HUMOR

Why are women left holding the bag?

 
 
300 dpi Laurie McAdam color illustration of woman dressed in vintage styles: pearls, gloves, apron, bouffant hairdo, etc. The Modesto Bee 2009<p>

retro gal illustration fifties sixties stepford style fashion gloves pearls housewife wife leopard purse handbag bag vintage dressing dress glasses apron costume accessories accesorize jewelry; krtculture culture; krtfashion fashion; krtfeatures features; krtlifestyle lifestyle; krtnational national; leisurekrt; mctillustration; krtfall fall; krthalloween halloween; krtholiday holiday; public holiday; risk diversity youth; LEI; ACE; FAS; FEA; LIF; 10000000; 01007000; 01007001; 10010000; 10011000; 2009; krt2009; mo contributed coddington mcadam mct mct2009
300 dpi Laurie McAdam color illustration of woman dressed in vintage styles: pearls, gloves, apron, bouffant hairdo, etc. The Modesto Bee 2009

retro gal illustration fifties sixties stepford style fashion gloves pearls housewife wife leopard purse handbag bag vintage dressing dress glasses apron costume accessories accesorize jewelry; krtculture culture; krtfashion fashion; krtfeatures features; krtlifestyle lifestyle; krtnational national; leisurekrt; mctillustration; krtfall fall; krthalloween halloween; krtholiday holiday; public holiday; risk diversity youth; LEI; ACE; FAS; FEA; LIF; 10000000; 01007000; 01007001; 10010000; 10011000; 2009; krt2009; mo contributed coddington mcadam mct mct2009

MCT / MCT

Ginabarreca.com

Not only do women hold up half the sky. We do it while carrying a 500-pound purse.

Women carry with us, at all times, everything we might need to start life in a new state. Our purses contain the all the merchandise found in a Quickie Mart or a bodega.

Men? Men carry a credit card and a twenty. If they need it, they buy it. Or they ask us for it.

After all, we’ll have it in our bag.

We carry extra eyeglasses, lip balm, Q-tips, Band-Aids, a half-empty water bottle, four pens (two of which work), 16 crumpled receipts, a tiny notebook, gum, mints, hand sanitizer, perfume sample (empty), tampon, aspirin, non-aspirin pain relievers, Tums, Imodium, matches (we don’t smoke, it’s for friends), a “fun size” Snickers, nail glue, an emery board, a compact 5X mirror (ironic, right?), tweezers, cell phone, Bluetooth, floss, AAA battery (which helps with nothing, ever), and three cute, striped paper clips too adorable to discard.

We also have a folded article we’re going to read as soon as we get a minute, an address book (don’t trust technology — like to have it written down somewhere), calendar (ditto), an encouraging fortune from a cookie (“Forget the doubts and fears creeping into your life. The universe is guiding you!”), a packet of cheap tissues, a packet of nicer tissues (for other people), a note from our niece (“I love you THIS much!”) and one earring.

Every woman over 30 has, at the very bottom of her bag, a lipstick that we got as part of a “Free Gift” from Clinique in 2007 that we’ve never worn (it’s beige) but who in her right mind would ever throw out a perfectly good lipstick from Clinique? Yet we don’t want it cluttering up our bathroom. So we carry it, talisman-like, and go around offering it to strange women, saying with false conviction, “I think you’d look great in this color!”

We stock up. A few months ago, before doing a talk on humor and wellness at an elite medical conference, I walked around the vendors’ area to see what items they offered as bait to lure attendees to their booths. I find some of these treasures particularly alluring; I once came home with, no kidding, a Viagra clock. I laugh when it reaches noon.

At this conference, however, one company was giving away medicated bandages in small plastic containers bearing their logo. Nice, right? Practical, sensible and inexpensive.

And for 20 minutes I watched as elegantly dressed, name-badged women from the medical industry, the insurance industry and huge pharmaceutical companies who, in Armani suits and with Fendi purses, scooped up those plastic containers as if they’d never seen an adhesive strip before.

They could be heard justifying themselves as they grabbed handfuls: “I’ll keep this in the car. I’m putting this in Zack’s knapsack. Good for traveling.” Some were sliding the containers directly into those Fendi bags. They wore the same glazed expressions as Doomsday Preppers.

I did not see one man — not one, mind you — take this particular trophy.

Guys were taking baseball caps, pens, flashlights and pedometers, so it wasn’t as if they were averse to the process.

They simply steered clear of the non-fun items, which, of course, they could rely on the women around them to have.

C’mon, would you ever consider going up to a guy and asking if he had a Band-Aid? Or some ibuprofen?

In fact, if you went up to a man and said, “You wouldn’t have any pain reliever on you, would you?” he’d recoil. He’d assume were nuts or that you mistook him for drug dealer — and not from a pharmaceutical company.

Women get asked this kind of thing constantly and we feel guilty if we can’t say yes. One morning I was muttering about missing my coffee. A stranger reached into her bag, gave me a cardboard container of hot coffee and apologized because it might not be the way I take it.

Women: Isn’t it time for us to lighten our burdens, dump the junk and use our shoulders for the real work of the world? Also, would you like this lipstick? You’d look great in it.

Gina Barreca is an English professor at the University of Connecticut and a columnist for the Hartford Courant

.

©2013 The Hartford Courant

Read more Other Views stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
RUPPAL

    MEDICINE

    Smartphones can help fight AIDS

    Coming in third may mean a bronze medal at the Olympics, but in Florida, data shows that three is not a cause for celebration. The Sunshine State ranks third in the nation for the cumulative number of AIDS cases, and it’s the third worst state for physician shortages.

  •  
SANCHEZ

    NAFTA

    Border crisis overshadows trade progress

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry made headlines recently by ordering 1,000 National Guard troops to the border. This bravado comes at a price: $12 million a month. Perry plans to send the bill the federal government. That’s one way to finance your presidential campaign ads.

  •  
 <span class="cutline_leadin">ON THE EDGE:</span> An Israeli reserve tank stands near the Israeli-Gaza border as frantic efforts were underway on the diplomatic front to end the fighting at the start of the Eid al-Fitr holiday.

    MIDDLE EAST

    This is a fight Israel did not seek

    The current conflict in Gaza was not of Israel’s choosing. Israelis, like all civilized humans, are shocked and saddened by the loss of innocent life and the destruction of war. While Israel had done everything possible to avoid large-scale armed confrontation, the immediate and lethal threat to the lives of its civilian population left the government with no choice but to defend its citizens.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category