Purses and the old days

pursesThis is something I’ve always wondered about. Maybe because I leave my purse laying wherever I am and I’m not to concerned about anyone seeing what’s in it nor am I to worried about anyone stealing it.  But I’ve always wondered why “older” women mostly, clutch their purses to them like they contain a million dollars?

My grandma used to do this if she went out and had her purse. I also had an aunt who had this really UGLY “cat” bag and NO MATTER where she went, she took that dang bag with her. Even to the bathroom.  If my mom was taking her somewhere, her bag had to be right with her the whole time.  When we would get her situated in the car, we’d put her bag in the back seat and she would panic until she was holding that bag.  We often joked about “what she had in that bag” and when she died, my mom called and asked me if I wanted to know what was in there and I said yes, she told me basically nothing.  NOTHING!!  Why did she have to have it in  her lap ALL THE TIME?

Just like the picture in the post above, two of those women are “sharing” their chairs with their purses. Are you a woman like this who needs your purse with you all the time or do you think this was a thing of the past?  Do you know women who do this?

I have a sister in law like this.  If we are at a family gathering of any kind, wherever she goes, she’s clutching on to that purse of hers.

This entry was posted in adults, behavior, choices, differences, habits, life, memories, people, purses, things, women and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Purses and the old days

  1. javajunkee says:

    if I can cram my gear in the pockets of whatever jeans I am wearing and the over flow into my hoodie pocket..I’m good to go and hate carrying a purse! BLAH

  2. javaqueen says:

    I’m a purse clutcher. Here’s the deal. I’m going to admit something that I have never really said out loud or really even thought about until now. I have a lot of valuable things in my purse. My cell, my cash, my ipod, my digital camera. I don’t want one of those things to come up “missing”. There, I said it.

    I always know where my purse is. Never thought about this before, but admittedly I’m a purse clutcher. I’m learning new stuff about myself all the time.

  3. Doraz says:

    It is not the purse that holds the value, it is what is in it that does! I DO NOT want to make phone calls to all the various establishments that hang out in my purse, to report to them one of their members is missing in action!!!! DON’T TOUCH ME PURSE!!!! 🙂

  4. pammy wammy says:

    I always have my purse with me wherever i go.Its like my lifeline.I only clutch onto it if I am somewhere that I dont no anyone.I have lots in it.Of course my wallet with all my I.D.My make-up and lipstick,for touch-ups.My cell.My weekly lottery tickets ,I have played the same numbers for almost 20 years,I still have not won.Pictures of value to me.I love changing purses once in awhile,kinda cheers me up.

  5. Laura (LS) says:

    My grandmother was a Purse Clutcher, too. But me and my mom? We leave ours EVERYWHERE. “Where’s my purse” is a common phrase around this house.

    It’s not that we don’t have valuables in there… although we’re both ‘small purse’ devotees, carrying as little as possible whenever possible (although I will graduate to a larger purse in the winter, for some reason) – it’s just that I think we view them, like lots of other stuff, as “just things”. I know that sounds weird. But just in case, and knowing myself, I also keep photocopies of everything but the cash in my wallet, so if it DOES get lost/stolen, it’s easier to deal with.

    As for Grandma, I have to wonder…. perhaps it’s a holdover from the Great Depression? Money and valuables were so hard to come by and keep, perhaps that’s the habit that was formed? I know when my Grandma died (at the ripe old age of 99!!) she had multiple rosaries in there… so maybe clutching her purse to her also meant, “keeping Jesus close”?

  6. Morocco says:

    I agree with Doraz (I have had my purse stolen before and it was not fun), however, I am not “married” to my purse. I try not to put put my whole life story in it either, so if it gets stolen again the damage will be minimum.

    I have grown more relaxed about clutching it and now I will even sit it on the floor if necessary (this used to be VERY hard for me to do considering the saying that if you place your purse on the floor, you’ll always be broke!).

  7. Sue says:

    I am not married to my purse either, but if in public I don’t like to just leave it laying around. I would much rather not carry one at all, but that will never happen!

    I agree with Laura, I bet it has to do with the Depression. Whatever people had they held onto with dear life and I suppose if that was your purse then you held it for all it was worth.

  8. Joy says:

    I’m not really talking about being out in public with your purse. Obviously nobody wants their purse stolen. I’m really talking about someone who’s celebrating Christmas or a birthday or holiday with family in a family members home and they take their purse through the buffet line while getting food. Does this mean you don’t trust your own family?

    I guess I should have written this post differently because I was talking more of when your in someone’s home or when you’re somewhere that nobody would steal it. Like my aunt in the car. Who would steal that purse in the car? I could have been sitting with my aunt in my home and she’d have to be holding that purse. It almost distracted me.

    I didn’t mean if you were out shopping and had to walk away or go to the restroom and leave your purse sitting there for anyone to take.

