It felt strange, but quite liberating.
You see, I always carry a bag. I'm not someone who walks about with her keys, wallet and phone in her hand, as I see some women do. I like a bag as that way my hands are free and I'm not likely to leave my phone, keys or wallet on a cafe table.
Like many women I started carrying a bag as a child/teen, in imitation of my Mum, who is definitely a handbag person.
Over the years I've had dozens of handbags. Dozens. Handbag junkie, me.
Because I'm bespectacled a handbag was a must before I got glasses with transitions lenses which are photosensitive. I had to always carry a pair of prescription sunnies as bright sunshine hurts my eyes. I routinely carried a small camera everywhere too in case I saw anything interesting or amusing while I was out and about. I used to get sinus problems so a handful of tissues was a must too. And makeup. And a book to read at my desk over a sandwich at lunchtime when I used to work full-time - and the sandwich as well!
These days my routine handbag contents run thus:
- keys to my house
- keys to my Mum's in case of emergency
- keys to the office of my main client
- business cards
- wallet - quite thick because of all the bloody cards I seem to have wound up with
- extra case with other bloody store loyalty cards, just in case I need them to get a discount
- a couple of lipsticks
- mirror compact for lipstick application
- a couple of pens
- a tissue
- regretfully, fags and a lighter on occasions
I typically take a bag that's big enough to include my iPad for business meetings and a more professional compact camera than my phone camera for business events.
Usually my preference is for shoulder bags and cross-body bags - bags that leave my hands free.
I could probably get away without a bag on more occasions if women's clothing was just that little bit more practical - you know, jackets with inside pockets to put my wallet in. I do envy men their jackets, and I envy women who can wear them and look great. I look like a dag if I try.
Women's wallets, by the way, are appalling these days. They are so damn big. I could use a man's wallet but then that means carrying an extra coin purse, as I don't always wear trousers with pockets. When I was on holiday last year I found a miracle at David Jones' - a small wallet - into which I could fit my driver's licence, my frequent flyer card and my credit card, as well as cash and coins. Bloody lovely. I tried using it for a bit on my return but gradually needed to include the Woolworths' card (to get points for cheaper fuel), the FlyBuys card (same) and a couple of other 'regular' cards. With a sigh I went back to my usual wallet, which is also on the small side compared to the range of women's wallets which are the size of a clutch bag.
So yes, it was quite liberating to go out last night without a bag. I know women who go to parties without taking a bag, but in my case I was at the rugby. And that's another whole story!