Warning: Beware of Purse!

Seriously, be careful. Who knew they could be dangerous?

This past week I pulled my trapezius muscle. This meant I would get a huge bolt of pain from the base of my skull down into my shoulder blade whenever I moved my head in any direction. Thank you, it’s feeling considerably better now, after two days of relative immobility and scads of ibuprofen. But I do need to go to physical therapy to get it properly healed and back to normal.

The doc said I probably didn’t spontaneously pull the muscle just from turning my head while lifting (quite light) weights. Rather, she is pretty sure that I’ve been slowly but surely overtaxing all the muscles in my shoulder and neck, mostly by carrying a heavy purse.

I never would have thought of it - as I said to my mom, it was just part of the wallpaper of my life, so elementary I never noticed it. But when the doc asked me to pass her my purse so she could see how heavy it was, I suddenly felt it. When I got home I weighed it - over 5 pounds! Did I mention I would also sling the packed diaper bag, and occasionally my gym bag, over the same shoulder?

So I’m attempting to live without my prepared-for-all-possibilities purse, with its store of various checkbooks, discount cards, spare change, Palm, makeup, nail clippers, sunblock, and floss. I bought myself a very slim men’s wallet to carry in my pocket, and got rid of the six keys on my chain that I’ve never used, reducing to one for the car and one for the house, suitable for the other pocket.

I may soon find myself out and about with UV rays ravaging my skin, poppy seeds caught in my teeth, several nasty hangnails, no clue what my schedule is, and no ability to access my safe deposit box. But it will all be worth it if I can turn my head again!

So, be wary of your purse. Or gym bag, laptop case, what have you.

(Also, sit up straight - she said that slouching was probably the other part of my problem.)

Are you allowed to carry what you want if you put it in a backpack, or something that distributes the weight evenly across your shoulders, neck, back?

Hi, my name is Lissa, and I am a purse packrat.

(Hi, Lissa!)

I actually went out and bought a bigger purse because mine couldn’t hold everything I wanted to lug with me. I’ve got a pharmacy in there-- I can handle any medical emergency . . . headache, intestinal upset or first-degree burn, etc. I’ve got a big calander in there, cause I might have multiple things to do in one day, and might not have space on a small one.

I have a huge, chunky wallet which seemingly contains every credit card I’ve been issued since age 18, as well as movie rental cards, expired library cards, membership cards for hotels, groceries, gas stations and resturants. It also contains about $50.00 in change, because I always toss it in the back pocket and never seem to think to use it.

I have various containers of makeup, which God only knows why I carry, since I rarely wear it. I usually tuck a can of pop or water bottle filled with tea inside in case I get thirsty, and a sample-sized bag of cheese crackers in case I’m hungry (which stay in there for weeks and get ground down to powder.)

I have not one, but *two *books-- in case I’m somewhere and I finish the first before I can get home to switch out. I also have four or five checkbooks (sans covers) because I always think “Oh, I’ll need a checkbook” and throw another one into my purse, forgetting there are plenty already in there.

Last time I asked Hubby to hold my purse for a moment, he hefted it and stared at me in amazement. “Jesus! I know what I’m getting you for your birthday now: a pack mule!”


AerynSun, I’m curious, how much does your purse weigh now? Glad you’re on the mend.

I’ve always been one of those women who has used the smallest purse possible, mainly to avoid the fate of lugging everything but the kitchen sink with me. In fact, I usually don’t use a purse at all because I can fit everything I really need into my jeans pockets.

Sometimes I don’t wear jeans, though, so I use a small pocketbook-sized purse. Right now, my wallet is inside my good black one. The main compartment has just enough extra room for my keys, and in the slender outside pocket is a small notebook and pen. I think there’s still a comb in the other pocket. That’s it.

I have two backpack-style purses and a tote bag but they’re generally used when I’m taking my crocheting or other craft items somewhere.

The odd thing is, I could go nuts over buying purses. I love all the separate compartments and like to imagine what I’ll put in them. But I get them home and they just sit in my closet gathering dust. I have reluctantly decided to thin down the herd and not acquire any more. :frowning:

I have gone in both directions–there have been times (like when I travelled with very young kids, or doing touristy things that required a camera and notepad) when I used a large tote bag as my purse, with everything you could possibly need for a “2-hour cruise” that might end up in a shipwreck. Then gone in the opposite extreme where I have a single wallet that I stick in a pocket.

