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February 1, 2022

LINK to my published story & a purse debate under 500 words

I had no plans to post today, but then I got the link to my published story . I couldn't wait to share. Translation:  I'm posting 4 times this week. Hopefully that's good news, but also hoping that doesn't mean your fingers get too tired from commenting and you've got nothin' left by Thursday's post. 

Old faithful
Two things:  

1.  the link to my published story, hope you enjoy - no rush. Read at your leisure.

2.  looking for input on my great purse debate:

I'm not really big into purses. If I buy one, I want it to last. Then I wear it until it's an eyesore, because choosing another purse, ugh. I don't like to spend a TON on purses, because aforementioned 'NOT INTO PURSES' thing, but I buy a good brand so it'll last. 

For the past few years, I've carried around an athletic Adidas bag as my 'purse'. It has space for stuff, like a book and snacks. Sufficient pockets. It also survives when I spill a water bottle on it at the airport. 

birthday purse
When I need to look like a grown up, I carry either a black purse or a brown purse. I like them both. They function just fine as needed, and are both fairly new.

My brown purse that lives in my
 closet and agrees to accompany
 me places if I need to
look sophisticated.

A few days before my birthday, Coach asked me what I wanted. Hmm. I didn't really WANT anything . . . other than a girls' weekend with my blog friends, but that was a tall order. I wondered if maybe I should get a purse that could handle more stuff, like my faithful Adidas bag. Something more 'real'.

My black purse that waits in my
 closet until it is called upon.
Coach and Curly bought me a purse (see above 'birthday purse'). I like it, but is it THE ONE?

Another option: new
 big purse,
1/2 price, no less
I worry that I need to love a purse. What if I see one that I like better tomorrow? It's like buying a house, even though it's nothing like buying a house. Get me? I won't buy a purse again in forever, so it needs to be perfect amazing. 

Should I not even start on wallets?
I really like this 'wristlet' - maybe
 I'm meant to carry an
athletic bag and a wristlet?
Then I can grab my wallet
 when I run into a store.
I bought ANOTHER purse to help make up my mind complicate things. It's maybe TOO big. It would come in handy if I was taking the train into the city to meet my publisher. That's not a thing yet. Dare to dream. It was half price and such soft leather. Look at me, oozing about a purse, of all things. 

Then I remind myself, I probably don't need a purse big enough for a book or a manuscript or GF snacks to sustain me, because I'M NOT GOING ANYWHERE. Maybe there is nothing wrong with being more of an athletic tote carrying type. 

Thoughts? 

*I still have tags on the two new purses, so I can return both of them, or one of them. Curly knows how I am about deciding these things. She will be fine if I return the one she and Coach picked out. Am I terrible? Maybe don't answer that. 




41 comments:

Amy said...

I'm so ridiculously picky about purses - can't be too big or too small, has to have a bunch of pockets so I can organize my stuff in it, has to have extra room for all the stuff my kids/husband will ask me to carry, has to have a zipper so things don't fall out when it falls upside down on the floor, the list goes on and on. And I don't think you're far off - the list for the perfect purse is similar in length (possibly longer) than the list for our perfect house. lol! I have a dressy clutch, a nicer purse for when I'm going out but it's not too formal, a crossbody for certain situations, and my everyday bag, which is a backpack purse (I like to be hands free). Good luck finding your perfect bag!

Amie said...

I like the birthday bag a lot. I would also get a wristlet, I use mine all the time when I run into the store and don't want to carry a big bag.

Ally Bean said...

I'm into Baggallini Crossbody bags. They're lightweight with lots of pockets, stand up to anything, and come in pretty colors. Of course, I'm not going anywhere formal anymore so they work for me. If I need something leather and fancier I'll use an old purse and say it's vintage. Now I'm off to read your published story. Good job, Ernie

Jeannie Bruce said...

I am the same way. I knew I wanted another Rosetti Crossbody bag (tons of pockets, room for my book and snacks for my kiddo (and a change of clothes in the summer because James is 5 and cant stay away from mud or water) and my inhaler doesn't get too lost in the bottom. It still took me a year to find a pattern I wanted because If I am carrying it everyday I want to like it.

