I was in a meeting recently, where everyone relocated towards the front of the room to get a better view of the screen. I held back thinking I would be able to see. After a few minutes, I realized I needed to move forward too, so I spotted an open chair near the TV and walked to it.
Upon arrival, I noticed the chair had a purse in it. I assumed it belonged to the person next to it, so I lifted it and began to put it on the floor next to her.
Immediately, two (of many) women in the room gasped and exclaimed, interrupting the speaker, to not put the purse on the floor. I picked it up and put it on a table, but proceeded to endure a lecture on not putting women's purses on the floor. Their reasoning was, "Would you put a wallet on the floor?"
Is this a social custom I have never heard of? I'm married, so I would have guessed that I would have come across the situation before...and I haven't.
For context, most of us knew each other in the room, it was just a plain carpet floor, and the purse did not appear to have any kind of special contents or decorations that would have made the floor an unsuitable resting place.