I admit that I am a germophobe. I’m not to the point where I walk around wearing a hospital mask and gloves all day, but it grosses me out when I see people do things like touch the bottom of their shoes and then touch other stuff without washing their hands. It makes me imagine all the gross things they have walked on (dirt, dog crap, and lord knows what else) and are now spreading all over their staplers and keyboards. Blech!
In that vein, I really do not get how women can put their purses on the ground and then on their car seats, bedspreads, laps, or kitchen counters. I’ve seen women put their purses on the floor in the most disgusting places. Is the floor of a bar or the bathroom at Target something you want to lick or lie on? If not, why would you put your purse on those surfaces and then put that same purse, which now has gross cooties, on your bed? Ewwww!
I’m not a purse snob or a label whore, so I don’t have fancy expensive bags, but I doubly do not understand when women spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on bags and then put them on the floor at a restaurant. You wouldn’t put your cashmere wrap or designer jacket on the ground, so why would you put your purse down there? Again I say yuck! You might as well run barefoot through a bar and then suck on your toes.
I swear that I’m not just being paranoid either. A few years ago, microbiologist Chuck Gerba caused a big stir when an article about germs on purses hit the media. For me, it was a big DUH but for many women it was shocking to learn that most purses tested positive for all kinds of bacteria and creepy crawlies.
I love when I go to bars that have little hooks underneath the counter, but most of the time, I’m stuck hanging my purse on the back of my chair, putting it on the seat between the chair back and my butt (which means I have to scoot forward), or holding it on my lap. None of these are great options, but they’re all better than the alternative of putting my bag on the floor.
The solution? Purse hooks! Although they have grown in popularity over the last few years, purse hooks have been in use since the 1920s. The internet claims that Queen Elizabeth carries one with her. There are several different types of purse hooks, but all of them serve the same purpose: they allow you to hang your purse on the edge of a table or counter.
About three years ago, I found an awesome company in San Diego called Je’Marie PurseHook. There are tons of websites that sell purse hooks these days, but pursehook.net is the best one I have seen. First and foremost, their purse hooks are the sturdiest – they hold up to 35 pounds! That might seem like more than you need, but the average purse weighs over five pounds. If you have a big hobo bag or tote bag, it probably weighs twice as much. Seriously, go weigh your purse right now. You may be shocked by how much crap you’re lugging around on your shoulder!
In addition, the entire back of Je’Marie’s products are rubber, which means they grip the table. Products without this rubber backing tend not to be as stable, sometimes sliding towards the edge of the table. Some purse hooks use foam on the back for grip, but if the foam gets wet, it’s only a matter of time before it starts to flake apart (and grow icky germs).
The Je’Marie hooks are also a great size. The length of the actual hook is long enough to accommodate all kind of tables. I’ve only encountered one really thick bar counter that I couldn’t use my hook on.
The end of the actual hook has a little ball, which is nice for two reasons. On a practical level, it provides a little extra something to keep things from sliding off the end of the hook. On top of that, it’s nice to have something smooth and round at the end of the hook. For the sake of comparison, these are some Disney purse hooks without the ball on the end. I’m not saying you’ll stab yourself, but I prefer having that little ball at the end.
I have one of Je’Marie’s fusion designs, which are beautiful but no longer available. Mine is two different shades of blue and resembles dichroic glass. I use it whenever I go to restaurants, bars, or any place where I would have time to get my purse hook out of my purse. I’ve hung it on the arm rest at theaters, counter tops, you name it.
It’s not just for little purses either. As I already mentioned, it holds up to 35 pounds which is enough for even a backpack. I really wish I’d had one of these in college. Just thinking about all the disgusting places I put my backpack grosses me out! This little guy is a multitasker too. One night when we were sitting on barstools, I hung my purse, scarf, and wool coat on my purse hook.
The head swivels so that when the purse hook is not in use, it’s almost completely flat. It’s very light so it doesn’t add a lot of weight to my purse when I’m carrying it around. Mine came with a little velvet carrying pouch, which means that any germs that might be on the rubber part of the purse hook don’t touch anything inside my purse.
I looked at a lot of different brands before I bought my purse hook from Je’Marie, and I’ve been very happy with it. My only complaint about it was that I wished I could somehow hook it over the top of a door or chair on those rare occasions when I don’t have a table or other flat surface. Whenever I was in a public bathroom without a hook on the back of the door, I found myself thinking about this.
Lo and behold, Je’Marie heard my unspoken request. Their next product is called FUMI (Fashionable, Unique, Multipurpose Innovation). It can be worn as a bracelet, used as a purse accessory (clipped on the handle or the hardware on most purses), and is also a purse hook. Like the regular purse hook, it has a rubber backing to keep it from sliding around and it also holds up to 25 pounds.
Because it’s round, it can be hung on almost anything: doors, sofas, luggage, you name it!
Although I haven’t bought a FUMI yet, I am excited about being able to use it on non-flat surfaces. I love when companies read my mind and create something that I already wanted! Now I just need to decide which color I like the best so I can order a FUMI!