Eli said...

Just because a purse is big, doesn't mean you have to keep it full all the time. If you like it, keep it.... The extra space might be handy sometimes, and other times can be more empty.

me said...

Great story! Your descriptions of your sister brought me straight back to the '80's. I won't say more - no spoilers for others.

I gave up purses a few years ago when I got a smart phone. I just use the wallet type cover and it has my license and credit card. I don't have little kids any more so no need to throw in snacks or diapers. I do have a very ritzy purse given to me by a sister - it's more like a satchel and can carry a lot. I use it as a carry on bag when flying. When I did carry a purse, I did have a big one - usually with room for some pockets. My favorite purse was a black leather backpack - a few zippered compartments but not so big that it couldn't be tucked up out of the way.

Suzanne said...

I used to love purses -- the bigger, the better. But now I just carry my phone around in my pocket. Easier on my shoulders, at least! And much less time spent rummaging!

Congrats on the publication! Love how you bonded with the mailman -- and the description of your sister's hair like a cockatoo is so vivid!!

Kari Wagner Hoban said...

I'm a very simple purse girl. I've never been interested in purses. But I have a crossbody bag that I love since it's the ideal size, fits everything I need, and is washable. I purchased it from Amazon. LOL See? BASIC.

I'm off to read your piece! Congratulations!!

Geralyn said...

I spend a long time deciding on a purse, invest in a good one, and keep it forever. I like the birthday purse.

Busy Bee Suz said...

SO MUCH GOOD STUFF IN YOUR MEMOIR. I am beyond excited for you.
"In my family, the messenger always absorbed the most explosive emotions"
This is just too good. I'm so proud!

Purses. I have a lot of them. The Coach just brought back a lovely one from Mexico last week. I'm a purse whore I suppose as I swap them out here and there. I do prefer a tote type like you have from you Bday. It's so easy to plop a water bottle, mask, snacks, wallet, keys, etc....
then I have smaller cross-body bags for when we're in public places like concerts. *sigh* How do I even remember going to concerts?? It's been forever!

I do think you have to love a purse to use it. If you don't love them, then return them. But, using a bigger tote WITH the wristlet does give you options for when you need to carry more or just the basics. (credit cards, license, cash, etc)

ccr in MA said...

Oh, Ernie, I like your story! (Well, not that YOU got blamed, but you know what I mean.) I could really feel the setting in your writing.

I too am very purse-picky, I have lots of very specific requirements and it is very hard to find one that fits even most of them, let alone all. My current bag is Very Boring, beige both literally and figuratively, but it has all the pockets in all the places I want them, and it's the right size. I have been trying to find one that has at least a little style, but it seems that is incompatible with pockets. I keep looking, but it's hard to keep the faith that I will find the holy grail.

Charlie said...

I love purses (or handbags as we call them :)). I have a few and the older I get the more expensive I seem to like my bags to be. I love your birthday purse, and would definitely keep that one. The wrist bag is also cute. I really like a cross body bag and I like the trend for the leather bag with the thick fabric strap. Just writing about purses makes me want to go shopping for another! Although I do understand the reluctance to settle on one, in case the perfect one is in the next shop/website

Ernie said...

Amy - So happy to know that I am not alone in the search. Some days I want to carry almost nothing, and others I want to have space. Decisions, decisions. When we bought this house, the next day the house behind it when up on the market and I freaked out. What if that house was better . . . turns out it isn't, and it is clearly a slightly bigger decision - but on a much smaller scale my purse decision feels like real estate.

Charlie said...

Loved your story Ernie. Well done. Such evocative writing and a real flair for the interesting details. I was back in the mid eighties with you and willing your mum not to make you the one to pick up the mail! Can’t wait to read that book

Ernie said...

Amie - Thanks for your vote, I am all about the wristlet. I think no matter what I decide, I'm going to keep that. The number of times I have to practically dump my wallet out at the store because I can't find a receipt or my license. It has become an issues. I suppose, cleaning it out regularly would do the trick too.

Ernie said...

