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It's in the Bag

Like many women, I’ve been a shoe collector almost as long as I’ve walked. But aging has made me feel less secure on those tottery heels I once loved, so my footwear choices have narrowed. 

My more recent fetish is handbags, called pocketbooks by our mothers. I love them for many reasons:

1.       No try-on is required. 

2.       I don’t have to be the size of Twiggy to buy one. (And if you don’t recognize the name, you’re probably her size).

3.       They come in all sizes, shapes and colors—an unlimited selection.

4.       I can buy them almost anywhere, from fancy department stores to flea markets.

I currently own at least 12 bags (possibly more, since they’re spread between two homes.) I pride myself on being an equal opportunity purse shopper. I have two Chanel bags, both from that generous guy, Santa Claus. But I also have one bag bought at a discount store and another from an estate sale. Some are shoulder bags; others are clutches and some have short handles, a la Queen Elizabeth. 

My favorites however, are spur-of-the-moment purchases. I bought a black one in an out-of-the- way Italian shop where I met the man who made it. Two small ones were bought from street vendors while on travel, trying to “lighten my load.”  Speaking of that, when was the last time you looked in your purse? Let’s just say I don’t travel light and most women I know don’t either.

My current bag weighs 5 lbs, 4 oz and holds my wallet (that thing I grew up calling a billfold,) keys to 2 houses and mailboxes, a skinny checkbook, a pair of scratched sunglasses in a quilted case, a pack of Kleenex, a vial of eye drops, probably 25 pens, a notepad, lipstick, Chapstick, Advil, Band aids, a sheet of Subway coupons, breath strips, and enough “membership cards” to play Canasta.


Remember the days when we thought our handbag had to match our shoes?  Thank heaven those days are over! That allows us to buy more or fewer bags, depending on the depth of our pockets and the size of our closets.

You’ve heard that 60 is the new 40, right?  Well, I say fancy handbags are the new designer shoes.  Old School be damned!    


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