posted by Joe Anaya on March 30th, 2015

To the embarrassment of my wife and friends, I am secure enough in my manhood to carry a purse. Well, technically it’s a large fanny pack, but I never wear it around my waist (Even I’m not THAT secure). It’s always slung over my shoulder like a satchel. I know satchels are trendy now, but I find them generally too large to carry comfortably and the temptation to carry larger items like my laptop would be too irresistible.

Starting with the usual necessities, my pack fills up with: money-paper and coins; credit cards; credit card and ATM receipts; car and house keys; driver’s license; all the I.D. cards-car insurance card, medical insurance card; all the membership cards-three grocery store club cards, a coffee shop club card, AAA card, library card, union membership card, car wash club card, fast food discount card (two more and I get a free sandwich); business cards; and cell phone. I know you’re thinking, “Put most of it in a wallet and carry the change, keys and phone in your pocket.” The problem is I have two personality quirks that inevitably lead to carrying a purse. I actually have many quirks but two that lead to carrying a gender threatening accessory.

One is: I hate having things in my pockets. It makes me feel uneven. If I carried a wallet in my back pocket I’d feel like one of those guys lost in the desert walking in a large arc because one leg was shorter than the other. I’d need an equally balanced wallet in each pocket to feel even and comfortable. Forget about putting things in my front pocket. I can feel those keys and coins poking me and weighing me down. A cell phone not only would feel weird and lumpy but I can see it getting crushed in my back pocket while plopping down on my ass. Or if I put it in my front pocket, I’d be freaking about the electromagnetic field radiating my nads. I know it’s weird but isn’t that the definition of a quirk?

The other trait I have is: I like to be prepared. Not actually having ever been a Boy Scout, I wholeheartedly embrace their motto or maybe I’m just paranoid about the possible worst-case scenario. Preparedness items: Swiss army knife (of course); combination earthquake-whistle/compass/magnifying glass (possibly my favorite item); one of my keys has a flashlight built in; glasses case for either my prescription sunglasses while I’m wearing my regular glasses or vice verse. Need a screwdriver to tighten the radiator hose to make it to the next gas station; no problem. Lost in the woods at night; I’ll get us home. Trying to alert the search party on the other side of the earthquake rubble; stick with me. If I knew how to work a signal flare, I’d carry one of those too.

And since I have the room, other handy but non-essential items: notepad and pen; chapstick (mostly for my kid); earbuds/hands-free cell phone mic (it’s the law); travel toothbrush (great for business lunches); tape measure (I can’t tell you how many of my wife’s impulsive furniture purchases I’ve swelched on the spot).

So, don’t judge me. Remember the next time you’re loading up your pockets to leave the house or wishing you had some small item sitting on your dresser, “I know of this guy who wears a purse and embraces it.”

originally posted 7/11/11

File Under Jack of all Trades