Purse sympathizers are in my midst

Purse sympathizers are everywhere.

This I realized on several errand outings this past week and via calls and e-mails, all in response to last Sunday’s column about my ongoing love-hate relationship with “pocketbooks.”

This is a name I’ve never understood, incidentally. No purse I’ve ever owned has fit in my pocket or been a good read.

Anyway, I whined in this space that purses were too big, too small, never the right size to haul what needs to be mobile and that as much as I liked the oversized, ornate black purse my son Adam got me for Christmas, it just wasn’t working out for me.

I’ve been frustrated carrying it, frustrated trying to find stuff in its depths.

New purse or not, I still wasn’t feeling the purse love after all these years of handbag hauling.

Somebody call a whammmm-bulance!

Of course that hasn’t stopped me from lugging it around. It hasn’t motivated me to be sensible and downsize the contents and drop a ton or 2 or 20. Instead I choose to have permanent shoulder strap indent as one of my attributes.

Anyone who thought I was exaggerating about my purse needing to go on the Jenny Craig plan and drop a few pounds learned otherwise when they stopped me to chat and ultimately made a column comment.

I’m so glad they did because I ran into people I haven’t seen in a spell and met some readers new to me in the process.

“Pretty purse,” they would mention eventually, ultimately.

“Pretty heavy,” I was inclined to counter.

“Here — hold it,” I offered, gladly surrendering it as proof, Exhibit A, that purse carrying can be an aerobic workout.

Women held it.

Men held it.

They grimaced.

They groaned.

They felt sorry for me.

They gave it back to me, gladly surrendering it just as I had earlier.

Purse carrying is not for the faint of heart.

One e-mailer advised me to take as gospel her long-term finding, that as one who had been around for a long time, “there is no such thing as a perfect purse.” It was written in upper case for emphasis.

“It’s like trying to find a truck/car/motorcycle/bike/tricycle/horse all in one,” she said of her pursuit to find the perfect handbag, which came close in a travel bag advertised in a catalogue.

But other than that, she conceded, “bags are just bags.”

Another e-mailer told me she’d seen me at an event, had admired my purse from afar, thinking it a nice accessory, and then later read my column, which had included the thought of wearing “a man vest” purse with lot of pockets for lots of stuff.

She had chuckled to herself because as a purse alternative she had been wearing a vest that particular day with four “huge deep pockets.”

A Monday morning caller, meanwhile, sympathized about the purse situation but offered encouragement, too, suggesting that if I could solve the purse problem, I could probably rule the world while I was as it.

Nice thought, but I’m not in the market for that job.

I don’t need the weight of the world hanging from my shoulder, too.

(Kiaski, a resident of Richmond, is a staff columnist and community editor for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted at jkiaski@heraldstaronline.com.)

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