Along for the ride:

Sunday, February 23, 2014

An Informed Decision

Those of you who have known me for any length of time must be aware that I'm more likely to be found at Petfood Express than at the Shopping Mall. My recent purchase of an iPad Air was a journey, that worked its way through a long thought process, as it's hard to manage selection criteria without a complete understanding of my needs, nor a vision of the results that could be achieved.
The quest for a new purse was easier as I had isolated the parameters required to successfully marry form and function.
My last Handbag of Glory was purchased three years ago and brought me great joy. Unfortunately, The supple red leather was grubbied, beyond redemption, from being slung onto the floor of many  cars and construction sites; loaded up with tape-measures, phones, dog-treats and stone samples; and the candy-striped silk lining was ingeniously stapled together, some time ago, to stop my freshly sharpened wooden pencils from making their escape. I had also learned from it that a more structured design would be preferable to the shapeless puddle of soft raspberry hide and silk that clumped anything I might need at the very bottom of it's ever shifting depths, or let the contents dribble over the collapsed lips.
It hurt to realize that no amount of saddle soap was going to save GloryBag  from her demise. Before laying her regretfully in the kitchen trash receptacle, I unclipped the long shoulder strap and stashed it away. It may serve a new purpose one day as a dog-leash or as the fanciest gate tie you could imagine; very usefull with a swivel-clip at each end.
I had reverted to a trusty black Fossil purse that had languished on my closet shelf, displaced by my (then) new favorite. The Fossil fit many points on my wish list; stylish, without being too blinged-out; handles that could be swung onto my shoulder one-handed and enough separations inside and out for checkbook, phone, business cards, dog treats, etc. The Fossil's failing, and the reason it had been replaced, was the lack of complete closure at the top. The magnetic clasp only covers an inch in the middle and, the bag being tall for its slender base, had led to a driving technique combining the abrupt turn of a steering wheel with a reflexive, outstretched grab-attempt to prevent the inevitable cascade  of chap-stick, pens and private unmentionables, all of which were obviously custom designed to roll under seats and brake pedals. The Fossil was also likely to be responsible for travel-related thrombosis as it was necessary to contain it locked between my ankles in order to descend from any flight with the passport and other contents that I had started out with at the beginning of my trip.
When I had time to kill last week; early for my "How To" appointment at the Apple Store, I turned into the inviting "Big Expensive Store" next door. I had a half hour to kill and made a bee line for the handbag department. I now know that, upon winning the lottery, I will be more than content to acquire a Burberry shoulder bag and, for a mere $2,000 more, a matching iPad carrying case. I'll still stick with my turquiose rubber Otter phone protector though. I have found that seeing a phone fall and then bounce, unscathed, is worth more than the prestige labels can offer.
Saturday saw a one day sale at Macy's. I had the notion that Fossil, which Macy's carry, might have another purse for me to love, as so much was right with the one that I already have. Not to be. Fossil has gone "Organic Granola" on me, with cross shoulder messenger bag styling in muddy colors that must surely have sought inspiration from old images of the Pony Express saddle bags. 
Leaving homeless-chic for another day, I was lured by bright lemon and royal blue in bold shapes. Michael Kors, I like the shape of your bags but why ruin good leather by embossing it with chicken-scratches, until it's stiff and hard; too tough for me?
I didn't know that Macy's sold Coach handbags. I had a Coach bag many years ago. It was the top item on the Christmas wish list given to husband, in circa 1990, entitled "Some things you need to know for a harmonious Christmas this year!" (item reference numbers and color selections, as specified). The Coach was a dark mossy green. It was just right and I carried it for a very long time.
The Coach Store has been one of my infrequent window shopping magnet locations. They are out of my usual price range and I've been pleased that the last few times I went there, nothing made me sad at what I was missing. A strange and inexplicable negative satisfaction equation.
This time I was faced with three good options and almost fell for a classy, creamy beige number that I finally decided was both too big and too vulnerable to fit in my world. It was memorable though. The second candidate was smart dark blue. It had a bit of gold chain-link detail that was too much for me and the dark blue was almost black and I was in the mood for something brighter. I've forgoten what that one looked like already so I'm sure I was right to pass it up.
Did I mention there was a sale on that day? 30% off some already reduced prices. I saved my receipt and checked it out online, as it was quite extraordinary and might have fallen into the "Too good to be true" category. But no! My new purse is on the Coach website, not hopelessly out of date, and is listed for considerably more that I shelled out at Macy's. The black Fossil will go back into back-up purse land until next time. Now I must treat the new beauty with leather shield and transfer the nuts and bolts of my existence to their new home.


  1. Do you want to know why I don't carry a purse and instead just carry a wallet? Because I have never found a purse that I actually like at an affordable price. Instead I go around carrying a bulky wallet and cursing because I never have my hands free.

  2. Very nice - does your iPad Air fit into it? That would be a selling point for me.
    Me, I have one of those Pony Express Saddlebag type rucksacks you obliquely referred too. Have to say I love it... and my MacBook Air fits in it too!! WInWIn!

    1. Tails, we're never far from our cars, in CA, so we rarely need to carry everything in our purses at once:)

  3. I looked for a new handbag in John Lewis when last in London....even in a sale the prices made me think of calling for smelling salts!

    I know the style I like - soft leather, no jingly bits and stiff compartments; my old yellow one had died the death, yellow and the floor of a car transporting dogs and feed sacks not making for a long lasting combination.

    I found exactly what I wanted in a shop selling two for the price of one in Southampton where I had gone to pick up a replacement suitcase...soft leather, no jingly bits, stiff compartments, and a suitable sludge colour...two for fifty quid!
    That covers me for the next few years, I think...

    1. Helen, England has great leather and artisans who make stylish shoes and bags. So much more original and personal than the big stores. The U.K. is always my favorite shopping venue.

  4. If the bag at the top is the new bag I congratulate you. It’s gorgeous. Elegant and stylish, big enough but not too big and a beautiful colour.

    Wear it with pride but with fewer stone samples.

    1. Friko, it's particularly elegant when I extract a handy roll of poo-bags:)