Tag Archives: bargains

The Bag Lady

While I was at the op shop today, I spotted a handbag. That’s hardly unusual but lately I’ve become a handbag-avoider so I was trying to stay away. Somehow, I’ve ended up collecting handbags and I don’t need any more. That is unless I can find that elusive, perfect black bag. This is a need… definitely not just a want!

As much as I’ve been out on the prowl for the perfect handbag, I’ve ended up with way too many duds. Of course, they all seemed perfect at the time and full of promise but have been plagued by subsequent performance issues. At the very least, all my bags must be able to manage a book. That shouldn’t be mission impossible and yet it is. For some reason, big bags seem to have weak handles. Some haven’t even survived one train trip to Sydney, arriving back home in pieces.

While I wasn’t looking for another bag, this bag caught my eye, probably because it was real leather. I might love leather but I’m still very fussy. No more small talk. These days, a handbag has to be “the one”!

So there I was in the Lifeline shop in Avalon making the acquaintance of yet another bag. Just like my asbergers hero from  The Rosie Project who developed a 16 page questionnaire to find a wife but usually managed to reduce it down to one question,  I cut straight to the chase. Although this bag was rather determined to make my acquaintance, I was playing hard to get.

I went straight to the list. Not that I actually carry around a 16 page check list of all the little extras I am looking for in this ultimate handbag when I do my rounds of the op shops. It’s more imprinted at the back of my brain which explains why I’ve ended up with so many duds. The print must be fading!

Besides, I’m not actually looking to buy any more handbags.

This is where my conscience kicks in. Did you hear that Ro? No more bags! You have plenty of bags. You have bags in every conceivable size, shape and colour. Indeed, you seriously need to downsize. Return to sender. You know you need to take them back to the op shop and you definitely don’t need more!

More! Did I hear you say more?!!!

Of course, all of this advanced psychology and declutter therapy has been totally wasted on me.

Although this handbag isn’t exactly waving at me, calling out or giving me mad enthusiastic hugs, it is quietly persistent.

At this point, I need your assistance. Can you tell me whether a handbag actually meant to be male or female? While this question might seem totally weird, weird scenarios are all part of being a writer. You see, if I’m talking about a handbag flirting with me and trying to attract my attention, is it going to flash a bit of leg or is it going to strut its stuff? It makes a difference. I’ve got to get it right.

Anyway, I’ve decided that the ideal handbag for me would have to be a bloke and I mean a real bloke. We’re talking ruggedly handsome and definitely with a splash of after shave. I know I’m skating on very thin ice talking about handbags as men and I’ve knows a few friends who have borrowed “a suit” for a function but never a handbag! I certainly intend no disrespect.

Anyway, my handbag had none of these manly features. Indeed, it is a Fossil. This doesn’t mean that it’s geriatric or that it was excavated from the cretaceous period. That’s a brand name and a good brand name. That, of course, meant that my beloved handbag has a price tag of $25.00 which in op shop terms is top of the line…expensive!

At $25.00 this not so common handbag had to do the big sell if it was going to have a snowflake’s chance in hell of coming home with me…especially because I’m trying desperately hard but not very successfully to save money. Moreover, as I said before, I already have enough handbags and if you haven’t worked it out already, my real weakness right now is books…inspirational books! Handbags are rather empty relatively speaking!

I bought the bag. You know I bought the bag. Once again, I am absolutely convinced and in this case beyond any shadow of a doubt, that I have finally found that elusive and exclusive perfect handbag. Now, my ideals probably differ from yours…each to their own. That’s to be expected. However, this time I know I’ve finally found IT…the 100% perfect handbag and I didn’t pay full price for it either. Couldn’t find the same bag online but equivalents sell for $300.00! Well done!

Just let me share a few of the features with you.

The bag has a leather exterior with a strong 2cm wide leather strap which can go across my body so it’s not constantly falling off my shoulder. There is a zipper on the front with a pocket where I can stick my mobile phone. This small and seemingly insignificant detail is a must. I barely use my phone but it’s almost guaranteed to ring at the worst possible moment when it’s lost in the bottom of some bag and I’m fishing through all sorts of biodegrading junk trying to answer it in time. At this point I’m usually left “smiling” to some stranger who finds my complete and utter disorganisation highly amusing and I feel like shooting the person on the phone for disturbing my inner peace. Why they haven’t introduced legislation to make these external pockets mandatory in handbags? I’ll never know. It’s such a no-brainer although I must admit that I still buy handbags without them.

Inside the bag- fabulous organisation!

Inside the bag- fabulous organisation!

I lift up the magnetic clip to take a look inside. Amazing! I can’t believe my eyes. This bag was made for me. Moreover, it was designed by someone with a real flair for organisation who wanted to help me out of my pits of chaotic despair. Oh how I love you handbag designer extraordinaire! You are beautiful…an absolute angel who’s been heaven sent. This bag has a spot for pens and I can fit my notebook inside so like zap I am ready when inspiration hits. After all, you don’t want that pearl of wisdom to just pop out of your head as quickly as it popped in. You need to trap it…fast!!!

Wow! This bag is absolutely fantastic. There’s even room for a novel and it also has slots for my business card, other cards and a zipper pocket for my keys. It will be absolutely perfect for business networking events as well. I am about to become supremely and absolutely organised. It is unbelievable and all for just $25.00.

I also make a mental note that the notepad mini which Geoff gave me for Christmas should also fit in this bag if only I could use it. I hate to admit it but my response reminded me of when we gave my grandfather an electric typewriter for his 70th birthday. After a brief appearance, it returned permanently to its box. I have to confess that I haven’t seen my gadget since Christmas Day…

I guess there is always room for improvement!