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Blokes and their baggage

BROWSING through a magazine in the 10-items-or-less aisle this week, I became so engrossed in an article about Australian fashion that I waved three shoppers ahead of me so I could continue reading.

Sure, I could have bought the magazine, taken it home and read the article at my leisure, but where's the fun in that? I like to live on the edge, and just knowing the store manager could sneak up, tap me on the shoulder and say, "Excuse me madam, this is not a library, either purchase the magazine or move away from the rack" sends a little thrill down my spine.

I mean really, what's he gonna do, take me to court?

I can hear the judge now, "Your crime is most serious, you were caught red-handed thumbing through an edition of a gossip magazine you obviously had no intention of purchasing, before I hand down your sentence, do you have anything to say in your defence?".

Naturally I'd use the same line of defence the kids always use when they're in trouble, "Everybody else does it".

A fashion reporter had written an expose on the who's who of the fashion world.

Apart from the obvious glaring omission that my name was not included in the listed glitterati, one of the comments was so surprising that it managed to raise both my eyebrows.

The reporter had described a well-known male designer (who shall remain nameless because his clothes are ridiculously expensive and he subscribes to the theory that all woman above a size eight should be taken out to the back paddock and shot), as being accompanied by his "handbag".

Can you believe it? No name. No title. His wife, his soul mate, the mother of his children, the woman who washes his socks and burns his dinners was reduced to being described as his "handbag".

At first, my feminist leanings had me noting the reporter's name and vowing to send in a letter of indignation to the editor.

But then I gave the matter some more consideration - is it really that bad to be compared to a handbag?

Most women I know have a bag they happily call "friend".

I'm not talking about some teeny, useless beaded number that only comes out of the wardrobe once in a while, or the sloppy bright green canvas tote that is dragged around on shopping safaris.

I'm referring to the everyday bag. The one that can be taken everywhere without a second thought, is right for almost any occasion, is totally dependable and holds all your secrets safe.

I took a good, long, hard look at my own everyday friend.

The stitching is a little frayed around the edges, just like me, the outer leather is a touch faded but still carries some of its original patina, just like me, and it has plump sturdy handles that give you something to grab on to - unfortunately just like me.

So, if one day, that fashion reporter should write an article in a magazine about me and hubby (stranger things have happened), and it should refer to me as hubby's "handbag" I won't be offended.

I'll hold my head up high and take it as the compliment it is.

However, if there is even so much as a whisper of "carry-on-baggage" or "bum-bags" there will be a strongly-worded letter to the editor and I will be forced to choose another magazine to read in the supermarket queue in future.

Family Taming is a weekly humour column.

Topics:  family taming humour opinion



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