It is my firm belief that a young, urban professional’s briefcase is his lifeline. I’d be lost without mine. It carries my laptop, my iPad, all my chargers, my notebook, pens, and business cards–basically everything I need to make it through a workday, except for coffee. I actually got mine as a Christmas gift, and it’s a beautiful, brown, leather briefcase with a main compartment, a flap, and a shoulder strap for the airport. As soon as I got it, I neatly put in my laptop, charger, and all my other work essentials. Everything was nice, neat, and compact. At first. But this is an item I use every day for work, and as time went on, I noticed it becoming less of a briefcase and more of a glorified purse.
It started very subtly, as I threw a pack of gum and my checkbook in there so I could pay bills after work. It wasn’t long before allergy season came around that I had to toss in Claritin. Since I put Claritin in there, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to add some multivitamins to the mix. Then I started thinking about what other essentials I needed for work and business trips, so I put my passport in the dedicated passport pocket, some spare collar stays, and even lip balm, just in case.
Then I adopted a written day planner, because iCal was pissing me off, and I threw that in there, too. All my receipts from paying my bills found a home in there somehow. Then I decided to make a copy of my conceal carry permit and toss it in there with an extra magazine, because why not?
Everything seemed innocent enough, but little did I know my briefcase was gradually becoming my purse. I started putting receipts, change, and cash in there for picking up breakfast and coffee on the way into work so I wouldn’t have to take out my wallet. Sometimes I put my wallet in there with my phone for convenience, like for when I’m sitting in the car. I even tossed a condom or two in there because, you know, happy hour.
It came to a point where my briefcase began to become cluttered with things I needed, didn’t need, could have carried in my pocket, or could have left at the office. That’s when it hit me–my briefcase reminded me a lot of my mom’s purse. If I needed a special document to go somewhere after work, I stuffed it in my briefcase. I was a tampon short of my briefcase becoming an actual purse. I didn’t understand why I needed all this shit. I was hoarding crap, and so I made it a personal mission to start cleaning out my briefcase every week or every other week to make sure that it stayed a briefcase–and especially so that I would never have to experience the emasculation of having a purse. This seemed like an appropriate solution until I realized that women habitually clean out their purses for the same reason, too. Shit.