In addition to my love for shoes (which is genetic), I also love purses. For years now, I have been buying expensive (350+) purses, which probably made sense when I was working. But then someone on Facebook posted one of those clever quotes that said, to the effect, women buy purses for other women to admire, because no man ever said “look at that purse!” I think this must be true, because I’ve had women admire my purses, but a man? No. My own husband couldn’t tell you what my purse looks like. I want a designers name plate on my purse. I have no one left to impress.
I have been scouting out TJMaxx, that has a lot of really nice purses. Why did no one ever tell me this? Last season I bought a White and tan Michael Kors for $129. It sells in the other stores for $328. So the other day, I went to TJMaxx to look for an Olive Green bag. I found one that is very nice for $29. But of course I had to keep looking (once you find what you went for, it’s always a mistake to keep looking) and found a current season Patricia Nash that sells in Dillards for $199 and TJMaxx had for $99. Now I understand that it may be a reject for some reason, not recognizable to the casual human eye. Well, you know what happened. I bought them both. I was proud of myself, because there were many more beautiful bags in various colors and styles, but there has to be a limit – right? I should have felt some guilt, but what women doesn’t like a great bargain.
I think my addiction to purses goes back to Coach. Not the Coach they sell today, but the original Coach purses that were made in NYC. They used high quality skins, solid brass hardware – those things were indestructible, but in case you managed to, they would replace the strap for free. My husband brought me the first one for a birthday, and it was such a success, he bought me 3 more for various other occasions. Eventually, Coach got bought out and their quality slipped. So I moved on to Brahmin. We had a long relationship, but eventually their quality changed and I gave them up. Eventually I moved to Michael Kors, when I noticed that every other woman in the world seemed to have already discovered Michael. I like the designs but hated that but to hide the obnoxious MK. . We had a nice, budget busting relationship, but I started to notice that they didn’t wear well. The edges of the leather showed signs of wear, after only a season of use. Last year, I indulged in a black, quilted leather bag. It was beautiful and I still like it, but the leather is worn on the edges. And you can believe that if other women are judging me on my purse, I do not want to be judged by worn leather… that is just the kind of thing another woman would notice. So this summer, when the Nordstrom pre-season sale went on – I went with a black Vince Camuto. I’ve used it once and all those compartments that I thought would keep me organized are annoying as I lose things in this purse.
It seems to me that the purses that my mother and grandmother carried were better made. They were frame purses with silk linings that never seemed to get dirty. Of course, they probably didn’t drop them on the floor in various environments or have the cap come off a pen or a lipstick open in their bags. I don’t recall my father or my grandfather thrusting things at my mother and grandmother and saying “can you put this in your purse”? I suspect this is why a lot of women carry big bags and why an equal number of women have gone to tiny purses that barely hold a credit card. That generation of women could actually have a collection of bags that lasted for years and could still be handed down.
Now the question is where to keep all the purses without having to get the step stool to get them out of the top of the closets when I’m not using them. I’m mad enough about being short, much less having a daily reminder. When I was working, I had hooks in the utility room, on which hung my purses. It made for the quick change as I went out the door every morning. For the most part now, I carry the same purse for weeks before abandoning it for another. I don’t know why I think I have to change purses, but I guess it is part of my fetish.
I saw a commercial on TV the other day. It was for a company that will buy your expensive designer bags – Chanel, Hermes, Tod’s, Alexander McQueen, for cash. I know how much these bags cost – do women really pay a couple of thousand dollars on a purse? I wonder if they know that men don’t notice women’s purses. Do they have rich lovers who bestow these things on them as gifts? One time I was in Neiman Marcus and a woman, with her husband in tow, was dithering between two very expensive evening bags. Eventually, her husband said “damn it, get both and so we can get out of here.” Now that is a man I can relate to.
Until next time, Elsie