July 23, 2016

What is it about Purses?


     The day that my mother had her handbag stolen in the supermarket is a memory that has stayed with me since childhood. She was devastated. All of the grocery money gone. Someone asked her for directions to the peanut butter and she stepped away from her shopping basket to help them while an accomplice took her purse. I remember how angry and violated she was. The money was gone but even as a kid I knew there was more to it than that. They had taken a part of her.

A handbag like my Mom's

As long as I could recall we were never allowed to go into my mother’s purse. It was hers, something personal and sacred, a mysterious container where she kept her cash and her keys and that hush-hush pack of Tareyton cigarettes that she only ever smoked in private. Now I understand what she lost when those thieves took her purse.

The ads claimed that Tareyton smokers would "rather fight than switch".

For me, growing up in a household with five younger siblings meant that little was safe. Later, when I had children of my own, I was reminded that just being kids they get into everything. Without realizing all of the reasons why, I too set a rule that no one was ever allowed in my purse. It was less about preserving my privacy and more about saving my sanity. If my keys and money fell into the hands of the little buggers I might never find them again. And so I developed something of an obsession over my handbags and how they meant privacy and respect. They are personal statements when they are hung over your shoulder or tucked beneath your arm. Even though it may be purely my vivid imagination, there is a part of me that always wonders what mysteries and clues to a woman’s life lurk there within the confines of her handbag.

You can get a few hints from the outside, observinging women going about their day with their bags. I could watch them for hours. I remember seeing a woman carrying a perfectly suited bag at Linvilla Orchards, in the fall. She was a pretty young brunette wearing autumn neutrals with a pumpkin colored leather bag and she was a great example. The bag spoke volumes about how comfortable she was with herself. It wasn't disproportionately small compared to her body which tells me she wasn’t unhappy with her weight. It didn't overpower her either in size or contents and it made the attractive topknot on her head even prettier. Purses women carry always spark my imagination.

Although I am sure that the reason for the passion over purses varies from person to person, there's a lot of us who are fascinated by them. Handbags are a huge market and there are ladies frequently spilling out the contents for those, “What’s in your purse?” videos. Some of the photo sharing sites have entire sections devoted to them.

A special handbag.

This week I received a beauty, a truly stunning handbag. It was sent to me from a devoted reader, who reads not only all of my novels, but my weekly blogs as well. I don’t know her, but she tells me all of the things I share have touched her and in many ways she feels as if she knows me. That, in turn has touched me. Not to mention that she has figured out, purely from my blogs, what a sucker I am for a lovely handbag. So, she’s rather clever too. It's is really wonderful to know that there are people out there who are paying attention. I love that! Her gift is perfect and I really appreciate the trouble she went through to get it to me.

Handmade and a perfect shade of pink!

In turn I have decided to let her, and all my readers inside this lovely bag. I fear that the contents are really not all that thrilling, but in case you're wondering what’s inside my new and incredibly beautiful, perfectly delicious pink, leather purse, here it all is. I am truly enjoying it and you can see me tooling around town with it everywhere. I might even name it. Any suggestions?

A peek inside the bag filled with some of my most prized possessions.

I like to keep my purse organized with little bags and clutches.

I have my wallet and my iPhone, a writing book for notes and a pouch for things like my earbuds and hair clips.

I always carry good pens for book signings and my journal for keeping ideas.

My date book helps me be sure I keep my appointments and makes me smile.

Another pouch holds my lotions, glass nail file, manicure kit, a few make-up essentials and mints.

Now I can grab my lovely new purse, my knitting bag and my notes and travel the world in style!

My husband and I and my lovely bag out in the world.

If you love this bag you can find it here

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