Most baffling to me are their purses. Firstly, handbags have become the new jewelry and often cost as much or more than diamonds. For some reason, I can't help but measure purses in the value of Tata Nanos. When a woman mentions how much her designer purse cost, I think, "Holy Fendi, she's carrying 5 Nanos on her arm!" And then I imagine it. And it makes me chuckle.
Then there's what's in those purses. They're either the size of carry-on luggage or else so postage-stamp tiny, you need to squint to make them out. I have seen women carrying around tiny sparkly objects that I could swear look like the little figurines you see in the showcases of old Parsi relatives. Apparently, they have secret latches that pop them open and are like a magician’s hat because, no matter what their size, women’s purses are always filled with vast quantities of mysterious trinkets and treasures. They contain anything you could possibly need -- fistfuls of Splenda, a shot of penicillin, a copy of Tolstoy's War & Peace, the portal to a parallel dimension. However, there is one thing they will never contain and that is a tissue when you’re about to sneeze. There have been innumerable instances when I can feel a sneeze measuring at least 5 points on the Richter Scale about to hit and I throw a look of desperate hope to a woman with a gigantic purse. On every occasion she dives into the inner depths of the bag, rummages around and always comes up with a casual shake of her head and a shrug, leaving me to deal with my own nose tsunami. I do not believe there are no tissues. I believe that this is the female revenge that women are genetically programmed to inflict on men for all the injustices they’ve had to suffer throughout history.
The other thing I don't get about women is why they go to the bathroom in packs. A bathroom is not my idea of a social venue and the last place I want company. But yet, I have never seen a woman go to the bathroom alone. There's something very conspiratorial about the whole thing. When you're at dinner at a restaurant, there always seems to be a secret signal (inaudible to the male ear) at which point all the women at the table will jump up, scoop up their purses and march together to the ladies room. They spend an inordinate amount of time in there and they always emerge, fastening up their purses and adjusting their dresses with smug looks on their faces.
In my mind, their bathrooms are magical wonderlands with champagne fountains and unicorns handing out hand towels. And what exactly happens in there? Were they conducting a séance? Engaging in some sort of debauched Sapphic bacchanal? Is that spy equipment they’re putting back into their bags after averting a world war? Or, most terrifying, could they have been discussing us men?
(From Cosmopolitan India, December 2011)