Ally - I think I own a Baggallini bag that I do really, really like. I bought it for my trip to Scotland. I loved all the little pockets for passport and such. I like to use that more when I travel, but since we aren't allowed to bring many bags on a plane anymore, I prefer a bigger 'personal item' because I can squish more into it.

Thanks for reading my story.

Ernie said...

Jeannie - Another person who does the crossbody bag. I think that style adds to my slouching posture, or makes me feel bogged down somehow. I have something like that and I do like it, but I don't think I want to carry it everyday. I'm all about waiting a year until I find what I like.

Ernie said...

Eli - I will now refer to you as THE WISE ONE. You make a very good point. I do like that bigger bag, and it can have less in it at times. Why not?

Ernie said...

me - Thanks very much. I can still see things from childhood so clearly. A good memory - sometimes a curse and sometimes a blessing. ;)

I get where you are coming from. I really think I've evolved into more of a wristlet type of person, although I have been fudging my way through with a change purse and it hasn't been pretty. I do like to have a bag on hand that keeps my EpiPen (or whatever thing I need to take with me to my allergy shots all because of the ONE time I almost died, that was forever ago, sheesh). It is freeing not to have to carry stuff for all of the kids anymore.

Ernie said...

Suzanne- I wear a winter coat with deep pockets and that helps me store stuff. More challenging in the summer. I SO like to have less places to have to rummage. Ugh, see - so torn.

Thanks, the mailman cracked up when I explained why I was tracking him. It was very fun to describe the family dynamic to someone who was not part of the dynamic. Felt very 'real.' Thus, my regular blog theme when I discuss my fam.

Ernie said...

Kari - Nothing wrong with basic. I am all about sensible too. I can't decide if it is sensible to own a purse that I might not need or totally love. Decisions, decisions.

Thanks very much. I am excited about it. I wish all the chapters of the book were this polished.

Ernie said...

Geralyn - I am happy to find other people in the same boat, mulling over the purse for so very long. Thanks for voting.

Ernie said...

Suz - Thank you so much. I am taking a small bow. I appreciate your kind words. I feel like the story is full of truth. I did share it with my siblings and parents. Um, crickets. Seriously? I even prefaced it with IF YOU TAKE YOUR 80s SELF TOO SERIOUSLY, THIS MIGHT NOT BE THE READ FOR YOU. My aunt, my mom's sister, was over the moon about it, so was a sister in law who I rarely hear from. Coach was like, IS THERE ANOTHER (INSERT HER NAME HERE) OUT THERE THAT WE ARE GETTING CONFUSED WITH?

I used to try to swap out purses, but it always felt like such a chore. When I have an everyday purse, I sort of 'move in'. I had to sit and absorb your Coach buying you a purse. Without you there? And you like it? That would never happen with my Coach. I laughed at your 'purse whore' description. Hilarious.

Concerts, I barely remember, because we rarely attended them, but that reminds me that I need to share our NYE in a post. It was new territory for us.

I am all about options. You make a good point. I will also have 3 kids in college next year though, and I feel like if I don't love any of them - I should just return them.

Ernie said...

ccr - Thanks very much. I appreciate that so much. I was blamed for a lot. As my aunt said in an email after I shared it: GREAT JOB, MIDDLE CHILD SYNDROME. Yep, that's me.

Yes - I usually end up with a boring purse. You are right, they are tough to find with some interest, or if they have interest they have no space or no pockets. Good luck with your search.

Ernie said...

Charlie - You are cracking me up - wanting to go shopping for a handbag now that we're discussing them at such length. So funny. Look at you, knowing the trend - leather bags with a fabric strap? I didn't even know. It does sound comfortable. I appreciate another vote for the 'birthday bag'. You are exactly right - what if the perfect bag shows up at the next shopping outing. :)

Thanks so much for the high praise for my story. I can't wait to get that book published. I admit, this story is the best out of any of the other chapters. I keep trying to get them all on the same level, but it is hard. I also wrote this as a stand alone piece, and sometimes I feel like the way it is written it might not fit with the other chapters. It would be a good problem to have at some point. Thanks for revisiting the mid 80s with me. What does not kill us, makes us funny - that's my story and I'm sticking with it.

