I bought a new purse the other day. It was on sale for $17.99 at Payless shoes and I had a coupon so the grand total was just under fifteen bucks. My old purse is cute, but it's getting worn out and I can't stand the look of a worn-out, tacky purse. So, I just bought a new one.
Many of my female counterparts sport fancy handbags from Coach and the like. Purses that cost hundreds of dollars and last forever. And therein lies the problem.
I do not WANT my purse to last forever!
I get bored of my purse. Sometimes I like to carry a bag so big I can fit everything I need plus a water bottle and snacks in case of the zombie apocalypse. Other times, I want to pare down to something small, compact and cute - but inevitably wind up buying a bigger bag because the small and cute one does not meet my minimum requirements.
What are those minimum requirements? Glad you asked. My purse must:
1. Be big enough for my "August to August" calendar that I buy at Barnes and Noble every year because it makes sense - my life runs on school time so why not have a calendar that complies with the school year and summer? Whatever, it works for me. This calendar is the size of a standard book.
2. Fit my coupon organizer. I take it with me everywhere. Don't worry, I'm not the crazy coupon lady but if I can save $1 off Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, I'm down. And if I don't carry the coupons with me, I'll never use them.
3. Also fit my checkbook (which I almost never use), my wallet, and my bag of "car makeup" which is entirely different from "home makeup" and which I almost never use but I'm always glad I have when I leave the house with no mascara on.
4. Have two pockets in it - one for holding my garage door opener (yes, it's supposed to be ON my keychain, but it got slammed in the trunk once and broke - not my fault - so now I just carry the key fob in my purse pocket) and my mail key. The other pocket is for other random stuff, like my pink pocket knife. Don't fuck with me. I carry a blade.
5. Have a pocket somewhere on the side where I can drop my keys and quickly relocate them. I've had entirely too many crazy screaming banshee fits over not being able to find my keys only to discover they've been hiding in the depths of my purse right next to the gum wrappers.
6. Have just enough extra room to carry someone else's wallet and keys, or random shit the kids ask me to carry, so I don't have to carry it all in my hands when someone says "hold this a sec."
7. Have a handle long enough to go over my shoulder and not fall down when my arms are full, but not so long that it hits me below my ribcage.
8. Be made of a material that I can wipe down with a Clorox wipe after I watch a news report about how much fecal matter a common purse carries. Gross.
So, I mean, it's not like I'm super picky or anything......but.
I do not want to spend $100 on a purse that I feel obligated to carry forever. I get BORED of my purse and need to change it up once in a while. I once picked up a purse for $20 at Target in a dark turquoise color. I got more compliments on that purse than any before. Everyone loved that purse. I actually brought it out of retirement because the relationship I was having with my current purse was rocky at best. But, alas, old turquoise was just too used-up for me. It was starting to look shabby and the last thing I want to do is be THAT girl carrying the ratchet purse.
I bought a substitute turquoise purse but it was neither the right shade, nor had the right requirements and so, although I carried it for quite a while, the break-up was inevitable, and truth be told, doomed from the start. Plus, the shabbiness was showing so it was time to kick that trashy girl to the curb.
Finding a replacement is never easy, but this time I told myself I WOULD find something in the hour and a half I had to shop while the kid was at gymnastics. I perused TJ Maxx, Target, and finally, in the final 15 minutes, Payless Shoes, which - who even knew they had purses? But there it was, on sale and everything. It's not like it was love at first sight - it was more like: she had the requirements, she was black (it's winter - black purses rule - plus once you go black.....), and she was a bargain. I guess at a certain point, you start to look past the flaws and love the one you're with.
My kids rolled their eyes. "Mom, you ALWAYS buy new purses!" Partially true - I do buy a new purse once or twice a year. But variety is the spice of life, man. And my new girl fits just right. Until I kick her to the curb. I'm ruthless like that.