I always smile when I see a man in a store holding the purse of the woman he’s with, while she tries on clothes or flips through the racks. 

The man holds that purse as if it’s fragile, full of mysterious things, the nature of which he doesn’t know, yet will not question for fear of finding out the truth. These men are adorable.

The Carpenter is not one of these men. The words “hold my purse, please,” are never uttered because that one time I tried, he shrieked  “no” and jumped backwards, hands in the air, as if we were playing a game of keep-away, as if I was  handing him an explosive device set to detonate the minute he secured it. As if just touching my handbag would make him pregnant (if only).

Which is why, when the Carpenter chastised me recently for my purse “collection,” he had to zip it. Let the record show, my collection (as it were) is a total of three purses used to carry me through four seasons. Three. That’s all.

A black purse with grey weaving is for the winter months to match my wardrobe and mood throughout that season. This accessory is used if I’m going places where I need to look like I made an effort. 

For summer, I have a soft leather coral-coloured purse. It’s a decade old, which means I got my money’s worth out of this stupidly expensive designer purchase. I saved up for months, bought it at an end-of-the -season sale, and had to wait until the following summer to actually use it, because coral is a summer colour. Not spring. Not fall. Not winter. Summer.

I’ve now transitioned the contents of my coral purse into the olive green canvas satchel that will now carry me through until June. It’s a less attractive bag, but spacious and durable for the harsh winter months, able to hold what I need for the colder seasons: extra gloves when I forget my gloves in the car, a toque, lip chap, tissues, nasal spray, lots of granola (the majority of which I will lose in the abyss of the handbag until June), hand sanitizer, and a taser for people who don’t respect my boundaries (kidding – or am I?).  

I had yet to put the empty coral purse away, so when I left for the grocery store on Saturday morning, the Carpenter remarked that I’d best not forget my purse. 

No, I explained, that’s my summer purse. It’s October now. That purse is retired for the season.

His face. I immediately regretted saying that.

“Ohhh, the coral season is passe now,” he mimicked dramatically. “We can’t have coral in October, now can we? Imagine the horror.” 

He was enjoying his humour – that made one of us. 

“Correct,” I replied. “Purses, like shoes, have seasons.” Duh.

And before he chirped further, I reminded him that many women have closets just for shoes and purses, and that he should be grateful I am not so inclined (though we both know this is only because my budget doesn’t allow for such extravagance).

I brushed past him with my olive green satchel resting off my shoulder, while he continued to find himself amusing.

As the front door closed behind me, I heard him yell after me, “Long live the coral purse!” 


But honestly, my favourite jerk.

WriteOut of Her Mind