Thursday, September 25, 2008

PURSE PSYCHOLOGY

I found a most interesting article on the Internet recently, and wanted to share it with you. Kelley Styring has authored a book entitled "In Your Purse: Archeology of the American Handbag". Just the little I was able to read is fascinating. Why do we carry the things we do in our purses? Is there an underlying reason that we ourselves do not even realize? These are the categories she says are in the majority of the purses in our country. Finance***Eye care***Memberships***Coupons***Office Supplies ***Keepsakes***Beauty Care***Jewelry***Identification***Nail Care***Keys and Key Chains***Feminine Hygiene***Receipts***Paper Products***Cell Phones***Cigarettes***Insurance***Oral Care***Food/Gum/Beverages***Weapons***
Cameras***Healthcare***Electronics. How does your purse measure up to these categories? I had them all except Cigarettes, Feminine Products,and Weapons...unless you count the debit card...I can do major damage with that!

Quoting from the article.....
“In Your Purse: Archaeology of the American Handbag.” One hundred women, 2 cities, 11 days of digging into purse after purse to reveal its stomach contents down to the last snotty tissue and connecting what was found with the functions, emotions and innovation potential that lie beneath this mysterious and often inscrutable object. The purse is the ultimate depository for a woman, filled with beauty and disgust, function and emotion, pleasure, amusement, alarm and despair.

In the context of this work, I’ve seen literally hundreds, probably thousands, of women open their purses, both at home where most consumer needs occur and while shopping where most transactions are made and needs fulfilled. Yet, they open this bag sparingly, revealing only what they must to get the job done. Like good burlesque, you see less than you think.


It is at once a financial center, a medicine cabinet, a pharmacy, a cosmetic counter, a communications hub, a safe deposit box, and a stash for keepsakes of irreplaceable sentimental value. But, for every programmable pda or cell phone there are a hundred little scraps of paper with important phone numbers scrawled on them. For every key, there is at least one key fob or doodad, not so much connecting the keys as marking the territory. For women, who make roughly 70% of all retail purchases, the purse is a vital tool for daily living that is filled with emotional consequences.

A woman’s purse is a bag of contradiction on a string. It is the nerve center of her life – holding all manner of vital and precious things. Yet, most purses are a disorganized pit – mixing the tools of daily life – keys, wallet, phone, everything – with the detritus of living – gum wrappers, expired coupons, hair and general filth of every type. Most women who carry a purse cannot imagine how life would go on without it.

Styring found that 95 percent of U.S. women aged 18-64 carry a purse every day, and that they carry 2.4 purses on a regular basis. Since women make 70 percent of all retail buys, that purse becomes a key purchasing instrument, the only physical link between the home (where needs are created) and the store (where those needs can be fulfilled).

Kelley spent 100 hours interviewing 100 women and cataloguing 100 purses and their contents which was 6,670 objects (guys do the math). On average that is 66 items in each purse! I feel your pain when someone asks you to hold their bag – considering on average they weigh over 3 pounds.....End Quote.

I thought this was all quite interesting...and plan on buying the book to learn more. Sadly, I'm afraid I have a few more than the 2.4 bags most women carry.
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Now let's play.Feel free to do a post with these answers on your blog...as I am officially tagging every person on my blog roll.

MY PERSONAL PURSE MEME:

1. Describe your favorite purse...

2 What 4 things are ALWAYS in your purse...

3. What is the most unusual thing you carry with you on a regular basis...

4. What is the strangest thing you have ever found in your purse...

5. Is your purse an "open book" or a "private sanctuary"....

6. Do you change purses often or tend to use the same one for everything...

7. Any "purse wisdom" you would like to share....
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I am looking forward to reading YOUR answers!

7 comments:

new mom in law said...

1. Describe your favorite purse...
Mid size COACH purse...brown, with C C C C C all over it! Love it!
2 What 4 things are ALWAYS in your purse...calendar, wallet, cell phone and picture of Emma Claire.

3. What is the most unusual thing you carry with you on a regular basis... corkscrew...but it use to be a travel salt shaker!

4. What is the strangest thing you have ever found in your purse...
a pair of panties...don't ask.
5. Is your purse an "open book" or a "private sanctuary"....Open Book

6. Do you change purses often or tend to use the same one for everything...Same one until it wears out. I know this is hard for you Tonya!!:)

7. Any "purse wisdom" you would like to share....Buy a real good one and carry it until it falls apart. then, start over!

This was fun!

andi said...

I once found a rotting apple in my purse...I don't have snotty Klenex because I don't keep Klenex at my house. That is just something boys would strewn about in my home. It would then look like Tumors Corner. I have some great purses from a really cute, little friend of mine! ;0)

DebraK from ~the Bunnies Bungalow~ said...

Hi Tonya,
Great post & I saw all your purses in your previous post...you've got lots of purses!

My favorite purse is a good leather bag, I just love real leather purses. I always have my wallet in my purse & my cell phone & several lipsticks. I consider it private & I do change purses often. Right now I have a utility knife in my purse which I was using to cut down yard sale signs that I hung all over town!

Take care, DebraK

Musicaljean said...

MY PERSONAL PURSE MEME:

1. Describe your favorite purse...
It's a big, black leather bag.

2 What 4 things are ALWAYS in your purse...
My wallet, my cell phone, my check book, my reading glasses.

3. What is the most unusual thing you carry with you on a regular basis...
A little, tiny tweezers - just in case I find a facial hair that needs to be done away with!

4. What is the strangest thing you have ever found in your purse...
Dirty socks.

5. Is your purse an "open book" or a "private sanctuary"....
Some sections are a private sanctuary, some sections are an open book.

6. Do you change purses often or tend to use the same one for everything...
I hate to say this here in your comment section, but I tend to use the same one all the time. I DID buy a new one for the time I met you in person, but I've never used it since, because I hated it!!!

7. Any "purse wisdom" you would like to share....
The nice thing about using the same one all the time is that I know exactly where everything is.

Jennifer said...

I played along on my blog. Thanks for giving me something to blog about. LOL!
Smiles!

Earthmommy said...

Interesting. I stopped carrying a purse years ago after my wallet was stolen while it sat in my office at work. I also stopped because I found I carried around stuff I didn't need and it was just one more thing for me to keep up with when I was out and about with my kids. Now I carry my wallet in my back pocket (yea, like a guy!), and my keys have a mini carabiner hook that I hang on my pants when shopping, etc.

elizabeth embracing life said...

1. My favorite purse is my vera bradley chocolate brown and blue floral.

2. Mini emergency kit, reading glasses, wallet, and chapstick

3. The most unusual thing...hmmm...size 2 Bob the Builder boys underwear. Back up you know. (for the 2 year old)

4. Strangest thing every found in my purse, nothing really. I am quite familiar with it's contents.

5. My purse is an open book for most.

6. I change purses with the season and then use that as my main purse. However if going out for the evening I have a little one to transfer just my wallet and lipstick.

7. My purse wisdom is to simply clean it out with each season. It makes for easier transfers later on.