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Is A Handbag Really Necessary?

We're here to tell you that not everything you carry is needed - combs and lip balm included

BY Pauline Katethya

Mar 03, 2021, 08:04 PM

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My friend Sue carries a big handbag every time. It doesn’t matter whether she is going to the shop or not. It always has a change of clothes, a wig, lotion, hair spray, an extra pair of shoes, a pharmaceutical, reading glasses she stopped wearing three years ago, receipts from the year 2000, a soda that is probably expired, a five-liter water bottle, crisps, a bunch of keys belonging to her exes’ house... The list goes on and on.

I’m always wondering, why do you have to carry all these things? Do you need a change of clothes when you are going to church? Or after the preacher is done with the sermon you are going to change literally? These things are too heavy and they are the reason why women have funny walking styles. If you see a woman tired, limping, or walking as if she has a stroke on one side of her body, it’s not the shoes or the tight dress, it’s the handbag. I love traveling lightly, and the thought of carrying something heavy gives me a headache. If it was possible, I’d shove things in my jeans and get ready to go. I fear if we continue carrying these handbags, we will keep walking like the Homo Habilis. 

Things Get Lost

I hate handbags. Especially the big ones. Why? Because everything seems to get lost in there. I am not as organized as such and everything is always everywhere. If I'm carrying one, it's easier if you write a letter because I'll call you back in 2023. I can’t remember the number of times I’ve had a panic attack because I thought I lost my phone, while it was resting somewhere probably laughing at me. Or the number of times I’ve had to keep people in line, because I couldn’t find my wallet. There are always reports of missing people and I’m sure if women looked closely in their bags, they’d find a person or two down there or a bird that was believed to be extinct.

What Is There To Carry?

I envy my friends because they are more girlish than me. They seem to have everything figured out. Their bags are like a cosmetic shop. Need a hair spray? Here we go. Your hair could use some combing too, use this hairbrush. Some lip balm? I have five shades, do you want the nude one? Pauline, your bag doesn’t match well with your outfit, here use this black bag. And I’m like wow, kwani how many things do you have inside your bag? I might even need a boyfriend and someone will be like don’t worry. Here’s Wallace. Dark, tall, and handsome, doesn’t have any kids, the only problem is that he’ll have to stay with you. 

I don’t know if I hate handbags because I’m lazy or because I never have important stuff to carry. Sometimes I see stories about, 10 important things successful women carry in their handbag and I’m like, wow so there are things successful women carry? Because if someone sees what I carry in my bag, they’ll say a prayer for me. I don’t even carry a mirror. Once I confirm it’s my face in the mirror when I wake up, that’s it. 

I only carry three important things in my bag. My glasses. I have to wear them when a guy is talking to me. I can’t afford to see a blurry image of a man. Not when they talk to me once in a blue moon. A whistle. I carry a whistle because I’m dramatic and because I love being safe. If someone walks faster than me in Town, I’ll use it to slow them down. Or in a robbery because there are those times when your voice is too shy to get out there. My umbrella. This is my most treasured possession. I usually carry it no matter how hot it is outside. And the one day I forget it, that’s the day it rains and floods until people are using boats in town. 

Handbags Are Like Babies 

You have to keep checking whether everything is intact. Whether the zip is closed and the straps are still there. And if you are in town you have to carry them with so much care and hold them tightly as if your life depends on them. Honestly, I can’t worry about life and bananas and then give a damn about handbags. Si I’m gonna die from stress. Lemme just think about other things. Whoever wants this old ugly thing can come and get it. 

You Have To Buy Them Over And Over Again

I don’t love buying things every time. If I buy a handbag, I want to carry it until it says it’s tired and can’t be carried anymore. But this is never the case. Some bags will start peeling a week after you buy them. Or if you bought it at night, you’ll get home and realize it’s torn. And as a woman, you have to look nice, carry a classy handbag, and keep up with the trends. And that’s too much for me. I don’t care whether my bag matches my outfit or not, or if I’m carrying one from 1978. I just want to have my two small handbags and carry them until a tree grows from there or they find an Al Shabaab hiding in there using my old phone to supply the Al-Jazeera with the news.

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