Cheryl Hughes: Purse Man
You know why most men don’t carry purses? They have pickups. I have a few guy friends, so I have an opportunity to see what they carry around in their trucks, and my purse doesn’t hold a candle.
In the tray on top of the console, you’ll find gum, mints, dip, change, fuses, ink pens, band aids, keys, and the occasional turkey call. The passenger seat usually serves as the filing area. You’ll find gas receipts, ads from Harbor Freight, pocket calendars, and George Strait CDs. You won’t find mail there, though. It’s bulging from behind the sun visor.
In the back seat of extended cabs, they carry hunting gear, shotguns, an extra jacket (even in July), wrenches, screw drivers, and an errant bottle of Jack Daniels. Men with pickups are certainly prepared for any situation, except maybe giving a ride to an actual passenger.
When I climb into my husband, Garey’s, truck, I always have to shift something. I move papers to the back seat, stack the five to six McDonald’s coffee cups into one cup holder, and push the hatchet that’s lying in the floor board at my feet up under the front seat, just in case we have a traffic collision that sends sharp objects moving around inside the cab.
The up-side of riding in Garey’s truck is that I don’t have to dig around in my own purse for anything. At the first mention of the onset of a headache, Garey lifts the console—carefully, so as not to spill the contents of the tray on top—to reveal Advil, Alieve and Aspirin. There are also Icy Hot patches, Neosporin, Listerine, and a small suture kit. I’m set if I need stitches or have a bout of bad breath.
I really hate it when he asks me to locate something in the glove box. That’s comparable to asking me to dig through the zipper compartment of my purse. There are papers in there that have been removed from the passenger seat in order to make room for me. These include, but are not limited to, a gazillion proof-of-insurance cards, directions to an apartment Nikki hasn’t lived in since 2007, coupons for Sportsmen’s Guide, five-years’-worth of pocket calendars, and a reminder that Scout is due for his rabies shot. Beneath it all, I locate what he sent me in after in the first place.
Garey has two trucks, his newer 2005 Chevy extended cab, and his old 1990 Chevy farm truck—his good purse, and his every-day purse. His old farm truck has a regular cab, which means anything of any importance gets jammed behind the seat. This isn’t a problem for him, but it is for me, because I’m short, which means that I either have to move the seat forward in order to reach the accelerator or I have to sit on the edge of the seat and balance myself with the steering wheel. I usually choose to sit on the edge of the seat, because every time I move the seat forward, all of the stuff behind the seat shifts and falls, causing a restructuring of contents. To the untrained eye, there doesn’t seem to be a method to the placement of contents behind the seat, but Garey knows what’s back there, and on which side whatever is back there belongs. I can never seem to get things back in their original position.
Scout rides around with Garey in the farm truck, which means there are quite a few McDonalds wrappers in the seat—Garey and Scout often eat breakfast together. There’s also a barely-touched chew toy that Garey got Scout to keep him from chewing on his tape measures, hearing protectors and caps. Beside the barely-touched chew toy are tape measures, hearing protectors and caps full of teeth marks.
When I ride as a passenger in one of Garey’s trucks, I’m tempted to gripe about all of the stuff that’s crammed into the cab then I remember my own purse and consider what a challenge it would be to have to shift the contents around in order to give someone a ride. I decide it best just to keep my mouth shut.