I do like to have my PDA, my checkbook, my cell phone, and my wallet with me–or at least within reasonable distance. I have a fanny pack that I use when I go places and can’t be near the car. I have a purse “backpack” that I bring to work with me, and that is currently my current purse. (It’s rather small for a backpack, and medium-size for a tote. But the fact that it has two shoulder straps means that I can also use it for geocaching, and stick my GPS unit in it easily, along with a water bottle.) For regular shopping, though, I leave the backpack in the car, and stick my wallet and keys in one pocket, and my cell phone in the other.

I really wish that women’s clothing was more generous with pockets, though. I wear skirts to work (by choice! I like skirts!), but I need pockets for my cell phone and pens. My current wardrobe is getting threadbare, but I can’t find skirts that I like with pockets anymore. Imagine what men would think if they had to wear pants without pockets!

All of my purses are the size of a loaf of bread or smaller. They hold my phone, lotion, money and ID, nail clippers and gum. I hate being saddled with a purse when I go places, so most times I’ll clip by phone to my jeans, stuff my money and car key into my pocket and skip into a store, arms swinging freely.


Ah, it sounds wonderful to be emancipated! How I long for such freedom!

I know from experience, however, that when I take something out of my purse, that item is going to be what is desperately needed in an hour or two. This only happens of course, if we are A) a long distance from home and B) unable to replace that item without considerable inconvenience. I once took my extra book out of my purse, and within twenty minutes of leaving home, dropped the only one I had in a mud puddle. I took out my portable pharmacy, and was as sorry as hell when I got both a headache and the trots that evening. I know if I remove a handful of lighters, the others will miss them so badly that they will hide in protest, and will be located only if I undergo the laborious process of dragging every thing out.

My husband considers my purse to be his own private storage unit. He know, now, that he is NOT ALLOWED to go digging in my purse, but he still hands me stuff and says “Put this in your purse.” I have taken to saying “Put it in your own purse” and refusing to take the item. If HE wants to save it, HE has to carry it. He has a briefcase/computer bag which he takes to work with him, and I’ve told him that he’s not allowed to clutter up my purse with his stuff any more. I can clutter up my purse just fine with my own stuff, thankyouverymuch. I think that I’ve currently got 3 paperback books in there, along with emergency supplies and daily necessities.

My purse is my buddy, and I believe it weighs more than five pounds.

Aw, cripes. Two days ago I went out and bought a new, larger purse, more of a shoulder bag, to replace the dainty little handbag I’d been toting around.

So far, all that’s in it is my iPod, wallet, keys, inhaler, and some Dum Dums … but it will get heavier. I managed to hide a DVD box set in there this weekend for my husband’s birthday. Yikes.

Have you guys tried the purses that can double as backpacks, but still look elegant leathery? They divide the weight over two shoulders, like this one. .

My own purse is a wonderful design, even though you can’t really see it in the picture. It’s is the only store I’ve seen that carries it, and the only bag that has ever drawn me compliments. The price is ridiculous, but as I wear it every day, it is well worth it. The (broad) strap goes over one shoulder, and the bag sits on my stomach. The design is such that nothing ever falls out, and yet I have easy access; The weigth is very well distributed; I can see it if anyone would try to pickpocket me; and best of all, the bag is slimming, makes me less bulky, I don’t have anything bouncing off my hip, and I don’t have a long thin strap as an ugly breast-divider! Here’s a pic of me with my purse.

Have I already said that I loooove my purse? :slight_smile:

Tikki, right now I’m trying to avoid the purse altogether. I did get a backpack style diaper bag over the weekend. I figured having weight over both shoulders would be better. And even that I’m trying to keep light.

My compromise is to keep the absolute essentials in my pockets: small wallet, keys, and cell phone clipped to my waist. But there aint no way I’m going to be able to carry diapers and wipes like that, so the diaper bag must stay. I guess I’ll have to put my Tylenol and stuff in a childproof bottle in there too, since they can’t stay in the car and get heated to 130 degrees in the summer.

I’ll be keeping stuff like discount cards, makeup, tissues, hand sanitizer, and so on in the car. I figure I’m not going to run many errands without my car, so I can just select what I need and bring it in with me.

It’s going to be hard. Like Lissa, I would put just about anything I might need in my purse. Books, sippy cups, my camera, packages to be mailed, even Lord of the Rings bookends once.

The compensation, of course, is that for a while I’m going to get a professional massage every week, paid for by my insurance. I’m sure it’ll be accompanied by painful PT exercises, but still, I’m kind of looking forward to it.

Fixed link…