I read recently purses for men -- “manbags,” or “murses,” as they’ve been humorously termed in the past -- are becoming hot sellers.
You read that right.
Men in increasing numbers are starting to carry handbags, and upscale retailers such as Saks Fifth Avenue are clearing shelves to make room for them.
Gracious. Bear Bryant must be rolling over in his grave.
Designers say electronic devices have become more numerous -- large cellphones, iPads, tablets of all kinds, along with the chargers that must accompany them -- so men’s pockets simply aren’t roomy enough to hold them anymore.
One luxury website is now offering more than a hundred different bags made for men, ranging from a bare-bones, J.Crew model at $100 to $10,470 for a leather-lined tote made with sharkskin.
They’re being made in vibrant colors and innovative shapes.
But hey, when you get down to it, a man-purse is a man-purse, sort of like man-boobs are man-boobs, no matter how much you might try to gloss over it. Or them.
But here’s an eternal truth: no matter how popular these items become, and no matter how much men practice stuffing them with all sorts of goods, they’ll never be able to jam as many things into a bag as women can.
To a man, a wallet is simply an item -- a necessity needed to carry cash, credit cards, driver’s licenses.
But women have a personal relationship with their purses. Scratch a woman’s purse, and she bleeds.
Women aren’t happy unless they’re toting around a bag large enough to hold a Volkswagen. They feel unfulfilled unless they’re bent over double with the weight of the thing.
I try to stay away from Wife Nancy’s handbag/purse/front-end loader. First of all, I can’t pick it up. Second, I’m afraid of what’s in it.
Just the other night as I sat at the kitchen table working on my laptop -- her handbag resting on the floor only a few feet away -- I became aware of a movement out of the corner of my eye.
Had a squirrel sneaked into the house? A mouse? No, it was her pocketbook, shifting almost imperceptibly, as if it had taken on a life of its own.
I was afraid something deep inside its bowels, buried under paper clips and cell phones and cheese crackers, might be a small nuclear reactor just waiting to spew radiation.
A couple years ago, not long after my hernia surgery (caused by -- you guessed it -- picking up her handbag), I peeked inside her portable dumpster to see for myself what could weigh so much.
I found the keys from a 1972 Monte Carlo we sold 35 years ago, two pieces of sample molding from the time we redid our kitchen in 1982, a 45 rpm record from Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, a quart of Crisco, our 39-year-old daughter’s first-grade report card, an Esso credit card, an electric toothbrush, an unabridged Webster’s dictionary, more rouge than you can imagine, several large washers and bolts, a tube of Fixodent (what??) and a tire iron. That was only the first layer.
That was the last time I looked. Now we have a deal: she doesn’t bother my golf clubs and I don’t fool with her handbag.
But deep down inside, I carry a gnawing fear somewhere down there, buried under all that junk, Elvis is alive and trying to get out.