I love shoes and purses. That’s a fact. So when I realized I’d be in Las Vegas when I turned sixty last spring, I decided I might just treat myself to a new purse. But not just any purse. A Louie. I’ve adored Louis Vuitton purses since I was a little girl turning the pages of Glamour and Vogue magazines. I had always dreamed of owning a real Louis Vuitton purse. So what better place to buy one than Vegas?
As it turned out, Vegas is where I broke things off with Louie. My wonderful agent invited me to lunch at a great Italian restaurant and we decided to shop afterwards. I told her I was considering buying a Louis Vuitton. She got excited and when we came upon the store, I was in awe. I’d visited one of the stores before and knew the drill. The sales associates aren’t very friendly and you don’t dare ask the price of anything. But we went inside and stared up at the beautifully displayed handbags. She received a call from the airline about her flight home and stepped outside. I looked at several purses and wondered which one I could truly afford. But honestly, after the associates glanced at me as if I were an annoying gnat, I got a bit discouraged. I kept thinking of that scene in the movie “Pretty Woman” where Julia Roberts goes to a fancy store on Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles and is treated beyond mean by the associates. Not that I’m Julia Roberts, but I could identify with her. I wanted to go buy a Kate Spade purse and come back and quote Julia. “Big mistake. Big. Huge. I have to go shopping now.”
But I didn’t do that. I looked at all the pretty purses and smiled to myself and thought, “What are you doing? You have purses. And what you’d pay for one of these can buy a whole new bedroom set for your new house. Or better yet, make a nice donation to a worthy charity.”
So I smiled at the not so friendly but surprised associates and said in my best Southern drawl, “Thank y’all so much.” And I walked out the door. We did look at the Kate Spade purses which were at least more affordable, but I didn’t buy one of those either. We wound up in Macy’s where I found a perfectly pretty purse with butterflies on it for half-price. And later I found the matching wristlet wallet and still paid a fraction of what I would have paid for a Louis Vuitton.
So, while I still admire Louis Vuitton purses, I am so over them. And Coach and Michael Kors and maybe even Kate Spade. Why did I want a Louie so much in the first place? To prove to the world I could have one? To make myself feel better about life in general? To show everyone who ever teased me about ugly purses that I could afford more now? Probably a little of all of those things. But I’m beyond all of those things. I’m blessed to have more than one purse and a closet full of shoes. I’m blessed to live in a comfortable home in a country that lets me choose what I want to buy and wear. I’m blessed to write the kind of books I love and I’m blessed to have so many great writer friends to support me and encourage me and to keep me on the straight and narrow. I don’t need someone else’s name on my handbag. I like butterflies on my handbag much better. They make me smile.
Have you ever had a purse crisis? Have you ever bought an expensive purse? What is your favorite purse?
“Throw in your lot with us, We shall all have one purse.” Proverbs 1:14