At this point, I need to step forward for all men and convey a concern. Actually, it is a deep-seeded worry, (some would say fear). I talking about purses. You all know what they are. The over-the-shoulder tote that allows women (and sadly, some men…just sayin’…) to have ready access to necessities for the day. Everyone has seen them. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, materials, and designs. The trend these days leans toward the luggage-sized variety. No matter what style or type, it is the one accessory that rarely seems to be left behind.
As for the contents of said purses, that remains purely individual choice. Cell phones, keys, tissues, make-up, pictures, and wallets seem to comprise the more common items likely found within. There are also the coin collectors, the junk junkies, the dirt delighters, and the toy toters. Now, add larger bags to the equation and you have ample room to include so much more that the term ‘heavy hauler’ takes on a new meaning!
Back to my initial statement of concern and worry for men. Most men understand the old embarrassment of having to be seen in public holding the purse while the lady is trying on clothes or in need of both hands for one thing or another. Uncomfortable and awkward are the descriptors here. But a deeper horror begins to take shape when we are asked– nay, told, to retrieve something from the caverns of The Purse! (Cue dramatic, scary music!) Before you begin the adventure of Purse Spelunking, let me share some important do’s and don’t’s that could just save you from intense dangers!
Some people are adept at exploring wild caves as a recreation. This is called spelunking or caving. Going into a woman’s purse is not too different from that, with the main difference being the objects one might encounter. You see, deep within the well that makes up The Purse, lies a myriad of tunnels and pitfalls where darkness consumes unsuspecting objects. Many have entered, few have returned. Trust me when I tell you that preparation could save a hand…or more!
The foremost thing that must be understood is that the outside of the purse is deceiving as to its true depth and width inside. Never underestimate, as that is the folly of man! Prepare as if you were entering the largest cave system in the world! Rappelling gear, rope (as much as you can carry), survival gear (in case you find yourself in there longer than anticipated), a good pair of shoes to keep your footing (you might find a pair or two in the purse, but beware that heels don’t make good climbing shoes), a good light source with plenty of back up power (the last thing you want to lose is light down there), and protective eye wear (Lord knows what sharp objects you could run into).
Upon entering the cavern, you may initially be frightened by the many pockets that lead into darkness. Stay strong! The sight of large winged creatures soaring from side to side could easily lead you to believe that you stepped into a land that time forgot, but rest assured…you are only in a purse! This is not to say that all you encounter will be new. No, things will appear that entered in a long time ago. Don’t be startled by stale gum, half eaten cough drops, hardened lip balm, corroded hair clips, or coins that contain images of Caesar. These are all just ghosts of travels-past. Spelunking in a purse will dredge these up!
Remember to focus on the task at hand. Don’t be swayed and distracted by the curiosities that pop out of different annexes within. What looks like a food item could, in reality, be a carefully wrapped napkin holding the remnants of a meal long forgotten! It’s important to know the item you seek intimately. You don’t want to mistake something down here for something else! Retrieving some Tylenol? Don’t touch items that are not in a protective container. Contamination is a prevalent problem down here. You might think that the loose M&M’s look good, but could actually be ibuprofen with lip gloss melt on them!
Time is of the essence! The longer you remain inside, the greater the chance of getting lost and being added to the curios that remain behind. Don’t put yourself in that position. Keep a “get in, get out” motto coursing through your brain at all times. Keep your eyes open and be aware of what your hands are near. There are objects in here that will break skin and lead to infections. That nail file may be rounded on one end but could easily hide mini scissors on the other! Take no chances!
Above all, always have an exit strategy! If you feel something isn’t right, get out! Guys, you are not trained experts in Purse Spelunking. You don’t just thrust your arm into a dark, potentially hazardous pocket without doing your research first. Narrow down your quest by having the instigator give you specifics: which pocket? front or back? left, right, or center? zipper or snap? If the item isn’t in plain view upon approach, now is the time to decide if you truly need it right now. Is this something that can wait for a more experienced spelunkers, such as the owner of the purse?
Preparation is key and keeping your guard is imperative. There are dangers at every turn and unless you are ready to face them in the purse, it may be best to avoid it for your safety.