A Man Purse: Deal Maker or Breaker?

When I was young, I swore I’d never marry a farmer. Hearing my parents talk about “$10,000 rains” and having to “wait and see if we have a good crop” before I could get the hand-held Space Invaders game was too much for me. Plus, I didn’t want someone who knew the entire history of my family and our pets before he met me. I mean, what would we talk about on Date 6? Of course, I ended up dating a farmer, and a nice one at that, but I never married him. I had, after all, made a childhood pledge.

When M.E. was eight years old, she too made a promise about who she wouldn’t marry.

I’ll let her mom, Jennifer, tell the story.

In January, 2009 our family was in the throes of preparing for a move from Kingston, Ontario to the Netherlands. The kids had plenty of questions: Will we make new friends? Will you lose us in the move?  Every piece of my rock collection will be packed, right? “Will I have to wear wooden shoes?” wailed our youngest. (Yes; No; Good Lord, I hope not; Only when Mummy is particularly grumpy with you.)

At one point some friends worked themselves into hysterics imagining the fashion affectations my husband (your basic khakis kind of guy) would be sporting the next time they saw him. Italian leather shoes! Over-gelled, highly tousled hair! A speedo! A man purse!

It was only days later when M.E.’s mom found this page from her eldest daughter’s diary on her desk. If you read nothing else, read the first six lines:

The man purse is a deal breaker. Part of me agrees. Does a woman want a man who spends more on accessories than she does? If her husband has his own purse, would he still offer to carry hers when she’s toting their baby around?

I also love M.E.’s exhortations about French near the end of her entry. She writes:

Oh, how I absolutely hate French. My, My French is absolutely boring. All you have to do is say French words and write them down. It is impossible to write them down if you don’t know how to write them.

M.E. is going places. She knows what she wants in a man, she can spot circular reasoning, and she can write.

And she’s 8.

Ode to clever kids with fashion sense.

About Leanne Shirtliffe

Leanne Shirtliffe is the author of SLOTH TO THE RESCUE, SAVING THUNDER THE GREAT, THE CHANGE YOUR NAME STORE, and NO MORE BEIGE FOOD (2016). She also wrote humor books DON'T LICK THE MINIVAN: Things I Never Thought I'd Say To My Kids and MOMMYFESTO. She and her family live in Calgary, Alberta because they like complaining about the weather.

Posted on June 14, 2011, in Diaries and Journals and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Clever girl, and a future writer, for sure! I wish I had written odes to self when I was her age.

  2. It’s okay, M.E. I hated French too.

  3. Reminds me of a recent FB debate about man capris. I almost felt bad for the one person who liked that her husband wore them. Um…. That’s cool just not for me. Same for man purses.

  4. Well, well. Talk about poppin’ voice! At 8?

    Love the man purse. Love the minute time-out (documented). Love the “Oh, how I…” Love the absolutely.

    Sure the initials weren’t CB (Carrie Bradshaw)? We need more from this girl, I know that.

    Thanks for sharing, Jennifer.

  5. This sounds just like something I would have written at her age. “My, my!”

    I especially enjoy the quotation marks around “man purse”. If she was talking, she would be air quoting the crap out of that phrase. Nicely done.

  6. Also, Little House on the Prairie are still my favourite books.

  7. I’m just putting this out there for all men. No woman likes a man with a man-purse. We get stuck with them.

    Two snaps for Li’l Miss Thang.

    She had opinions. So much love and so much hate.

    I am left wondering how she felt about French-kissing. You know, later on.

  8. I love how she slips in her favorite books in her diary. Little House books are some of my favorites too! She is a very sensible girl, much like Laura now that I think of it!

  9. My parents are native Canadians and my dad always called his wallet his “purse”. I always thought he was weird until I visited one year and heard other men calling it that. You know the same place where they say “Washroom” instead of “Bathroom” and “Buns” instead of “Rolls” – yup – it was embarrassing being a kid who moved to Seattle from Canada when I was 8 years old. I discarded the accent and any other weird things that made me “different” than Americans – but I still hear my mom and dad saying weird things and know they are not so weird – just from Canada 🙂

  10. Like M.E., I don’t enjoy French, especially when my children make fun of my deplorable accent. I also loved the “Little House” books…my Grandma got a boxed set of eight books for my eighth birthday…30+ years later, my darling daughters lost two of them on a trip to visit their aunt.

    A “man purse” would be a good idea for my Jim…that would keep me from having to carry all his crap in my giant purse!


  11. Awesome! lol @ man purse. I feel the same

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