A few weeks ago I was watching a morning show and they mentioned there was a study done recently about women’s handbags – not about women’s obsession with them (that will be the topic for another post!) but about their contents and their resultant weight. Picking up my own handbag, I realised this was a serious issue we have. I mean, between the high heels and the 5kg bags we lug around each day, no wonder I’m feeling pain everywhere!
Although I am not a mother, sometimes I feel like Mother Hen. When someone needs a Band-Aid, they come to me. When they need a tissue, they come to me. Got something stuck in your teeth and you need some floss? Go ask Valerie! I used to think this was one of those sometimes-annoying traits I inherited from my parents where you need to be prepared for anything all the time. But then when I heard about this “study” (which, to me, still sounds like some PhD student’s idea of a good con, a little like the recent Auckland University study about everyone singing in the shower with an American accent), I decided to conduct my own poll.
I sent an email to a small group of girlfriends and asked them what they had in their handbags right then. Their contents were not unlike mine so here’s an insider’s look at what is causing the shoulder pains and why size matters in this case (I’ve just put it all in one list but we share 99% of these items in common!):
- House Keys (mine are attached to a key ring with Swiss Army knife with built-in USB flash drive)
- Car keys (mine are attached to Swiss Army knife #2 – um…do they constitute as concealed weapons? D’oh!)
- Mints/chewing gum
- Make up bag containing dental floss, lip glosses, lipstick, lip balm, hand cream, mirror, Panadols/Neurofen, perfume, hand sanitiser, travel wipes, sunscreen
- USB cable for phone/iPod charger
- Measuring tape
- Multiple retailers’ VIP/loyalty/discount cards
- All-important Blackberry/mobile phone/iPod
- Lens cleaner (for glasses)
- handbag hook
- plastic spoon (um Mr Monk?)
- Various stationery (paper clips, pen, Post-it Notes, highlighters)
- Spare stockings
- Pedometer (implies someone fit…so it’s obviously not mine)
- Remote control for garage door
- Snack/muesli bar/apple
- Book/study material du jour
- Coupons/discount vouchers
- Access cards
I have no idea how much our handbags weigh…it was scary enough when I started digging through mine knowing how much I do carry on a day-to-day basis to want to know why I don’t need to head to the gym to build up the biceps!
Have we missed anything? Are we carrying too much? If MacGyver and Michael Westen can perform miracle escapes from bad guys and save the world with not much more than a Swiss Army knife, duct tape and paper clips, why can’t we?
Acknowledgment must be given to my friends Tui, Michelle T and Michelle G for opening their handbags and sharing their “secrets” with me and the bloggers’ world. Thanks girls, and I know who to go to if I ever get a ladder in my stockings!