my purse:
        bag of floss picks
        tiny tub of homemade beeswax lotion
        flashlight (batteries probably dead, however)


  3. I don’t carry a “normal” purse (if there is such a thing as a normal purse). I haven’t in years. I “wear” backpack-type things. One is black and resembles a small book sack. The other is a drawstring thing that came from the Durham Bulls Baseball novelty shop.

    That being said, the drawstring, right now, has my small folding wallet, my checkbook (both of which go back & forth between both sacks), a pack of kleenex, a pen, a notepad, a plastic grocery bag, two small cloth grocery bags, peppermint hand sanitizer, a lip balm (I don’t wear make-up, so, no lipstick) and, at the moment, my paper puncher. I use this walking around town or hiking…close to the house and, my phone comes with me in a side pocket.

    The black back bag…lip balm, tea tree toothpicks, GUM picks, cloth eye glasses/phone cleaner, three pens, notepad, sewing scissors, reading glasses, an NRA flip-open knife, a P-38, a P-51, Burt’s Bees hand sanitizer, pack of kleenex, a black compact Thorsen with two flat-heads and two phillips-heads, a ZipKord double USB cigarette lighter plug-in, an executive letter opener II (doubles as a boot knife) and a Servalite razor blade widget holder. Either one of these bags will have food and water, depending upon where I am going and for how long.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You have a lot of gear in there. Are P-38 and P-51 firearms? I googled them but I get everything from guns to can openers.

      I noticed everyone is carrying checkbooks. Who is writing cheques nowadays?

      I also noticed we all have bad eyesight.


      1. The P-38 & P-51 are the can openers. I’ve been swimming in the Dept. of the Navy since I was 15 and I was nearly a Vietnam era Army brat. The paper puncher I mentioned is a Ruger with a laser. Strictly self defense. I’ve been packing since I was 16…requirement of an LE family.

        Some people do not have the ability to take cards. And, if you don’t have enough cash handy… My chiro & acupuncturist prefer cash or checks. Checks don’t bounce like they used to now that everyone has chipped cards & phone apps. Healers, in particular, don’t want to be in *the system* & tracked. Read anything about the holistic doc murders?

        Everyone I know over the age of 30 has readers.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. We have to carry purses or bags because women’s apparels have tiny tight pockets which are basically useless. And since I am a minimalist, I keep basic essentials in my purse, that’s restricted to 5-6 items.

    Liked by 1 person

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