On Thanksgiving Day, I came across a sale item I couldn’t pass on: The Handbag of Holding. This cross-body bag features more pockets than I can use, and is everything I want in a purse. Note, I don’t say “man-purse.” Rather, I say “purse,” because that’s what I carry, and I’m not worried about people thinking I’m girly. I rock a beard, blue jeans, and a purse that is better than any messenger bag, backpack, or suitcase.
What it comes down to is utility. If I need something that just holds my wallet, I have a pocket. If I need to carry my laptop, I have a laptop bag. In the past, if I had anything else to carry, I’d grab a backpack, and watch everything I put in there disappear immediately. For work–or pleasure, really–I regularly need to carry my phone, a tablet or laptop (sometimes both), a book or two, and an assortment of snacks, sometimes even lunch. A backpack just doesn’t cut it.
So, I started carrying a purse. At first, I got a few weird looks. My “purse” looked like a camping or travelling bag, but I still called it a purse, because I have a problem with the idea that any item should be “for men” or “for women.” Of course, when other folks called it a “man-bag” or “satchel,” I didn’t correct them because I’m not a jerk. (Don’t get me started on man-bun, though!) While carrying it, I learned a couple of lessons really quickly:
- Folks like labels. Purse v. Man-bag is a conversation I’ve been having for almost two years.
- Women don’t think it’s weird for a man to carry a purse, and neither do most men.
- You should never apologize for your tools. I’ve known this one a long time, but it applies. Your tools are part of how you handle the world. That makes them a core part of you. Never apologize for your choices, especially over something as useful and every-day as a bag.
- I was surprised by the folks who appreciate that I carry a purse. Men sometimes ask me for advice on choosing a bag, because I’ve owned a few, and I’m somehow the local authority on men’s utility accessories.
- I no longer have to ask my wife to “hold on to this thing that needs to be safe.” I have my own tool, and I can function like an independent adult when my wife isn’t around. It’s refreshing!
But it isn’t easy to find bags that fit “me.” I don’t want pink, or orange, or (God forbid) rhinestones. I wanted a canvas bag, a lot of pockets, and a quality cross-body strap. I got all of this and more with the Handbag of Holding. The closures are mostly magnets, but there are several zippered pockets inside. It’s substantial, without being too heavy. It also has a padded divider that can protect my laptop or tablet, and two huge side pockets that can hold just about anything. The hand-straps fold down into the side pockets, and the strap is on free-turning clasps, so it never gets turned around the wrong way.
Oh, and did I mention? It has a D20 zipper pull on the main compartment, and a huge chrome D20 on the side, above the three pockets. On the opposite side was a nice place for me to attach my Dungeon Master badge (not included). It is very “Rory” and feels very “GeekDad,” too. Check it out for yourself on Amazon.