Roughly once a quarter, I go out to breakfast with one of my neighbors who is also a great friend. It’s a great way for us to catch up, and I always look forward to those outings. Our recent breakfast reminded me of one of our ongoing jokes and just how different we are as people.
When I moved into my condo, my storage unit was filled with the previous owner’s belongings. After consulting with an attorney and getting permission from the bank that sold me it to me, I went through all the stuff, keeping the things I wanted, donating the rest. One of the things I kept was a purse that was the perfect size for me.
Fast forward a few years to when my neighbor commented on my bag. She is a fabulous neighbor (and Carmen’s substitute staff member), who has a small business selling big-named, vintage handbags and wallets on eBay. She complimented me on my bag, making a big deal out of the brand … a brand I’d never heard of nor can I ever remember it off the top of my head. I thanked her for the compliment and told her the story of how I got it.
I don’t put any value on purses. I know they have been the hot fashion item for years, but that fact always perplexed me. Purses have never been important to me nor anything I’d find pretty: They are a rather utilitarian accessory. I told her I’d carry my stuff around in a paper bag if I weren’t so worried it would rip (to which DH2U suggested double bagging!). This amused and terrified her to no end. To this day she still jokes about my paper bag. Back in the day, she had always wanted to own the purses she is now selling, so to her my comment was close to heresy!
Am I the only one that couldn’t care less about handbags? or What current trend do you just not understand?
10 thoughts on “Differing Priorities”
I could care less about what type of purse I carry. I often just get mine at Target for $30 and replace it every year or so. My daughter is obsessed with Coach purses. I think it’s funny that carrying a Coach purse is supposed to hold some sort of status. Yes, they cost a few hundred dollars, but most people on even modest incomes can save up a few hundred dollars after a few months if that’s what they really want. And don’t get me started on the ugly Louis Vuitton bags with their logos printed all over them (actually Coach does the same thing). I would never pay thousands of dollars on something where I’m actually doing the advertising for the company. It seems like such a desperate attempt by those people who buy them too: “I’m so rich. Look at me. I’m so rich.” Blah.
I guess since my budget won’t accommodate buying designer bags, it’s a good thing that I don’t want them! This, of course, is not to say that I don’t occasionally bust the budget for things others will find frivolous. Oh, I do! It’s all about priorities.
I could not even begin to tell you what kind of purse I have. I truly could not care less. The only reason I even carry one is because I have a child. Children hand you things and say “here, Mom, carry this” and then you’re stuck. Prior to my daughter, I rarely carried one. Although I guess I do carry one for me, too. Sadly, I have to carry an allergy emergency pack, so that needs a home. I buy one every now and then that will match pretty much anything and replace it when someone (usually my Mom) says “wow your handbag straps are totally frayed” or something to that effect.
I’m afraid when it comes to fashion, I don’t understand pretty much any trend at all. 🙂
You sound like you’d also carry a paper bag if you knew it wouldn’t rip! After seeing everyone’s comments, I am more appreciative of the fact that I can carry ridiculously small purses because I don’t have kids. That had never dawned on me before.
Being an old fogey, I don’t understand most current trends! I get a good laugh every time something that I have been wearing for decades comes back in style for a minute.
I have to carry a purse/handbag because I just seem to accumulate stuff no matter how many times I try to clean out and pare down. My first priority is getting the right size, second is pockets, third is cost. If my purses even have brand names somewhere on them, they probably mark me as a Target/Costco shopper.
What’s funny is that for a long time I had a collection of vintage purses, all shapes and sizes and styles, from the 1920s through the 70s. They were beautiful and I enjoyed having them but I never got into using them. They just sat around on display. I finally sold them a couple of years ago.
I laughed when you mentioned that your labels would mark you as a Target/Costco shopper. That so describes me as well.
Interesting that you had a collection of purses that you didn’t use. Then again, I wouldn’t be using them either, afraid that I would lower their value!
Even though I don’t use purses, I strangely have quite a bit to say on this subject.
I remember many years ago when I was talking to a girl who was showing me her purse. She told me it was a Prada which meant nothing to me at the time. She asked how much I thought it cost and I said about $20. When she told me it was more like $200, I almost fell over. It didn’t make any sense to me.
Now I think it does. It’s true you can buy a purse for $20 and it will work just fine. I think women buy expensive purses for the status it conveys. That’s my theory at least. I look at it the same way for people who buy extremely expensive cars like BMWs. A cheaper car does the exact same thing only it’s not as impressive.
I’m with you though. If I did start using a purse for some odd reason, I would stick with a paper bag. I don’t need to buy something so expensive.
Those high value purses only impress those that notice them. It is a symbol that is lost on me. I agree with you that luxury cars are in the same league.
Glad to hear that someone else is with me on the paper bag idea!
I looooooove purses, but I’m careful not to hoard. One comes in, one goes out – you know. I’ve carried one since junior high. I don’t care if they are designer or not; in fact, I go for bags that have no logo on them – I think they look cheap, and in fact, I see more bags with designer logos in the checkout line at Walmart than anywhere else, so to me they are not that much of a status item. I don’t know.
I buy cheap purses and expensive purses. I like a big bag with thick straps that can carry all my stuff. I just lectured my family about not being a pack animal, so I am working on weaning them off their dependencies on MY purse. 😉
How funny that you see more logos at Walmart than elsewhere!
I can see how tempting it would be as a mom to have a small purse so you couldn’t hold your kids’ stuff, especially when they are old enough to carry their own!