Rowell’s Words: A Ladies Purse

Published 8:20 am Saturday, March 12, 2022

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My wife and I had several unwritten rules that we tried to adhere to in our life together. I did not go into her purse; and, she never saw the inside of my wallet.

It was not that we hid anything, just a mutual respect for privacy on her part and a fear of the unknown on mine.

I would be looking for the checkbook, keys, etc. and ask if she had seen them.

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Initially she would answer, “Look in my purse”. I would reply, “No way. I don’t go in there.”

She was a quick learner and grew to reply, “Let me look”. In addition to being respectful, I did not want to get lost in that foreign land again. I believe I could be dropped blindfolded in the middle of a huge rain forest and have better odds of getting out than finding what I was looking for in that purse.

First, you have to understand we are not talking about a single object. I just counted eleven on the top self in her closet; and, neither was on the active duty list.

There could be more I don’t know about.

I once made the mistake of asking why so many; and, she assured me that they all were necessary depending on the occasion. She proceeded to say that it depended on different factors.

There are different seasons of the year, it depends on her outfit, they have to “coordinate”, and not clash, with her shoes, etc. Was it a causal outing, semiformal, or formal. I stopped listening about this time.

I also thought the terms handbag, purse, shoulder bag, clutch, and others were different ways to describe the same thing. Not true. They are each unique.

Clutch was the one that got me. It is a small black jeweled thing that is only for show. It was taken to formal occasions and, would barely hold a couple of Kleenex tissues. I know that because she had put her lipstick, makeup, and other necessities in my jacket pockets. I rattled when I walked.

The discussion ended when she asked me why I didn’t just take one club when I went to play golf instead of fourteen. She wins another argument.

In almost forty years together, I can’t ever remember asking for something that she could not instantly produce from that inner sanctum. You think its magic when someone pulls a rabbit out of a hat? Mere child’s play when compared to grown woman armed with her purse.

It could be anything from a band aid to a Phillips screwdriver. I swear, I’ll bet when I installed telephones years ago, I had less in my tool box than she could produce from her purse.

Emergency medical supplies and tools are just the tip of the iceberg. There is identification, credit cards, her 5th grade report card, and enough nail files and emery boards to get the barnacles off the Queen Mary.

My Laura has gone on to her richly deserved reward. She gets the last laugh; however, as she leaves the disposition of her female ‘side arms” in my custody.

Fortunately, we have two daughters to relieve me of a duty not desired or qualified to undertake.

I wish all you ladies out there a long life; but, do us a favor. Change your will to entrust your purses to a good lady friend who will do what is best for all parties.

God bless and have a great day.

A sage and longtime columnist, William Rowell can be reached at