I've developed, in these last two or three years, a thing for purses. I used to be the "owns one sensible bag for years" type, but things have changed since I hit mid-life. Maybe instead of buying a sports car, my mid-life crisis is a collection of purses?
Or maybe it's because I finally realized in my middle age that I am more apt to keep a purse organized and neat if it is... new.
I bought this really great purse at a small shop in San Francisco's Chinatown:
It's the bling-iest purse I've ever owned, although by today's standards, it's still pretty tame. But it's red! A lovely, vibrant shade of red! I've always stuck to shades of brown, tan or black -- because-those-colors-are-neutral-and-go-with-everything (my mother's everlasting advice) -- but I just couldn't resist this beautiful, hobo-style purse of red leather, with red braided straps and just a bit of silver bling.
I was so excited about it that I changed purses as soon as I got back to my hotel. And then I set out across the city, feeling oh-so-trendy.
Here was my thought pattern as I left my hotel: I will look so, so cool if I hold this very stylish purse in the same very stylish way as the very stylish celebrities, like Sandra Bullock and Kate Winslet. You know... the purse is hanging from my arm (not my shoulder), and my arm is bent at the elbow, thus casually placing my hand in the air in front of my body while the bag lays against my hopefully very stylish blue jeans.
I catch sight of myself reflected in a shop window and I realize the awful truth. I look like a middle-aged, menopausal, frizzy-haired woman carrying a stylish purse that would look tons better if it were carried by, oh, Sandra Bullock or Kate Winslet.
So much for the mid-life crisis.
And another thing I realized as I carry this hobo-style purse? A hobo purse only looks good if it's just about as empty as it was when you first took it off the shelf in the shop. You cannot fill up a stylish hobo purse and let it expand to it's fullest capacity or it will look, well, like a .... diaper bag. With bling.