Friday, April 12, 2013

Purse Envy? No Way.

(Post copyright 2013, Dawn Weber)

Well, it's official. I appear to be one of the only women in the free world without capital Cs all over her handbag.

Damn. I forgot to spend $400 on a purse.

Those Coach bags - they're everywhere. City streets, elevators . . . just last week at Kroger, I watched a teen mom pull food stamps out of hers. I thought about asking "Brittany" how she could afford such a purse, qualifying for state assistance and all, but she was very busy chatting on her iPhone 5. Plus, I had to get back to work so I could support her.

Oh great. I sound like a Republican now, don't I? That is what ridiculously overpriced accessories do to me.

I know, I know. Many of the designer bags you see around are counterfeit - I'm aware of those purse parties. But even the fake ones cost more than a decent dinner at Ruby Tuesday, and given the choice, I know which one I'd choose. Have you seen me? Yeah. I pick Ruby Tuesday.

Priorities, people.

I just can't understand this trend. I don't care who made my purse; I don't care what it says, or where it's from. I have one requirement for my purse: It must be huge.

I guess the "C" is supposed to stand for something besides "Coach?" Maybe make a woman feel like she's rich, successful? What could that "C" stand for?

I have a few suggestions.

"Cost," "charge" and "credit" are some of the words that come to mind. Let's use them in a sentence:

"The Coach bag Brittany wanted cost more than her welfare check, so she charged it to her pimp's credit card."

Hahaha - oh, I have fun with my sweeping generalizations. And really - I don't mean to suggest that all women who buy grossly overpriced handbags are posers/hookers/Brittanys/welfare recipients. No.

Indeed - I have a dear, gainfully employed, non-hooker friend from my old hometown who carried one. I asked her once why she spent more on a Coach bag than she did on her Chevy Cobalt.

"It is SO well made," she said. "This purse will last forever!"

She used it for two months. I never saw it again.

Here's the thing about handbags - they're just like boyfriends. They seem great - for a while; they might even service you well - for a bit. But women get tired of looking at them, and there's probably a better one out there.

That? Is why females have so many different purses.

Though I don't condone the idea of expensive purses, I'm a big proponent of the concept of many purses. I have handbags upon handbags, tumbling out of my closet, all reasonably priced, all large.

And the bottom line is, a good purse is like a good man: It should be huge, and provide me with a bunch of money.

Not cost me a bunch of money.

Because I have other things to spend $400 on - such as groceries.

For myself, and for Brittanys.


Below is an excerpt from my upcoming book. (Sixteen essays done now - whoo hoo!)  If you don't know what Scotch tape and toxic chemicals have to do with hair, well, then, you didn't know my grandmother:

. . . "Fifteen dollars for a haircut? Ha! No way. Bring me the Scotch tape and scissors."

Oh, Lordie. Scotch tape, the scissors and my grandmother. Never a successful combination.

But there was no telling her that. She was a child of the Great Depression, and paying someone else to do something she could accomplish ranked as a totally foreign concept. Anyway, It was 1974. We did as we were told back then.

No, I'd been through this many times before, and there wasn't any use arguing. I handed her the Scotch tape and scissors, then assumed my perch on the folding stool for the inevitable.

"Let me just get it in a straight line here . . . "

I squirmed, and she frowned thoughtfully while taping the width of my forehead, smashing hair down into my eyes. She squinted through thick bi-focals - her bad vision was legendary - and with wide, frightened eyeballs, I watched the sharp scissors approach my face.  

''Hold still now!''

I squeezed my eyes shut and held my breath.


She cut across my bangs, then ripped off the tape . . . and hair. . . also eyelashes.


"There!" she said. "Much better. Fifteen dollars for a salon haircut? Ha! Look at this!"
She gave me a mirror. Gone were my bangs. Gone was my dignity.

Gone were half my eyebrows.

The length of my hair, thin, raggedy, dishwater blonde, fell limply onto my shoulders. She hadn't touched that. But my bangs, cut in a razor-straight, Scotch-taped line, rose high on my forehead. I looked like an orphan. I looked like a little beggar.

I looked like I qualified for state assistance.

Things didn't improve much for me or my hair in the 80s, especially on the days I saw Grandma frowning thoughtfully at me from the kitchen.

"Bring me that box of Toni perm in the closet. And get a big bath towel."

Oh, Lordie. There went my plan of roller-discoing  in the garage all day. The Toni Home Perm, the bath towel, my grandmother - once more, never a successful combination . . ."