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Fragile Masculinity Versus The Purse

, , , , , | Right | April 8, 2022

I work for a small clinic that mostly does scheduled imaging — X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, etc. The area we’re in has an older population, so it’s not unusual for a kid or grandkid to help bring older family members in for their appointments. In this instance, a middle-aged man brings his mother in, and she asks him to hold onto her purse for her while she goes back for her scan. After twenty minutes or so, he remembers she should have a follow-up and comes up to our desk to schedule it.

Me: “Okay, I think that should be everything. We’ll make sure she’s okay with that date as soon as she’s done, and then I’ll finalize the appointment and print you a reminder. If I can have you sign this?”

He agrees and sets the purse on the counter while he takes the paperwork.

Son: “Just so you know, this isn’t my purse.”

He seems very serious about it, and I’m trying not to smile.

Me: “Okay. It would be fine if it was, though, sir.”

Son: “No, really, it’s not my purse!”

Me: “Understood. It is a very nice purse, though. Black and white is always in fashion.”

Son: “It’s not my frickin’ purse; it’s my mom’s!”

Me: “I heard you the first time. It’s very nice of you to hold onto it for her.”


He does not notice his mom coming back out from her appointment.

Mother: “For goodness’ sake, [Son], stop yelling at that nice young lady! I raised you better than that! And give me my purse back. It clashes with your shirt anyway.”

It was a struggle not to laugh at his expression as he meekly handed the purse to his mom and stood back to let her talk to me. We got her follow-up appointment scheduled with no more drama.

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