Women have certain inalienable rights



Being the only female in a house full of men, there are many situations I have to defend.

First off, is my right to buy shoes. I know that males only have one pair for each event and I’d like to say, “Big woop.” We, as women, need our churching shoes, our luncheon heels and uncomfortable footwear made only for sitting.

Open-toed shoes are a must, and I have them with every sort of embellishment. In fact, I recently purchased a pair of rhinestonestudded flip-flops, and I couldn’t love them more.

You show me someone who shakes their head at that concept, and I’ll show you a male who’s trying to get out of the house in dress pants and sneakers. In this houseful of men, I must also defend my right to dominate the bathroom, to watch sitcoms (even when a game is on) and to enjoy riding shotgun without having to call it.

But my biggest case to defend is my purse. According to the men who dwell in this abode, a purse should be utilized until there’s nothing left but a couple of strings and a shabby liner.

Even that they would fix with duct tape. I’mhere to contend that just because I see a purse and fall in love with it, I know right from the get-go that it’s just going to be a brief fling.

I don’t want to marry the dang thing.

Take the purse I fell

in love with last fall. It was just the cutest little prize and nicely housed nothingmore than a wallet and a tube of lipstick. That sounded nice and orderly until I found myself carrying sunglasses in my arm pit, a cell phone in my back pocket, a pen behind my ear and holding a bottle of ibuprofen just in case.

When I saw a large purse on the department store shelves a month later, I was so giddy with joy that I almost dropped my bottle of hand sanitizer and tube of Chapstick. “Praise be!” I exclaimed to no one in particular.

I dumped the bulk of my wares into the oversized pouch on the way to the car and completed a purse transition at home on the kitchen counter. As I was prying important papers from a tiny little pocket that included medical records and a receipt from 1997, a couple of boys gathered around.

“Another new purse?” one asked with dismay.

“How many can she need?” asked another.

Then came the hammer of doom, “Does Dad know?”

“He doesn’t own me,” I said as I stood back to appreciate my purse from afar. I then slung it overmy shoulder and went to stand in front of the mirror. It was classy, it was large and I’ll be danged if the stinking thing didn’t weigh a ton.

Not being one to admit to a mistake, I lugged that satchel around for the better part of a month. My neck was calling out, “Uncle!” andmy back hurt like a monkey, but I hauled it through supercenters and school functions like a ball and chain.

It housed everything that a woman could ever need for any event, which would have been grand if I could have found anything in the bottom of that cluttered pouch.

As I was dragging it into a boutique one fine day, I saw just what I needed. A purse with pockets.

“There you go, girl!” I said to no one in particular. It had organizers, a day planner and a pocket for each and every item that a woman would carry.

It took me a better part of an hour to file everything in the purse and I loved it right up until the moment that I needed my keys and couldn’t remember which section housed them.

Surely they’d be in the convenient side pocket. Perhaps the zippered compartment on the front. Under “K” for “keys?” “I” for “Important?” How about, “S” for the bad word that Iwas thinking because I was running late and unable to get into the car?

I recently spied a mid-size model and to be honest with you, I couldn’t love it more. The pockets are sparse, the compartment adequate and, if need be, I can sling it over my shoulder and saunter through the store without looking like Quasimodo.

I plan to love it for at least two weeks.

Which may be a full week more than I’ll adore my rhinestone-studded flip-flops.

Lori Clinch is the mother of four sons and the author of the book “Are We There Yet?” You can reach her at www.loriclinch.com.