It all started with a shiny, patent leather purse with my name stitched onto the front in the most beautiful yellow cursive that I have ever seen.
It was the beginning of a fascination that I have never been able to resist or quench. No matter where I am or how soon it was that I bought my newest handbag, I will always keep an eye out for the perfect accessory that means more to me than any pair of shoes or piece of jewelry. My insatiable hunger to locate the perfect handbag.
I am twenty-two years old. I am young enough to carry any purse of any design, fabric, color, size, or brand, so I consider myself to be in the absolute prime of my purse carrying days. I have no children, no real debt, and I always have a few dollars to spare when it comes to adding to my collection. I am obsessed with the need to fit as many books as I can into my handbag, never prompting for something a bit more logical … like luggage.
Every store that I walk into, I immediately think about what kind of purses they will sell. Canvas? Leather? Denim? CORDUROY? Two straps? One strap? Shoulder straps? Detachable straps? Will they be small, medium, or large? Big enough to hold three books? What about a bottle of water? Zipper closure? Snaps? Side pockets? Could I possibly find my purse soul mate?
For some unknown reason, I am on a hunt for my purse soul mate. The one companion that will be perfect for every occasion and will be big enough to fit my life into and small enough to hide it under the table when company comes over.
I found that one purse soul mate that was the perfect size, color, shape, and would hold a hippo if I tried to fit it in. But as such a wonderful friend with absolutely wonderful taste in the handbag department, I let my friend borrow it and after four years of not talking, my purse ceases to exist because she lost it.
#$$#! It was made by Levi Strauss in the palest blue corduroy, shaped like a flattened bucket with a big pocket on front with the tightest clasp I have ever seen. My heart still pitter-patters every time I think about it. I have returned to where I bought it only to hear that they don’t carry it. I have sent the company e-mails, trying to find a brother or sister to the purse that is so dear to my heart. But again, they have nothing in their data banks that matched the description. I have searched Ebay and the Levi Web site to no avail.
I forever worry that I had a brief fling with my purse soul mate and will never find something that fits upon my shoulder the way that my Levi purse did.
I must say that my obsession is growing more out of control as I get older. I only hope that it will end when I’m a mother and I could care less about another item I have to worry about losing among the diaper bag, car seat, baby … But until that day comes, I scan every place I can—from Ebay to Etsy, from Target to Amazon, from Walmart to the Salvation Army.
Laugh if you will at my uncanny ability to love an inanimate object, but the thrill of picking through all the wrong choices only makes the scream escape my lips in excitement when I come across the newest member of my purse family.
One day, I will smile to myself about my obsession. I will grin at the purses I have long lost interest for—the pin-up girl with banners stating “Stewed and Tattooed,” the hounds tooth design with a skull on it, my gray cotton one with sea foam green interior, the Rossetti, my granny wicker purse made by Liz Claiborne, along with all the other members of their family.