For the first years of my marriage, I felt like a pack mule, especially when the children were young, and I had to haul their things, too. My husband was always asking me, “Do you have room in your purse for this?” It could have been a camera, a flyer he saw somewhere and wanted to further investigate, or his sun glasses. The assumption was, the wife carries.
Maybe this comes from the hunter/gatherer stage of human development, when women gathered the berries, nuts, roots and such that ensured survival of the species. Men carried their spears. We hauled everything else. They had to be ready to hunt or defend at a moments notice. We lugged the babies and provisions.
Or it may come from the fact that for many years, women’s clothes didn’t have pockets. Having pockets for our wallets and such would ruin our “profile”. (Men wouldn’t be able to ogle our bosoms and backsides.) So we needed bags for our house keys and sunglasses.
My children, however, are now grown. And I am wiser. When TV Stevie and I go out, I carry a tiny bag just large enough for my cell phone, a purse-pack of tissues, a house key, a credit card, my ID, and lip balm. I am now as unencumbered as he is. And I like it.