Monday, December 29, 2014

Marriage 701, Lecture 123: Goose/gander


The great thing about purses is they don't care if marriage has been very, very good to you. They don't care if your thin jeans fit or if everything is going loose. A purse looks great and it doesn't care what size you are and it won't make you feel all ick because it doesn't fit but it used to fit and man, it's a good thing there are no full-length mirrors in your house.

The only purses I have bought in the past 15 years have been on eBay or in consignment shops.  I am not a big-money purse spender. But I last year, I bought what was supposed to be a nice Cole Haan purse on eBay and not four months after I got it, it started to fall apart. The straps tore out a few times. I took the purse to the leather repair shop and the woman sewed them back on for me, but she warned me that every time she put new holes in the straps, it weakened them. Then I took the purse to the shoe guy and he put rivets in the straps and they stopped tearing out when the purse would get caught on something and I would keep moving.

Then the piping wore through and left the little curly wire underpinning visible. Then the stitching started wearing off the sides of the straps.

SH is pretty detail oriented, but women's fashion and accessories is not his thing and he is a guy. Even he noticed that the purse is falling apart.

I wrote to Cole Haan. They told me that I could return it to the place I bought it or send it to them for restoration (at a price). I wrote back and said the problem was that they had not used the proper materials - that I had purses much older than this one that were still in excellent shape.

They never answered.

Cole Haan, if you are reading this now, I was not impressed with your response and I am even less impressed with the quality of your product. 

That's when I thought it was time for me to buy a purse at retail again.

But not any purse. (And for sure not Cole Haan!)

I wanted something that would last me a good long time. This will be at least a five-year purse. I can't justify spending a lot of money on a purse to use it only for a year or two.

I started looking for purses made in the US. I found this - Libby Lane, in west Texas.

Not inexpensive.

It took me almost a year to make the decision to buy one.

I bought one.

It arrived.

It was way bigger than I thought it would be. Still gorgeous.

But you can't return for cash.

So I kept it. It is now my briefcase - takes my lunch and gym clothes to work - and I love it. It feels so elegant. So much nicer than the black nylon giveaway bag I used to use. Want to know something interesting?

Cat hair does not stick to leather!

But I still need a main purse.

So I continued the hunt.

I found Stash in Houston. Koch Leather in I think Arizona. Love 41 in Mexico.

I wanted them all.

Is that wrong?

Is it wrong to have more than one purse? Buying a purse is not akin to marriage. We do not have to commit ourselves to just one. Wait. It is like marriage, but it as if we are renegade Mormons and the purse buyer is the husband and the purses are the wives.

Is there a culture where the women have more than one husband?

Hmmm. Not sure that would be something I would want. But a few sisterwives might not be so bad. Share the housework, the cooking, etc. Get a trust fund sisterwife and a super detail-oriented sisterwife - we could cover the money and all the picky stuff SH cares about. I could have the vacation SH who plays tennis.

This could work.

Where was I?

I wanted all of those purses. All of them. Even though they all look sort of alike.

Again. Is that wrong?

It went like this.

SH: You can't get two more purses! A purse is something you need one of, maybe two! One for summer, one for winter. I don't have multiple wallets.

Me: How many watches do you have?

SH: That's different.

It's not different. 

It's not different at all.


Gaylin said...

I am not a purse woman. I have one I use a couple times a year for 'dress-up' but it cost $29 and if you look closely at the design on the front, it has a Mickey Mouse head in it . . .

I use a bright yellow and orange daypack, every single day. I have used it every day for at least 15 years, it is starting to wear out a bit, the mountaineering store I got it at no longer makes this bag. I am very sad. It cost a whopping $12. I may do repairs before I look for a new one.

Good luck finding a good quality purse that you like!

Hoya said...

I love bags. Luggage, tote bags, purses. I do not spend a ton of money on my bags (I have leather, canvas, nylon - I'm not wedded to a certain material either). I have never spent more than $200 on a bag. But I will keep bags for a LONG time because I change them every month or two. I buy classic styles so I don't get sick of them, but at the same time - I have enough variety so I don't get bored. Just a different perspective....