Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Perfect Purse Part 2 - I Am Not Alone

© 2008 Leighann Lord

I am grateful to learn from my Loyal Readers that I am not alone in my pursuit of The Perfect Purse. In a previous article about the solemn search I mentioned that my requirements were few. The bag needed to be fashionable, functional and affordable. I lied. Well it wasn’t so much a lie as it was an incomplete truth. Yes, I said it needed to big, sturdy and black, but there’s a little more to it than that.

Loyal Reader Robin shared her difficult experience finding her Perfect Bag; one that, of course, zipped closed. This is an absolute necessity for me as well. I neglected to mention it before because I assumed it was a given. Who wants their stuff on display? Open top bags are designed by pick pockets for trusting souls who still leave their doors unlocked, their keys in the car and think a "Don’t feed the bears" sign is a tactful way of saying the bears are watching their weight.

An open bag is asking for trouble. It’s not that I don’t trust people, it’s just that I don’t trust people. Okay, fine: People are basically good, but why tempt them unnecessarily by flashing the contents of my purse like it’s a goody bag?

Loyal Reader, Pat, suggested I get over myself, E-Bay my unused Coach Bags and go get a Tumi. Tumi’s are supposedly very good quality bags, stylish too. I had a set of Tumi luggage once. It didn’t work out as well as I’d expected. After a few months of hard travel the bags got old quick and fell apart like aging second rate strippers... I mean exotic dancers; all flash and no stamina. My Tumi luggage bypassed my Handbag Graveyard all together and went straight to the trash.

Given Tumi’s less than stellar suitcase performance it’s hard for me to believe their handbags would fare any better; but on Pat’s earnest suggestion I went to the website anyway. The handbag section featured an interesting bag called the Voyageur. It was big, black and looked lusciously sturdy. "What’s up sexy?" Affordable? Not so much: $395. Ouch! But then again Christmas is coming and my in house Santa is usually quite generous.

Tumi’s website provided views of the bag from five angles and even let me preview it in four different colors. Nice, but this bag is not the one. Major flaw number one: No dedicated exterior pockets for cell phone, water bottle or umbrella. Major flaw number two: the color of the interior lining is the same as the exterior. A black bag with a black lining means black accessories blend and disappear. I know what you’re thinking, but I’m not picky, I’m precise. Call me crazy, but the more expensive something is, the closer to perfect it has to be. And so The Handbag Hunt continues.

That’s how I ended up in New York & Company leering longingly at big red, zipper top bag attractively positioned underneath a 50% off sign. Okay, the bag’s not black, which decreases is practical functionality by more than half, but red is my favorite color so it’s not like I’ll "never" use it.

"Another bag?" my Husband said.

"No, two. It came in red and silver, and they were 50% off. I couldn’t just leave them there."

"No, of course not," he said, "but I thought black was more ... uh ... 'functional.'"

"It is."

"So why you’d buy it in red?"

"Red’s my favorite color."

"And the gray?"

"It’s silver," I said.

"Right. Silver. Why’d you buy the same bag in silver?"

"It’s my second favorite color."

"It is?" he said.

"Yes. It was one of our wedding colors."

"Right. And what about the Tumi? Do you still want that one?"

"No. I think I’ll pass."

"Are you sure, I’ve been making space in the attic. If we get a smaller Christmas tree I think we can manage."

"Well, there’s always Valentine’s Day," I said.

"Yes, then you can use your new red bag."

"Yes, but by then it won’t be new."

t that point I saw my Husband’s temples throbbing ever so slightly. Best not antagonize Santa so close to the holiday. I’m sure in the long run he’ll just be happy that a $395 bag is off my Christmas list. I’ve been a good girl this year, but I don’t know if I’ve been $395 good.

Thank you for reading The Urban Erma.

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