9/01/15 Confessions of a Handbag Whore

I passed Handbag Hoarder years ago. I have giant plastic storage bins from floor to ceiling with bags all asleep in their sleepers, all resting and waiting for their time on my arm. I have bags from 1950 to now, all fabulous (of course), some worth more than a month’s rent (okay, only a few left that weren’t sold on EBay to actually pay the rent), and some knock offs which, regrettably, cannot be sold or re-sold anywhere (the Dark Web is not somewhere I want to set up shop).

I have learned a few things as a Handbag Whore. First, I have 50 years of experience at this. My Aunts ruined me at an early age (which is another blog entirely) for bags, shoes, jewelry, fashion, sparkly things and girly woo. One CAN own enough handbags. (This from a woman who has Imelda Marcos trumped in shoes.) I cannot even recall all of my bags. Once I pulled all of them from their crypts and spread them out around the living room floor – there was not a path to walk. And there were more than a few ghastly surprises and eureka finds. But it was time for some of them to go on to better homes. I had a massive EBay-a-thon and sold enough to buy a small island country.

I have deduced that I have a bag “type” (tote, preferably almost luggage, clean and classic and not too fussy). I was a loyal Tod’s Diana carrier in several colors for years. I had found my shui. Then I realized that on a rare occasion I would need a small bag, a clutch (who knows when opera tickets may materialize?), a backpack, a wedding/funeral/cocktail party bag that matches an ensemble. So my One-Size-Fits-All never fit real life. Real life is complicated. (Don’t even get me started on shoes. I have absolutely no logical thought in my head about them. Except that when I pass on to the happy hunting ground, people will see all of my multiple personalities in the form of a size IT8.5.)

Uh, back to bags … So you can have enough (sort of). Enough of any type would be the qualifier. I do not need 50 clutches (again, I am a tote kinda girl). I do not need 20 evening bags (Wendy’s and a movie do not even rate a bag change from the giant tote). I do not go to fabulous parties, hob nob in galleries, or go to embassy functions. If it involves work, usually it means I take the big tote. (Now I am beginning to realize how much heavy lifting I ask from that bag.) Plus I have to schlep my writing stuff around (in case a great idea hits me in the face), my Rolodex (yes, I still carry one of those), my wallet(s), phone, a few glasses cases, and the cosmetic bag which holds everything from lipstick to Advil. Oh, and keys, pens, tissues, gum, lists, unopened/opened mail, occasionally a pair of scissors, and at least enough room for one small snack. I am a Maxinista. The kitchen sink. It is a curse to lug around but a blessing when I need a phone number or a nail file. I am your best friend if you need a Band-Aid or breath mint.

Now I just need to hunker down and never, ever, never look at another magazine, advertisement, television show, movie, female arm or internet site again. (Damn the Vogue September issue.) I do not need to know what new bags are out, in, and must-have. I do not need to be seduced by another pretty Italian leather satchel. I do not need yet another bag. (New mantra, repeat after me: My tote is enough.) I have MORE than I need already. So (dear brain) stop looking at, thinking about, or browsing for handbags. (This is where Dr. Phil calls me on the show for an intervention and the female audience all nod in the self-same shame.)

It may pay its weight in future savings to visit a third-world country and realize that all I need is a gunny sack or paper bag (luxury = a plastic bag). That life really, really doesn’t require so much “stuff,” especially in the form of gigolo handbags. So hear me now and understand me later, I am calling a truce in the bag war. Putting down my Visa and going home. Wish me luck. And NO sales notices.

 

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