Last week, the same morning that I, unknowingly, graduated from Brooklyn College, a paper shredder chewed up my Student ID card. I looked at the unfortunate card vanishing into the thin crack of the paper shredder and felt a sudden pain in my right shoulder. The pain was not gone for a while and I kept thinking what had caused it. Perhaps I had slept on an odd angle last night or maybe it is a physical reflection of a separation anxiety attack: me being separated from my ID Card; after all, it was the most persistent companion, I had during the long commutes in the grimy trains of Metro North and sordid tunnels of the New York Subways. Whatever the reason was, because of the pain I couldn’t think clearly that day. (Not that I can think clearly in any other day, but just for the sake of the argument; the pain was dreadful.)
The next morning when radio announced: heavy handbags are considered health hazard for women, without tilting his head up from his book, my beloved husband, paternally said: Are you listening? those Gunnies that you use as handbag are health H-A-Z-A-R-D, pronouncing hazard by stressing on every single letter. Although, by then, I had realized what the probable cause of my shoulder pain was, I couldn’t help but to reply: Perhaps they didn’t consider a mathematician husband in their studies; if they had considered both you and the handbag as health H-A-Z-A-R-D-S, they would have realized that the result of multiplying two negative integers is a positive one which has no health risk at all.
Since then, in my daily commutes to New York, I can’t help but noticing how heavy women's handbags are. Most of the time they are carrying two bags – heavy ones – (Maybe dividing the weight in different bags help, but those that I saw didn’t fit that purpose.) Also I think it is understandable if one has a baby and needs to carry the baby's stuff. But I don’t have any baby and my handbag is still heavy. It was hard to locate men with huge and heavy bags, but they were out there too.
Anyhow this kept me asking myself: Why people (mostly women) carry too many things around? Do they/we need all of these things? Do they/we feel more secure to have all these stuff (that might be needed one day) with them/us all the time? Or !
What do I carry with me in my handbag? – Bibi Huryeh (my MacBook), my valet, one or two printed articles, a notebook, a book, Bibi Negar (my IPod Shuffle), a pen or pencil, and a lip protection and some other mysterious belongings (I use my pockets to carry the key chain; so that in case of robbery I can get into the house). These all fit in one bag and of course they make it a bit heavy.
There are things that gradually have been eliminated from my handbags since I moved to the States, such as an extra set of toothbrush and a small soap, needle/string/scissor pack, extra coins for telephone call and …(My mom wanted us to have these basic things since you never know what may happen to you the next moment or where you will end up the next day).
Take a look at this post by Sheveta. I found it interesting.