Caring as it evolves into caregiving necessitates that you learn some skills. ORGANIZATION probably is the number 1 category.
As a 'guy' this became a practical problem because there are limits to what pockets can hold. Yes! The need for a MAN PURSE began.
Patti quickly went to a wheelchair, and before that she simply chose to struggle clutching to whatever was convenient. In other words she could not hold a purse. Was it appropriate for me to carry a woman’s purse? (Yes for a few moments but only for a brief few moments. – In excess was bordering on cross dressing.) Plus I found myself needing to put caregiving stuff in her purse. While that kind of made it unisex – it still looked like a woman’s purse.
Accepting my role as caregiver may have been an easier emotional adjustment than realizing I had to start carrying a purse from a guy's perspective.
I bought my first MAN PURSE almost 15 years ago before the phrase was even main stream pop culture. Eagle Creek made something that resembled a camping briefcase. Most importantly it was MANLY in appearance and functional.
Caregiving certainly challenged the Eagle Creek “guarantee for life” as Patti somehow managed to roll over and kill it twice with her scooter. Patti during her scooter era was the reincarnation of a tank commander. Yet, how could Eagle Creek refuse an accident involving a disabled American? Though I thought they were a bit testy the second time.
Alas! One of our cats chose to take revenge on the MAN PURSE and it lies now in a land fill. Following a short vacation, during which the cats had been at the kennel and the MAN PURSE had been with us, obviously words must have been exchanged and the cat became upset. The MAN PURSE suffered through its last weekend in our home as a litter box.
Regrettably Eagle Creek just would not consider this one covered under the “guarantee for life”. Even though I argued it could have been a Bob Cat or a Cougar while I was camping, apparently felines urinating into 15 yr old Eagle Creek MAN PURSE is not covered. … Caveat Emptor!
Sigh … after 15 years I had to shop for a new MAN PURSE. This time the problem was TOO MANY choices. The world had changed.
What makes a MAN PURSE different than a PURSE, you ask? Nothing - not anymore. Marketing of ‘Messenger Bags’ has created a unisex functional class of carry all bags designed to be carried across the body, hands free vs a shoulder bag. Of course, there are still fashion type accessory bags for women (and now also for men).
I chose this particular model by Timbuk2 because its vertical configuration was unique yet still enables me to carry any folder or file for Patti’s appointments. Expandable it can carry multiple files or a three ring binder of records or a book for reading while I’m waiting, plus regular spare Depends, and package of wipes. – Or simply dump all that out and collapse it down to personal necessities. The personal organizer compartment holds pens, pencils, notebooks, address book, calendar, Cluster Headache meds, Swiss Army knife; The cell phone holster is attached to the strap for easy access. Best of all, the exterior pocket allows me to instantly grab those reading glasses without having to open my MAN PURSE to look at price tags, menus, etc and further delay the bifocal era. (True - vanity is not a necessity. <grin>)
While I had preferred some different color configurations my daughter vetoed them as I am too old and not that cool. <grin>
Women as caregivers do not have to work through this gender issue. Many guys cheat for years, handing increasing stuff to their wives, dates, and female companions to hold in their purses. Cell phones, digital cameras, glasses, MP3 players, etc our world increasingly gains STUFF. Caregiving throws that equation off balance.
Once caregiving progresses to the ‘hands free’ level an organizational bag is mandatory. A MAN PURSE could be in the future of more men than realize.