Getting to bottom of women’s bag mystery

RESEARCHERS could have saved their time and those who commissioned them their money if only they had asked me, or just about any other male. The answer to the question about how long women spend delving into their handbags is simple: a long time. Just ho

RESEARCHERS could have saved their time and those who commissioned them their money if only they had asked me, or just about any other male.

The answer to the question about how long women spend delving into their handbags is simple: a long time.

'Just how long?' would be the real discussion point so I suppose the result of a survey just out is of interest but do not think it gives the definitive answer. My wife's instant reaction was: "That's rubbish" while mine was: "Surely that's an under-estimation."

After research spanning the UK, the conclusion was that the average woman spends an amazing 78 days of her lifetime rummaging through her handbag.


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Breaking that down, it equates to four-and-a-half minutes each and every day looking for essential items. From my experience, a more accurate description would be "frantically looking".

The most commonly lost items are car/door keys. Usually there are several on a key ring and therefore quite chunky so I am surprised that these can elude the searcher for so long, but apparently they do quite often.

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I wonder whether the term "lost in handbag" does also cover the keys being plonked on the stairs, sideboard, kitchen side or left in the pocket of the coat recently removed and hung up, and being forgotten.

Every male must have a tale or two about searching for something high and low on behalf of the other half and only leaving out the obvious place to look until the very last. It's a game.

The second most commonly lost items are mobile phones/blackberries/PDAs (yes, I didn't know what they were either and had to look it up on the internet - they are personal digital assistants or palmtop computers).

Those fiddly things, lipsticks, and other make up items come in at third place followed by a range of items including purse (how can you lose a purse in a handbag?), hairbrushes (ditto) and headache tablets (presumably to take after spending such a frustrating time scouring the bag).

The research also found that the contents of already bulging handbags are increasing. High tech work gadgets such as those PDAs, device chargers, laptop computers and their cables can now regularly be found in the dark recesses of the ladies' accessories.

Also likely to be lurking within are bulky document files, security swipe cards and a pair of smart shoes for women to change into after walking to work in trainers.

And that could be bad news for the owners. Psychologists reckon that all this rummaging about is bad for their health. The more they do it, the greater the impact on their wellbeing.

Of course, there is usually a commercial reason for research and in this case it is to promote a device designed to keep everything tidy in a bag, thus ensuring that nothing will ever be lost again.

I wouldn't put it past some ladies to very quickly lose the device in their cavernous hold-alls.

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