Tuesday, February 23, 2010

When All Else Fails, Buy a Handbag

I have a famous (or infamous) story about buying purses...well at least it is famous among two of my friends.  You see, I'm pretty much a cheapskate.  While I blow money on some nonsensical things, as a general rule, I cheap out on stuff.  Big things like cars.  Little things like clothes and accessories.  Sometimes I regret it, sometimes not.  I'm not generally thrifty - you know, coupon cutting and shopping for sales is a lot of tough work.  But I'll walk out of a store if I just think the price isn't worth it to me.  Plus, I have this - "I don't really deserve, nor will I take care of, nice things" thing. 

So, my last car purchase? I actually got the last remaining Honda Civic with crank windows.  I mean I knew it was an old feature, but didn't realize how old, until my (then) 10 year old niece got in the car and said, "what's that thing??" pointing with wonder at the crank handle. 

My shoes - Payless.They'll never got out of style because they won't stay together longer than one style season.

My clothes - Kohl's at best...maybe Annie Sez but only off the clearance rack.  If it's good enough for Vera Wang brands, who am I to argue?  Of course I wonder sometimes if Vera has actually seen what they sell with her name on it.

My purses - the cheapest I can possibly find and I carry them season after season after season.  Usually bought as an after thought because the snap has busted on an old version of the same model.

So the famous purse story occurred in an outlet mall.  Outlet malls are one of my most favorite and most frustrating shopping experiences.  Sometimes such great deals!  But most of the time...pricey labels that I just won't buy.

Two of my very best friends in the world, are quality shoppers.  By that I mean they are educated consumers who know good labels, high quality, products.  Me, being cheap, I've never bothered to learn that stuff.  They, being not so cheap but not crazy spenders either, will pay good money for a product they believe in and that will likely be an heirloom piece someday.  I?  want someone to compliment my necklace so I can tell them it looks like crystal but is actually plastic and I got it from a vendor on 42nd street for $5.00 flat.

These two friends took me to an outlet mall and into a Coach store.  This is one of my biggest pet peeves in the world.  How can you possibly justify spending so much money on a handbag? or wallet? or any temporary item that you will throw on the floor of your car, crush under an airline seat, and beat to crap by filling it with makeup containers that will break and spill and mess up the entire thing?  Of course, if you buy quality, you  might just treat it better...but still. 

One friend (Lula you know this is you) migrated immediately to the red leather section, while the other friend oohed and aahed and encouraged.  Now beyond the fact that these bags were hundreds more dollars than I would ever spend on a handbag, if I were ever to invest, it would definitely be the all encompassing, long-lasting, black. 

Not red. 

Never red.

Red is for the $19.99 pleather version at target that you can use a few times a season.

Long and short of it, with me huffing and puffing and rolling my eyes in a tremendously uppity and rude fashion, she bought it.  But the kicker for me?  was when the sales lady said in her own uppity way, "You've got a real gem here...you need to take care of this...do you have the Coach conditioner?? Because you MUST have the Coach conditioner...you simply  must!" 

"Oh,"  exclaimed Lula, "Yes I MUST!"

And I walked out the door before I vomited on her name brand shoes.

But today I was surfing the net, trying to forget other troubles, and I found the Miche bag.

I've seen the Miche bag before in infomercials and I always thought it was a brilliant idea...but today, today it seemed like Lula's red leather bag must have seemed to her. It seemed like a MUST.  And considering the new bigger bag option...
and the huge number of shells you can buy....

...it could cost as much as that Coach bag, plus some....

But I figure...when life gives your cousin lymphoma and all else fails, buy a handbag.

The Miche is shipping tomorrow.


Chelle said...

I am also completely dumbfounded by the expensive handbag thing and thought I was missing an important female gene, I would rather carry around $250 cash in a $20 purse anyday!

pinklea said...

I have a friend who owns at least two Guess purses and several more from Coach. I don't get it. I think they're all kind of ugly and way too expensive. But that Miche bag looks pretty good to me, too! I think I might have to check them out a little further.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Those things you talk about doing to your purse? I would never! I guess that's why I have two Coaches and a Dooney I alternate between!

The napkin rings arrived and they look lovely. Easter dinner, I'm thinking!