Thursday, September 06, 2012

Man Bag

While we were in Malaysia I discovered something that I should have already known about. When we ate at the KL bird park, I felt the need to find somewhere to wash my hands before eating. R pulled out a little bottle of antiseptic hand gel from his backpack and we used that. That you can buy small bottles of it to carry around was a complete surprise to me. Now I never go anywhere without it.

Well, that is fine in winter when I am wearing a jacket, but what about summer when I am not wearing a jacket to stuff things into.

Men need bags like women carry.

Into such a bag would be the aforesaid hand cleanser, keys, wallet, phone, pen, water bottle, chewing gum, nail clippers, tissues, wet cloths and a camera of course.

As a young and possibly stereotypical gay man, I would have had an eyebrow pencil, concealer, vaseline for the lashes, lip gloss, mouth spray, face powder to kill the shine, Amyl, lube, condoms, a hip flask of vodka and there was probably more.

Mother's handbag has her medications, barley sugar, Minties, disabled parking space permit, cigs and matches, possibly house keys if she remembers them and numerous hand written lists. She may forget any or all of the above, but what she will never forget is a banana. She never goes anywhere without one in case a hunger pang suddenly strikes.

Apart from the obvious unmentionables, what do women have in their handbags?


  1. From my experience being married twice i've actually seen unidentified vegetable/plant matter growing inside handbags that look like nothing from this planet.

  2. Never ever leave home without dettol hand cleaning gel. In fact I only take it out of my bag to use it. R is a sensible and wise chap.

    Small billfold with most frequently used cards/ current "metcard"; another card holder, and a 3rd stack of cards held together with an elastic band. Certified copies of power attorney stuff. Lipbalm, painkillers, antihistamines, nail file and [please don't tell anyone] a fruit knife. Gum, artificial sweeteners, spare car keys, keys, phone, tissues, handtowel.
    Small notepad, occasionally a sensibly sized paperback.
    Empty gum wrappers, screwed up shopping lists/notes, lint, glasses if removed for some reason and, in season, sunglasses.

    Have been known to carry an apple, but little in life is more unappetising than a badly bruised banana.

  3. Amyl, lol. Nice one.

    My handbag doesn't have much in it usually, I only use it on weekends, I have a bigger back for work coz I have to carry my diary etc.

    Handbag usually has purse, phone, keys, pen, post it notes and tissues. I think!

  4. My SIL has a man bag. Its a nice leather one with a shoulder strap. TOH uses one if he is taking his camera.
    I don't always carry a bag. If TOH is with me he has the wallet and the antibacterial gel so I don't need anything else. When I do take a bag it has wallet,phone, fold up shopping bag, table hook for handbag in a restaurant. I alsohave asthma spray, antacid tabs, painkillers, nail clippers, bandaids and dental floss all in a small purse. I call it my first aid kit.

  5. Windsmoke, with great caution in case of death of the love of your life, I suggest you are well rid of wives who have handbags like that.

    FC, there are cheaper ones available than Dettol, but Dettol comes in quality bottles that don't leak. Do you think you will need of have your POAs on hand to prove something?

    Fen, post it notes in your handbag, how intriguing. Do you scribble down your phone number on them and slap them on people's foreheads?

    Diane, although we are some years apart, I rather appreciate your handbag contents.

  6. You had me emptying my bag to see just what's in there. I took photos, so you'll have to pop in tomorrow and find out.
    How could you not know about pocket sized antibacterial gel? It's been around for years. I have one at work and bring it home to refill from the giant sized bottle I keep in the bathroom.

  7. I didn't imagine you the type to wear make-up. Interesting.....

    I usually actually carry a backpack because I like to carry my big water bottle and a book. That doesn't fit well in my little handbag.

    Sometimes I do carry just a handbag. That usually has the hand cleanser, lotion, some money or credit cards, and a phone.

    Oh...and rereading your mom's list reminds me. I usually bring some type of food too.

    I think it's a good idea for men to have bags too. I think some do. When we're traveling, Tim sometimes uses a small backpack.

  8. I guess a lot of guys (straight and gay) have backpacks or satchels for that reason - socially-acceptable 'man bags' that contain everything you describe and more:

    meusli bars, sunscreen, baseball cap, umbrella, ipad, banana....

  9. Women's handbags smell awful inside, I've only ever investigated once or twice, looking for money.

  10. Hahaha, just read Windsmoke's comment ...

    'Doesn't that bumbag look great' said NO ONE EVER so a small backpack is a better alternative -easy to carry and leaves your hands free.

  11. The POA thing drove me mad. Banks, Medicare, Medibank Private and one or two other large orgs would make a note on their file and scan docs, then the next time I went back they would have no record of it. I think Medicare took 3 years before it "stuck". Centrelink does not calculate nursing home charges etc but does a lot of dept health and aging's admin, which makes surly senna link staff the gate keepers when it's most inconvenient.
    The only people who have never been a pain are the super fund organisation.
    When mother was living with me there was always some drama. GPs, specialists, private hospitals... forms, forms, forms.
    Arranging respite. Finding a permanent place in a hostel then dealing all over again with new services in different locations... chemists, a store account to arrange regular grog and fag runs...e.g. at 1 am a call saying mother was ambo'd to base hospital, a doctor rang me because hostel did not forward copies blah blah blah... Then finding a permanent nursing home place... etc.

    Haven't used them recently but not having a crystal ball, copies of poas are the next best thing. I think Big Dog mentioned he keeps scanned copies on hand to give people a nudge when necessary.

    Nursing home now has certified copies of the lot, and originals of medicare card etc, but I keep a photocopy of all cards etc for when I need to organise something from my end. Actually, cannot praise the nursing home or its staff highly enough.

    They don't take up a lot of room but have a small zip compartment of their own.

  12. The outside of the handbag has to have a separate compartment for the mobile, since it has to be close to hand all the time and easily accessible.

    The inside has to be large enough to carry tissues, comb, lippy/small hairspray/small deodorant, pens, keys, wallet, plastic card holder, photos of every grandchild individually and collectively, my business cards and the latest small book I am reading.

  13. oops I forgot. I carry a pair of scissors and stickytape, in case there are errors in my lecture notes and there isn't time to reprint. Plus there has to be a separate compartment for the all-important data stick.

    Did I mention a small tube of perfumed handcream?

  14. River, where is the thanks for stimulating you to clean out your handbag? I shop with a list in my hand. If it is not on a list, I don't see it on a shelf.

    Dina, many years ago when I was a pretty fem boi. Well, I was never really that, but it was stage I went through. A small backpack for men sounds good. I do have one, but I rarely use it. I might carry a newspaper but I find books a bit heavy to lug around.

    Kath, sunscreen and a cap are good additions. I seem to recall that you need steady supply of new umbrellas.

    Red, bum bag makes me smile, but when I think of its American name, I am grinning.

    FC, you would be a useful person to have around in a crisis, I expect.

    Hels, you will be instantly recognisable on the street with your large suitcase full of your essentials.

  15. ha ha, thank you, but really it was just a photo opportunity emptying, not a clean out. I clear the rubbish on a daily basis as soon as I get home. The thought of a handbag full of old receipts, tissues and other collected paraphernalia horrifies me. Even my purse (wallet) isn't clogged up with useless receipts.

  16. River, I didn't really think you were the type to have a bag full of useless bits.