Tuesday, April 04, 2006


You may call them handbags or bags, but here's what it is. It's a purse. I understand the concept of a purse. But I don't "get" it in any real sense.

During all my growing-up years, my mother bought my purses for me. I never purchased a single one, and we're talking right into college and for years afterwards. Most of the ones she gave me were big plastic jobs from KMart, many of them huge and grease stain-luring. I grew accustomed to them. I like a big purse and one with lots of compartments and secret places. I also like one with a shoulder strap so I don't have to feel like I'm actually carrying a purse.

So now I am resentful that no one buys my purses for me. Even if they were ugly. Even if they were remnants from a warehouse fire. There's no queue in the closet of waiting purses, white for summer, black for winter. I'm actually going to have to buy one soon, although last time I thought I would have to, I stumbled across a bag of throwaway items from my daughter and in it was.....yes!!! A perfectly acceptable black nylon purse!! I thought black nylon would cross the seasons well, but turns out it looks a bit outre in the cold months. So I rummaged back in the coat closet and found an older black leather number and it is with me now, though summer is coming.

No one seems to be wearing white the way they did years ago--you know, white shoes and white purse, white pants, etc.? They keep changing the rules on me. I did get some purse education in NYC last December when I accompanied a friend into the Coach store on Park AVenue or wherever it was. Purses are teeny-tiny now with lots of little gewgaws hanging off them, like pretend keys and charms and dingly dangly metal objects. They must make a heck of a racket while you walk. And let's not even talk about price. I wanted to burst out laughing.

"Two hundred DOLLARS? DOLLARS? Are you MAD?"

"No, maam, that's the price of this bag."

"Do you know what a purse costs at KMart?"

"Um, no I don't. I imagine much lower."

"And do you know I have always gotten my purses for FREE?"

That's when the sales clerks get this snotty embarrassed you-just-couldn't-understand look. And they're right. I can't.

However, I will say they were quite friendly and said thank you. Maybe Hannaford's should send their cashiers down to NYC to get customer training from Coach.

A bientot


At 9:14 PM , Blogger chiefbiscuit said...

I liked reading your thoughts on purses/bags/handbags and experiences thereof.
I love my brown leather handbag - big with compartments as you described - and with shoulder straps. It was bought for me, but not by my mother. As a Christmas present from my husband after a rare moment of brilliance on his part. I love my handbag. It goes everywhere with me and is STACKED.
Thanks for your blog on bags!

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At 5:43 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

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