I need to start carrying a purse. My kids are old enough now that we’re beyond the “daddy bag” phase in our lives (thankfully, I no longer need to carry six diapers, a packet of wipes, pacifiers, and a menagerie of plush toys with us everywhere) but I still find myself toting around random shit, like half-eaten Cliff bars and Tinkerbell figurines that my kids simply can’t leave the house without. Cargo pockets just don’t cut it.
Do they make manly purses? Something in a Desert Storm camo, perhaps? Maybe with those tacky silver silhouettes of naked ladies you see on mud flaps.
A fanny pack would actually be great, but I’m not European enough to pull off a fanny pack.
I suppose I could go with a messenger bag, but if I’m not on a bike zipping through traffic with legal documents strapped to my back, can I really call it a messenger bag? Wouldn’t it just be an oversized purse with reflective tape?
Kanye West carries a purse, why can’t I? (Please don’t answer that.)
Why do kids have to come with so many accessories in the first place? I don’t feel comfortable leaving the house without an emergency juice box, a six-pack of string cheese, and an extra pair of socks. Why is that?
Don’t answer that either. I already know the answer: Because every once in a while, preschool kids pee themselves. Or throw a tantrum because there’s no string cheese in the car. Or suddenly look down at their feet and realize they’re not wearing Princess Tiana socks and they just CAN’T FACE THE WORLD WITHOUT THEIR PRINCESS TIANA SOCKS!
Yesterday, I was determined to take the kids on a couple of errands without stuffing my pockets with an arsenal of snacks and emergency wardrobe options. I got halfway to the door before turning back for two water bottles, a pack of crackers, some beef jerky, a toy train and a small Avengers notebook/crayon set.
We were only leaving the house for an hour, but I felt the need to pack an Apocalypse Survivor Starter Kit.
It sounds ridiculous that I can’t venture out into public without an arsenal of snacks and diversionary tactics, but it’s not ridiculous. It’s better parenting through paranoia. This is what goes through my head when I’m prepping a trip into the Great Unknown (AKA Target) with the kids:
What if we’re sitting in traffic and the kids demand to doodle? Better pack some crayons and paper.
What if we’re standing in line and their blood sugar crashes? Better pack some gummy bears.
What if there’s a potty emergency but only one toilet in the store being occupied by a childless guy who doesn’t understand the urgency of the phrase, “daddy, I think I need to go potty now.” Better pack an extra change of clothes.
What if the pediatrician has missed an iron deficiency in one of my children and they become anemic and begin craving dirt (it’s a real symptom, look it up)? Better pack the beef jerky.
My paranoia knows no limits, so I need a purse. A big purse, with multiple pockets and zippers, just like my mom used to carry. She carried the biggest purse you could imagine, full of half-used tissues and tic-tacs.
Shit. Put a Diet Tab in one hand and a romance novel in the other, and I’d be the spitting image of my mother. Except for my beard. My mom never had a beard.
But I digress.
Let’s talk more about man-appropriate handbags. I think there’s a market out there waiting to be tapped. Here’s what I’m thinking for the perfect Man-Purse (Tagline: The bag so manly, it will make single dudes wish they had kids just so they could carry it.)
Color: Hunter-vest orange.
Key Features: 1) An insulated cooler pocket, big enough to hold a 16-ounce canned beer of your choice (PBR or Budweiser, it’s up to you). 2) A 16-inch flat screen panel with built in satellite and miniature X-Box (why hasn’t someone built a backpack with a TV and game system in it already?) 3) An insulated warmer pocket, for warm BLT’s (because cold sandwiches are for animals). 4) Built in football (because at any moment, your son is going to look up at you and say, “dad, can you show me how to throw a spiral?” and you need to be prepared. Even if you’re in a library). 5) Stain resistant, particularly when it comes to feces, blood, and apple juice (the Holy Trinity of Pre-school stains). 6) Is there anyway you could get a little shopvac in there too? To suck up all the goldfish my kids leave in teh mini-van? Because that would be sweet.
That’s where I’m at right now with the Man Purse. Feel free to add your own key features to the ideal man bag. Perhaps together, we could build a prototype and get this thing into stores before Christmas.