Hello, Failure

Of all the enemies of literature, success is the most insidious

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Failure of the Day: Shopping for Purses and Facing One's Mortality; More of the Tween

It seems like a large percentage of what I own was bought in 1993. That's the last time I got new glasses and the last time I got a new messenger bag, which I jovially call my purse. And that's because it was right around then that my Medi-Care kicked in and the Department of Rehabilitation started paying for me to go to college. If you were a resident of California in 1993, it was in fact you who paid for my glasses and bookbag. So, you know, thanks.

So it seems like high time that I got a new purse-type bag. As I was wading through selection at the Mall on Saturday, it occurred to me that I've never actually purchased a brand new purse before; I've always been a pretty strict Goodwill gal. My favorite was the one covered with itty bitty beads that looked like donut sprinkles. It was my favorite but no one else's because the beads fell off all the time and I left a little brightly colored mess everyplace I went.

I'm buying a first-hand purse this time. I keep thinking of my friend Cassie in Seattle, now in Ohio. A couple of years ago, I ran into her husband, Aaron, downtown and he had just plunked down around 200 bucks on a handbag Christmas present. He went to a store called Furla that I had never heard of but that I gathered was super fancy. After Christmas, Cassie kept saying, "Did you see my Furla?" and "I got a dress to go with my Furla." Of course Cassie is six feet tall and a little under 11 pounds so she can do that fancy girlie girl stuff. Me, I need a purse that I can shove a lot of crap in.

And that's the problem. I don't so much want to carry a big bulky messenger bag around anymore, but actual purse purses all look like they're for y'know, ladies. And it was hard enough accepting the term "woman" as applied to me; and I'm in no mood to try to integrate the term "lady." I just don't think I'm quite old enough yet. Except I totally am; I'll be 37 in a couple of months. My mother had a kid in high school when she was my age.

But then I'm totally not because I'm perfectly content extending my adolescence well into middle age, along with most of the other people in my generation. So really, the problem is that I can't find accessories for people who are old but not, y'know old.


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