This past week I threw caution to the wind and lived like a man.

What do I mean?

Let’s back up a minute.

I’m tired of winter.  We’re all tired of winter, I know.  But I’m especially tired of pulling on boots, a big puffy coat, and gloves every time I leave the house.  And with the big, puffy coat, slinging your purse over your arm is that much more difficult.

I had a big day out covid-style, which meant Target and Giant Eagle.  Every time I reached for something, my purse fell off my arm.  Over time I’ve crammed more and more things into it, so it’s grown heavy and unwieldy.

It was time to clean out my purse.

My wallet was the problem—a huge beast of a thing that holds all my change, credit cards, cash, and receipts, but is so large that it takes up ninety percent of any normal-sized purse.  With some trepidation, I decided to downsize my wallet.

A few days later a new one arrived from Amazon, and fully loaded it was small enough to fit in my pocket. 

The next time I had to leave the house, I had a crazy idea.  Could I do it? 

No, yes, no, yes.

Reader, I went for it.

I left the house without my purse.

With my wallet in one pocket and my phone in the other, I traveled through the world like a man.

It was glorious.  I had both my hands free all the time.  I strutted through the store like a pop star in a music video, hands free without a care in the world.  No Chapstick, no notebook, no pen, no headphones, no extra phone charger, no umbrella, no….

You get the idea.

Confession time—I didn’t pull the rip cord fully the first time out.  I packed everything I normally keep in my purse into a backpack that stayed in the car.  If I panicked, I could always run back to the mothership.

But the truth is, I didn’t need that backpack at all.

There are a few downsides, the primary one being that after a lifetime of carrying a purse, I am occasionally hit by a lightning bolt of panic thinking I’d lost it.  I have to pat myself down, verifying I have my wallet, phone, and keys.

And also, I have a habit of running into stores without my coat, even in the coldest weather.  (This was partially because of the purse, but old habits die hard.)  People keep asking me where things are stocked.  Apparently a pursless and coatless woman can only be an employee.

Can I keep this up when life goes back to normal and I can’t wear jeans with nice big pockets all the time?

Only time will tell.