I read Ed’s post “Girls, what is all that junk in your handbag” and yes, it’s no secret; women are massive hoarders when it comes to their handbags. If you looked in mine, amongst the actual necessities (phone, keys, cash/cards) you’d find several useless supermarket receipts from months ago, an assortment of cosmetics, what would appear to be the entire shelf stock of a pharmacy and probably last year’s tax return.
Why do we carry all this shit around with us everyday? Well, the generic answer is because we want to be “prepared for any situation”. That’s partially correct, but the part that we’re neglecting to mention is that we just want to be MORE prepared for any situation than any other woman around us because, in the same way that guys compete at football and cricket, girls compete at being prepared for anything.
Picture this: A woman gets a flat tyre and pulls over to the side of the road. Men stop and stumble over each other to assist, even if they have no fucking idea what they’re doing. The one that actually changes the flat tyre for her? A God amongst men.
Now imagine this: A group of women are at a restaurant having a few drinks and nibbles before one of them heads off on a first date with that sexy new guy from work. Oh shit, Jessica had some garlic bread? What was she thinking? How is she ever going to go on her date now without feeling completely self-conscious about her bad breath? “Oh gosh, does anyone have any mints?”
Ask that question around a bunch of women and just watch how quickly they all dive heads-first into their handbags. For a second you’d think you’re watching several lionesses race after a gazelle to feed their entire starving pride on Animal Planet. The one who pulls out a packet of mints the quickest? “LIFE SAVER!” Suddenly she becomes a Goddess amongst useless bitches.
It’s a fact of life that women compete with each other. They compete for friends, for jobs, for men. They compete over who is the best looking, has the best body, has the best wardrobe. Why would it be any surprise that they compete over who is the most prepared for every situation? It’s not that we would actually hold it against another woman if they didn’t carry around an industrial sized bottle of hand sanitiser, or if one of us just doesn’t happen to stock eight different brands of perfume in their bag every day, it’s just that we’d prefer to be that woman who does. Feeling important and needed is pretty much the meaning of life for women.
Handbag hoarding is getting out of control
Its true, handbag hoarding is getting out of control, even when women are trying to simplify their lives – and I’m no exception. A couple of months ago I discovered the phone wallet. And when I say discovered, I mean I found one that didn’t make me look like a complete wanker. It resembled a cute little purse and matches my handbag. I can have my phone in it, my house key and fit a couple of cards in it so that I can go out for a few drinks without dragging my entire 3-piece luggage collection along with me like usual.
It was perfect… compact… great… until I decided to turn it into my new handbag. Now I can barely close the damn thing with my ten cards shoved in its three pockets and endless receipts and appointment cards protruding from the sides. I probably wouldn’t even be able to hear my phone ring in amongst all that paperwork any more. But how did I feel yesterday at the doctor when he asked me for the address of my Physiotherapist and I whipped out their business card I already had three copies of jammed in there? Like a fucking organised bad ass.
If someone asks me on the street “got a light?” and I don’t, despite the fact I’m not even a smoker I feel stupidly useless. “Hey, have you got the time?” are the words to guarantee I will never forget to put on my watch or carry my phone on me again. Not being prepared for every situation is ego-bruising.
Competition amongst women
Competition amongst women isn’t going to stop. Handbag hoarding isn’t going to stop. Neither is the need for women to feel important and helpful. If we didn’t carry around an endless amount of cosmetics, food rations and medical supplies for any situation, what would be the meaning of our existence?
So the next time you and a woman are trapped alone in the woods with no food, no source of heat and a wound inflicted on you by a rabid bear, thank your god damn lucky stars she carries that big stupid bag of shit around with her Ed.