The other day I was pondering why Kish’s key ring weighs approximately 30 pounds, and I concluded that purses are to blame.
This began because I needed the key to Russell’s car, which is on Kish’s key ring — along with 50 other keys, tokens, and bric-a-brac. I think the key to the diary she kept in 7th grade may be on there somewhere. Her key ring features a small tag, added at the insistence of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, that reads: “To avoid back injury, please lift with your legs.” The heft of the key ring is such that, wielded by an expert, it could stun a charging rhino.
Why is this so? I’m convinced it’s all about purses. There has been a clear correlation between increasing size of the key ring and the increasing size of the purse. Long gone are the days of the small clutch. No, we are in a period of purse proliferation, where women seem to be competing for the largest, roomiest purse. Kish’s latest skirts the fine line between purse and duffel bag.
If your purse is huge, there is no incentive to edit the key ring and remove the stray key from a car sold five years ago. With the luxury of near-infinite space, you can lug around every key you’ve ever used — secure in the knowledge that you’ll never be caught embarrassingly keyless at a crucial moment.
Did the need for a weighty key ring lead to the development of gigantic purses, or did advances in purse technology produce hernia-inducing key rings? Forget the chicken and the egg — what came first, the enormous purse or the heavyweight key ring?