Women and their handbags are often the butt of typically ‘guy’ jokes which comment that these oversized things are practically like townships. However more often than not, men end up using stuff which women miraculously conjure up from their handbags, whether to avoid a catastrophe or deal with an emergency. So whether a woman carries a classy hobo or prefers a largish tote, here are ten of the most common things that they keep in their handbags.
- A pocket mirrorWell, no prizes for guessing this one. But in fact the presence of a pocket mirror indicates more than the mere vanity on a lady’s part. It is useful not only to touch up the lip-gloss but can come in real handy when you have spy on who exactly her boyfriend is ogling at, behind your back. Also in real life, very few people except your trusted mirror will tell you when you have a piece of spinach stuck between your teeth.
- A pen…or maybe twoEveryone knows that a pen always comes in handy when you have to jot down a phone number or need an autograph from your favorite TV star. But what about when you are standing in a queue at the bank teller’s and the hunk next to you asks to borrow a pen. This way you can have one pen as a keeper and the other one as a giveaway. And don’t forget to extract a quick coffee in return for your generous gesture.
- Small notepadThis may seem to be taken for granted but you will be surprised at how many people are left searching for a piece of paper when they want to write down an address or compile a quick grocery list at the red light. Carrying along a notepad along with a pen thus saves you a lot of trouble as well as time and is one of the best-kept secrets of organized women.
- UmbrellaIt seems incredible that such a thing as umbrellas should fit into a woman’s pert handbag, but then that is entire purpose behind the invention of folded umbrellas. This item not only saves its owner from an unexpected shower but can also be used for a sharp poke at dirty old men while commuting by public transport. Most of all it saves you from spending the day in damp clothes at the workplace and in the process, from a nasty cold.
- Hand sanitizerEvery smart woman knows that this item is one of the essentials if she is to avoid contracting infections. Women who are out in the public place for the greater part of the day or work in an environment where they are interacting with people on a daily basis are inevitably exposed to a host of germs and if they don’t take precautions, they are sure to come down with flu or other infections sooner or later. So it is best you carry around a small bottle of hand sanitizer and apply it after using the loo, public transport or even after shaking hands with several clients or customers.
- HairbrushNo woman’s handbag is complete without this tool – it could be a hairbrush, a simple comb or even include accessories like hairpins and hair-bands. One of things that women obsess over is their hair and the only way to put those concerns to rest is by quickly running their combs through.
- Mini flashlightMen maybe surprised by this item in a ladies handbag but women know how many times this small thing has saved the day for them. You could be lost in a rainy alley trying to find out the mailbox of a particular house number or have dropped an earring in the dark interiors of a movie hall. At such times the tiny beacon of light seems a godsend and what is required to help you get back your bearings – whether actual or figurative.
- OTC medicationsThis is another of those items which are found in almost every woman’s handbag and emerges as a life-saver under various conditions. It may be still a few hours before you can head back home and already you have an unbearable headache. Or a loved one on a flight is caught by a violent fit of sneezing caused by a reaction to an allergen. Instead of looking around for pharmacies or waiting someone else to come with help, it makes far more sense in being prepared. For the same reason, many women also carry Band-Aids in their handbags to treat small nicks and cuts.
- MintsThis is one of those things which has a variety of uses and often feature as a must-have for many ladies’ bags. You could be feeling nauseous after a tiring commute and a mint will immediately freshen you up. Or you could have had a lunch with some item containing garlic/onions and want to smell good for a subsequent date or happy hour. On all these occasions, having a mint or gum is really handy. Indeed you can even offer a co-worker or acquaintance if you cannot bear his/her dragon breath close to your face.
- Personal productsThen there are women who think of everything – sanitary napkins or tampons for your own or a friend’s emergency; wet tissues to freshen you up when you have been travelling a lot and are quite exhausted. And last of all, extra condoms when you are feeling rather frisky and your partner lamely says that he’s out of Durex. Women also keep their cellphones buried in their handbags and those with kids often keep a change of diapers. Women who wear contact lenses keep solution for the lenses and a storage case, apart from specs.
Women’s handbags have often been an enigma to men especially who fail to understand why and how such a bewildering array of things might be of any earthly use. However women who are on the move are smart enough to know that being prepared is winning half the battle. And their trusty handbags would vouch for that.