It can be lovely when our significant other helps us out in the morning before a long commute to work.
Whether that’s making sure we’re up on time or even starting the coffee for us, these small actions of kindness go a long way.
But is there a point at which someone’s asks too much?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) beepbopbeepbopbadoop when he came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.
“AITA For Not Carrying My Wife’s Purse?“
OP had a brief introduction.
“I (32yo m) work fully remote, and my wife (30yo f) works 2-3 days in office.”
“On days where she commutes in the morning, I wake up early with her, make us French press coffee while she gets ready, and I walk her to the ferry, which is approximately a 5-minute walk, and then approximately a 5-10 minute wait for the ferry onboarding.”
Then right to the problem.
“On our walks, she insists that I carry her purse, saying that her bag is heavy, that she has to carry it all day, and that if I carry it on the walk, it would mean a lot to her.”
“I told her that she’s putting me in an awkward situation, where I need to either a) carry her purse which I would prefer not to do or b) have an argument first thing in the morning because I refused to carry her purse.”
“Maybe I am just stubborn, but to me, carrying my wife’s purse and then standing in line with all of the commuters waiting to board the ferry as I hold my wife’s purse for her commute to work is a bit emasculating and humiliating.”
“She, on the other hand, thinks that it would be a nice gesture, and the fact that if I find it embarrassing for me is irritating because I should,
“A) care more about what she thinks than what other people think and…”
“B) be comfortable enough in my own skin not to feel emasculated or humiliated.”
“So what do you think?”
“Am I the a**hole for telling my wife I don’t want to carry her purse?”
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: ESH
A story with no heroes.
“‘She insists that I carry her purse, saying that her bag is heavy, that she has to carry it all day,'”
“Insisting is rather strong. If it’s so heavy, I don’t understand how she manages for the rest of the day.”
“‘Standing in line with all of the commuters waiting to board the ferry as I hold my wife’s purse for her commute into work is a bit emasculating and humiliating.'”
“That’s a bit fragile.” ~ diminishingpatience
“You are both being ridiculous.”
“I highly doubt that she has actually to carry her purse all day. Nobody does that. But feeling emasculated by a purse is also absurd.”
“Buy a nice big manly bag that her purse will fit in and use that to transport her purse for her.” ~ Forward_Squirrel8879
“I have yet to meet a man that uses the word ’emasculating’ who wasn’t trying to force women to deal with toxic masculinity.”
“Honestly, it’s just a purse. Why are you so embarrassed by it?”
“I guarantee if other women saw you doing that, they would be thinking, ‘What a great guy! I hope I find someone like that someday!”’
“I don’t understand how a purse can actually be ‘humiliating’ in any way other than your sense of self-being so delicate that you can’t be seen, which is something YOU perceive as so feminine.”
“On the flip side, as someone who regularly carries a purse, your wife definitely needs to lighten the load if it’s that difficult for her to handle on a 5 min walk.”
“That’s totally on her.”
“My purse is a beast, but that’s my own fault and choice, and would never ask someone else to carry it since I’m the one who keeps it that heavy.”
“If my husband were to offer… that would be an entirely different story, but to insist he holds something that I did to myself is ridiculous.” ~ Odd-Bit1837
“The wife seems to be doing some sort of weird (territorial?) flex with her damn purse, and OP shouldn’t let his masculinity be threatened by whatever he’s carrying”
“ESH” ~ WhizzoButterBoy
“I think OP’s wife should switch to a backpack if it’s too heavy (or empty out her purse so it’s not), but I think OP saying he won’t carry a purse because it’s emasculating IS a bit of an a**hole thing to say.” ~ jdessy
“May I suggest a rolling case or backpack?”
“The school psychs use those here in our district because they have sooooo much stuff and laptops to cart everywhere. Saves their backs!” ~ InterestingFact1728
“Would suggest a rolling bag instead of a heavy backpack.”
“I did the backpack for years and ended up with shoulder issues.”
“Doc said heavy backpacks are not a good option for many people and instead do a rolling bag.” ~ Lawgirl77
Including this because I did not know it.
“Big agree. It’s totally an a**hole thing to say.”
“Why is it emasculating to carry a purse?”
“It’s literally just a big wallet that carries more things.”
“The whole concept of women’s things being emasculating comes from the old concept of women being ‘lesser,'”
“So men seeing utility/value in women’s things and using them was then frowned upon because it ‘made them more like a woman.”‘
“It works out to be a good example of toxic masculinity where men are made to feel ‘lesser’ by other men simply because they hold a bag.”
“Anyways, that aside…”
“Did you know that any purse with a long shoulder strap can be converted into a backpack?
“The other night at a bar, I asked my partner to watch my purse while I went to the ladies.”
“When I came back, he was gone, my purse was gone, and I was like, uh….”
“Then I saw him up at the bar getting drinks, talking with people, and happily parading around while wearing my purse.”
“No fragile masculinity there.” ~ nebulaespiral
“I absolutely LOVE men that are super secure in their masculinity.”
“When you’re secure in your masculinity, carrying a purse around isn’t “emasculating.” It is SO attractive.” ~ Pizzacato567
Some commenters were less forgiving of OP specifically.
“Not saying this is what’s happening in the OPs case.”
“But I get so annoyed with dudes who simultaneously say ‘it’s your purse, if it’s too heavy for you to carry, take stuff out’, and also ‘you’re the one with the purse, carry this for me, will you’, and then refuse to help carry it.” ~ RivSilver
“Kind of weird that OP feels emasculated by carrying his wife’s purse, but he just HAD to mention making French Press coffee.”
“Come on, OP! REAL MEN drink used motor oil in the morning!” ~ degobrah
“I have a feeling he mentioned the French press coffee as a way to say ‘see? I go through all the trouble to make her (us) French press coffee every morning!'”
“‘It doesn’t matter that it’s ridiculously simple to make I should get a crap ton of credit for any effort that could possibly construed as for her.”‘
“‘She’s obviously lucky to have such a great husband already'” ~ KimeriTenko
“My husband carries this pink floral and cat backpack I have when we go on day trips.”
“Definitely agree that ‘insists’ makes her the a**hole, too, but I also feel like it’s a bit sad to be so uncomfortable about your masculinity.”
“I personally think it’s sexy and says a ton about a man who helps his partner out with these types of situations.”
After a major surgery, my husband used my hairdryer on me and would have painted my nails, shaved my legs, etc. If I asked.”
“It isn’t humiliating – it means you care about your partner and their well-being.” ~ alc19912010
Commenters were confused by OP’s stance.
“What I don’t understand is my partner would carry it for me, or my dad would for me, with no question asked, without me saying anything, so I can’t imagine arguing with my partner about this.”
“They actually feel like the opposite: not carrying it for me would be seen as negative on them. I am so independent that I get frustrated when they do it at times lol.”
“I don’t necessarily think either is right here, but being so focused on what others think that you can’t do something nice for your wife because she asks is absurd to me.”
“You are partners. You care about her.”
“People are probably so focused on their own commute and days that I doubt they give much as a second thought to someone carrying a purse.”
“If she fights it or demands it, that’s not great either, but I wonder if she feels hurt that he is so focused on how he feels that she gets upset about it.”
“Rather than being insistent or demanding, at least at the beginning.” ~ navik8_88
Perhaps, if the bag is making you feel less manly – try changing the shoes.