Call it learned behaviour — something imprinted on the psyche — as you grow up watching your dad reaching for his back pocket. His wallet was always there; always in the right hip pocket.
I had a pretty good dad (one who always seemed to be reaching for his wallet) and I suppose I wanted to emulate him as I, even as a left hander, began tucking my wallet in my back right pocket.
Ever since I was 13, just like my father, my wallet has stayed in the same place.
Men’s wallets tend to be ugly things. Even those that begin as beautiful calf-skin or alligator leather, eventually turn into misshaped blobs of stuff. You see, a man has few options for carrying important things around, unlike women who have purses or handbags.
Even I who carries, daily, a backpack or messenger bag, cannot find a more secure place to store my wallet and its contents. The manly thing to do is stuff it in your back pocket.
A lot of stuff accumulates as you make your way through the daily grind: credit cards, loyalty cards, family photographs, receipts, tickets stubs, and . . . you know, stuff. There might be a little bit of cash, but mostly it’s stuff that has less of a purpose than more of a reason.
Eventually this brick-shaped bulge you sit on for most of the day affects your posture and your mood. It become uncomfortable. Your back and spine are forced into an unnatural curve, the sciatic nerve and even the sacroiliac are tested or stressed. You learn to accommodate, taking the wallet out of your pocket as you drive in your car, or sit at your desk.
But when you stand up, the wallet goes right back where you feel it belongs. When it is there you are aware of it being there, conscious particularly on crowded streets where potential pickpockets lurk.
It is just what you do, and have always done
Years ago I saw an advertisement for a front pocket wallet, a novel idea, but I never pursued it further. I did, for a short time, try wearing the regular wallet up front, but it just created a bulge in an awkward place.
I never thought much more about it until I recently saw the ad for these wallets in the New York Times. I’m not really an impulse shopper (unless it’s, like, music or paisley shirts) but I went ahead an ordered. Everything about the concept made sense.
The slimmer wallet was specially designed, and shaped, to fit the inner curve of a front pocket. Yes, it appears a bit awkward, at first, but it is unnoticeably comfortable.
This is not my father’s wallet.
Everything the company advertised was true. I purged my old wallet, and transferred over only what I believe I need. The front pocket wallet seems to hold the essentials. I believe. I could always use more cash, but this wallet works well and is hardly noticeable.
Except in the days following my adaptation to my wallet’s new location; you cannot believe how many times I’ve reached around back to pay for something.
We humans are, if nothing else, creatures of habit. We tend to do what we have always done. Face it, after more than 40 years I had become accustomed to the appendage in my back pocket. So much so that, even now, I will take the wallet out of the front pocket and place it in my desk drawer, just because that is what I do. Or have always done.
It is that much of a habit
This is not intended as an endorsement for a particular band of wallet (though given the quality of the product, and the lickety-split delivery, Rogue Industries is worthy of a nod) but is more about how we need to adapt to change as our lives evolve.
This is about trying to change, embracing change, and moving forward in spite of what you have done in the past. It is welcoming new concepts, or a new way of doing things.
Indeed there are many things worth keeping, but some things in our past are simply a pain in the ass.
©2017 j.g. lewis
The Rogue Wallet www.rogue-industries.com