Gigi said...

I used to be picky about purses, prior to the pandemic. I think when this is all over (it will never be over, apparently), I will very seldom carry a purse. I have a nice laptop bag that will serve as my everyday purse when I go back to the office. For everyday use, I just grab my phone, keys and wallet.

Gigi said...

I just read the link - LOVED it! Great job!

Ernie said...

Gigi - I feel like it was around the start of the pandemic that I started carrying a sport bag vs a purse. My sport bag does work for my 'line of work' because I can just grab a few diapers and wipes and fit them in my fool proof bag. I think a nice laptop bag sounds so much more adult.

I'm glad you liked Driving Bird Girl. It is a funny story and I can literally still see my mom ironing in the basement and my sister in the driver seat - some memories just don't fade.

Jeannie Bruce said...

So I just read your story. I love it! It tells a story, has humor. Its like I was there watching it unfold and not just reading about it. How long did it take to fix the mailbox?

Pat Birnie said...

I have never been big on having a lot of purses & changing them out. Typically I had one summer & one winter but often forgot to switch. My criteria is a few pockets but not too many -I need to be organized but not searching multiple pockets for my stuff. I wish I could be the cool non purse person but I now need reading glasses & as I have asthma/allergies, also an inhaler and multiple tissues. I read on an e-reader so that’s easy to carry. I love your beautiful soft leather tote esp at 1/2 price! A couple of outside easy access pockets are the best.

Bibliomama said...

I feel the same way about purses, and then when I find one I love I wear it out and then I am completely bereft that I will never find the perfect one again. I also need them bigger now because I like to carry around my battery operated fan - I went from the giant diaper bag down to something smaller and now going bigger again. I have a Roots bag that I love that came from my mother in law when her husband asked all of the women to go through her room of clothes and handbags (he bought her a Coach bag every time he was in Toronto, which was OFTEN) and take something to remember her by. It's red on the outside and pink inside and has a bunch of pockets and feels like she bought it with me in mind, which is lovely. All to say, I concur that the struggle is real.

Anonymous said...

I like the birthday one best, at least on the outside. For me, a lot of how I judge a purse for myself depends on the interior organization. Or at least, it used to. These days, I rely mostly on a phone with an id/credit card holder attached to the case. As long a what I'm wearing has a pocket, that covers most of my needs.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on being published, great story!!
My opinion on purses is the more pockets the better, way easier to keep track of things and keep it semi organized if everything has a spot. And, seeing as how I currently carry way too many things (my stuff + kid stuff) my bag is HEAVY, so I do have a wristlet wallet that I can grab for just running into stores or whatever, love that and highly recommend it if it works for you.
-AM

Ernie said...

Jeannie - Thanks a million. It is a funny story. I think it took about a week before we had a mailbox set up for him to deliver to. If memory serves.

Ernie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ernie said...

Pat - switching purses for the season - too much hassle for me. I have a hard enough time switching purses when one becomes unusable. I, too, feel like I still need some things - an inhaler and my epi-pen thing. Half price is so hard to pass up, which makes it confusing. Do I want this bag or do I want this price?

Ernie said...

Ali - Yes, I have carried a crossbody bag before that was just big enough for the essentials, like mints and money - but that's not always the amount that I need. I am so glad that you have that special purse handed down from your mother in law. It sounds super cute. I love that you concur. THE STRUGGLE IS REAL. ;)

Ernie said...

Anonymous - Another vote for birthday bag. yes, the pockets - I like how someone else said enough pockets but not so many that I can't find anything. I think I am going to be embracing this wristlet. I just need to find the 15 minutes to put my stuff in it and cut the tag off of it. I'm silly.

Ernie said...

AM - Thanks very much. I was tickled when I got the email letting me know that they'd picked my story. I do think I am going to like the wristlet. I'm essentially trying to do that now, but not pulling it off very well considering that I'm using a change purse as a wristlet.

Karen said...

I vote for keeping birthday bag.

Ernie said...

Karen - Thanks for your vote. ;)