Friday, December 19, 2008

Buying A Bag

My girls seem to take a sick sort of pleasure
in criticizing my fashion choices.

Although they gave up long ago trying
to get me to toss out the old green sweater
with the one giant button
and the unraveling hole in the sleeve.

I like it.
It keeps me warm.
If I splatter bacon grease on it
or dump a saucy meatball across it-
no problem.
I don't wear it in public,
which is probably why
they gave up the fight.

But, my purse is another matter.

At first, they seemed to like it-
smiling with a sort of smirk
when I strapped it across my shoulder
to show it off.

It was the most expensive purse I ever owned.
Of course, I didn't pay full price.
It was $65 at the shop where I worked
and I waited till they clearanced it out
for $5. (Plus my discount!)

But, later, the girls seemed to change their tune
when I began carrying it every where.
They often commented- in ear shot
of the entire store-
that I really needed a new purse.

"A new purse?" I cried.
"This is brand new! I thought you liked it."

"Negative." Becca said dryly, shooting me that
screwy smirk of hers.

"Not really..." Erin whispered,
trying not to hurt my feelings.

"Have you ever given thought, Mom, to the
fact that no one bought it- not even when it
got down to a rummage sale price?" Bec added.

So.. it soon became an ongoing quest-
for them and for me-
to find the perfect purse.

I guess I didn't realize how many
purse choices there were
until I actually began shopping
with the ultimate goal of buying one.
I had to consider size, style, convenience,
price, practicality, and color.

I immediately ruled out the large bags.
Some of them were so huge that it
would take a flash light
and a National Geographic Explorer license
to ever reach the bottom.
My cell phone would be lost for days.
Change would pile up in the bottom
to equal hundreds of dollars.

But the small purses were too little.
I couldn't cram my wallet,
sunglasses, checkbook
and car keys into any of them.
They were the ideal size for only
a tube of lipstick and a tampon-
Of which I use neither.

The style choices were crazy.
Everything from Miss Daisy
to Miami Ink.
From buckles and bangles
to zippers and loops
and even places for umbrellas and notebooks.
Leather and pleather and vinyl
and canvas and cloth and suede
and plastic and shag carpeting.
Everything from kinda cute
to ugleeeee.

Now, my needs consisted of
a medium sized purse
that had an easy access to
my cell phone-
a pouch or separate compartment.
I needed a quick and shallow place to
dig for car keys,
room for my money and credit cards-
and a bit of space for
Tylenol and Kleenex.

I preferred a shoulder strap-
and not one of those tiny watch-band-size
straps that merely dangle from your arm
like you're afraid to touch it.
I wanted something I could grasp
and feel secure holding.

Purple? Pink? White? Black?
Tuti-Fruiti? Swirly? Polka-dot?
I thought there was a division between summer
and winter purses,but not any more.
Women carry every color
and every pattern
at any time.

I still have yet to find the perfect purse.

Until then, I try to shove mine
further into my arm pit or under my coat
because the girls have made me
self conscious of my beastly bag.

But, you know-
it goes really great
with my green sweater.