  9. kweenmama says:

    I was going to mention that I am very careful with my purse in public because I’ve had a purse stolen once too. But now that you’ve added your comment, Joy, I can see where you were going with your post. When I am with family I’m not as conscious of where my purse is, until it’s time to go home. I can’t think of any “purch clutchers” in my family.

  10. starlaschat says:

    OK, here is a little confession that I may think might help shed a little light. maybe. I am not a purse clutcher but if I am feeling particularly nervous or stressed or apprehensive about being out and about which every once in awhile I do. I feel better holding a jacket a jacket clutcher LOL So my thought is clutching a purse is a little bit like a security blanket. It maybe have made her feel more secure or comforted. Just a thought. For years I did not carry a purse I cramed everything into my pockets like 3rd grade boy. But I got a purse from my dads new wife and I take it along occasionally it’s nice because I can put books and glasses in it. LOL

    • Joy says:

      That’s a really good point Starla. It could be a security feeling of some kind. Because this wasn’t supposed to be about a “stealing” issue. I didn’t phrase my words the right way I guess.

  11. Just a Mom says:

    I am not a purse but my mother and all her sisters were and yes we made fun of them big time! My kids are in and out of my purse all the time and to me it is no big deal as long as they are not taking my money!
    I had one Aunt who lied to her kids about her age and if anyone went near her purse she freaked out! She did not want anyone looking for her date of birth!

  12. mssc54 says:

    Let me be the first to tell the truth here.

    It’s very simple. Just like when our parents age & we find ourselves switching roles (parent/child) so does the “older woman” revert to her toddler stage.

    The old lady clutching her favorite is like the toddler with her favorite blanket or stuffed animal. NEVER LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT!

  13. tessa says:

    Sometimes my diaper bag is my purse now! Never would a thought! I almost always have my purse-but not a must! If at someone’s house I trust-leave it at the door or something.

    mssc-haha

    • Joy says:

      It’s funny Tessa, when you have young kids your purse gets very large. As they grow, it gets back to being smaller. Once it’s just your stuff in there, you go back to normal.

      • tessa says:

        I bet! Kids gradually need ya less and less. I told my friend yesterday that I will be so sad when he adores me less and finds me not as interesting anymore! lol

  14. G-Ma says:

    Wow. I feel like I have to be the downer in the conversation this time. While I don’t clutch my purse with me at all times, I do put it someplace ‘secure’ even when I go to a relative’s home. We’ve had some situations where things went missing in purses. Usually, that’s someone who has had some substance abuse problems. Isn’t that sad? To me–getting into someone else’s bag would be the biggest possible invasion of privacy.

    On a lighter side, I love it when my husband says “where’s our purse?” That usually happens if we’ve gone on a trip somewhere and he’s put something in my bag for safekeeping. Cracks me up.

    • Joy says:

      That’s awfully sad G-Ma. What a hard way to live thinking your relatives and close friends would steal from you. I would just hate that. It’s really a foreign concept to me.

  15. nikki says:

    The cat bag!!! My goodness, that thing was ugly but she made it sure it was always by her. I miss her.
    I’m not attached to my purse by any means. I like to know where it is, but it’s not on my shoulder all the time. If I can stick my chap stick and DL in my pocket I’d just assume do that! I miss place things too much, I don’t loss it but I forget things all the time!!! It’s almost a given I forget something every time I go out to Paul & Joy’s!!! Actually I have been pretty good at that lately huh?? I finally learned to just not take anything in!! lol

  16. Gary says:

    Neither my wife or I are purse clutchers. Maybe it’s like a woobie for an “old lady”?

  17. goldenamber says:

    Hi, Im back!

    You know, it is the same thing as to wonder why these same people feel the need to lock themselves in their own homes . Its the feeling of not being safe in this world.

    I just point blank refuse. Honest. I watch the news and whilst it makes me sad, I place it into perspective.

    If anything, crime happens less today than it ever has. Child abuse etc.. The problem is that we hear more about it on television and radio, and the internet and newspapers. All of our global ability to communicate, also communicates fear.

    Remember, you are more likely still to be abused, or be a victim of someone you KNOW as opposed to someone you don’t. Clutching your purse in public, or locking yourself in doesn’t really help for these things does it?

    Just my own thoughts…

  18. starlaschat says:

    I had another thought on this post Joy. And that was it could have been started with habit. I think there was a time that ladies to be dressed everyone carried a purse and always wore lipstick I think. Now I think people are a little more relaxed about individuality Like men always wearing hats it’s a sign of the Era anyway just a thought I’m still sticking with my last thought but also thought maybe it’s just what the ladies did always walk out of the house with their purse over the arm.

  19. joanharvest says:

    I have a purse but always leave it in the car. If I leave the car I grab my wallet and cell and stuff them in my pocket. I hate carrying a loaded purse around. I don’t always bring it with me at all anymore.

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