I want pockets, and I want them now
Spring is coming. And I am wearing a full-length wool coat. Wearing heavy, full-length coats in warm weather generally sends a message: "I am a Kennedy wife" or "It is a non-negligible possibility that I am about to open fire on the building." So people shy away at my approach.
I don't blame them, but I can't help it. I have to wear this coat: It has pockets.
If you have ever been a woman, you know that there are not enough pockets to go around.
Menswear contains pockets. That's why men who carry bags are, by and large, mocked. If you are a man, you have enough room in your pants to store a live aardvark and a scale replica of the Petronas towers. So it's silly for you to carry a bag, unless that bag contains a small dog or a computer.
Sure, some articles of women's clothing include "pockets." But these pockets are tiny. I put my cell phone in my pants pocket occasionally, but it comes flying out whenever I bend over or sit down. I once successfully stored an entire tic tac in a shirt pocket, but I had to spend about an hour wedging it in there.
No, these are not real pockets. Whoever designs most women's wear decided that allowing you to store your keys on your person was less important than your "silhouette." "With commodious pockets," they warned, "instead of looking sleek and classical, you'll look like someone squeezed the Michelin Man into a ballgown." Maybe. But that's what everyone looked like in the 1980s, so it can't be that objectionable.
I acknowledge that skirts sometimes have pockets. But there are only two genres of skirt that contain pockets of a size you can use: The flowing, hippie skirt or the Cargo Skirt. Neither of these are things I can wear to the office without attracting weird looks.
So I carry a bag.
I mention this frequently - in elevators, on dates, during Elevator Dates, a genre I am working to perfect. I call it the great Pocket-Bag Conspiracy.
For women, a bag is a necessity.
But get one, and there's a problem. Women's bags and purses come in two sizes. Too Small, and Twice The Size of the Head of Moammar Gaddafi, In A Hat. Too Small bags are the ones that you leave on the subway because you forgot that you were holding them, resulting in several years of identity theft by someone who spends your money more responsibly than you do. 2x Gaddafi Head In Hat bags are impossible to forget, if only because they bear an uncanny resemblance to elephants, and you never forget an elephant.
And this leads to the conspiracy. As long as you're carrying a bag large enough to contain the head of the Libyan dictator, you feel silly just putting your wallet and cell phone in it. "There must be at least half a dozen other things I require," you say to yourself. Suddenly you are carrying gum, a hairbrush, a tube of toothpaste, a change of clothes, and Spam in case there is an air raid. How about a notepad? Oh, and lipstick! And a book, in case you get bored during the air raid. And another book, in case the first book is less gripping than you'd hoped.
Suddenly you are One of Those People Who Carries A Bag, and hack comics are mocking you in their stand-up routines. "How come women take years to get ready?" they ask. "And why do they carry entire continents in their bags?"
So if any women's clothing manufacturers are reading this, I have to say: I want pockets.
I don't want decorative pockets. I want functional pockets in which I can safely deposit a cell phone and a wallet. That's all I'm asking, because now, it's ridiculous. When you are a woman and you go out barhopping or to a restaurant, you have something that you must hold in your hand at all times. "This is good practice for child-rearing," your friends say, optimistically, "because you have to remember something that you have brought with you and not abandon it in the cloakroom, a careless action that generally results in The Importance of Being Earnest."
But this has to have geopolitical implications. Philosophically, your outlook shifts. You can't just up and go places. You are holding a bag. You can't gladiate! You're holding a bag! Run for president? You can't run anywhere, you're holding a bag!
Maybe that's a bit far. But, still, enough is enough.
I want pockets. And I want them now.
| February 25, 2011; 6:47 PM ET
Categories: Epic Failures, Petri, Seems Suspect | Tags: argh, bags, pockets, women
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