Friday, 17 June 2011

A Haaandbaaag!!!?

There was talk on the TV today (This Morning) about how much women will now spend on a designer handbag, with figures going into the thousands.
Now, I love a handbag as much as the next woman and those who have read my book will know they feature a couple of times - from the ooh-ing and aah-ing over the much sought after Hermes Birkin to Libby’s much loved Maisie bag - but thousands of pounds on a handbag?  I’m sorry, it doesn’t sit well with me.
Children are starving and women happily prance around with an armful of designer ostrich or skin from an unborn alien’s backside. It’s become the male equivalent of arm candy and is equally stomach turning.
Now I  think I have it right.  Loads and loads and loads of handbags from charity shops, car boots and good old TK Maxx if I need something new!  I never feel guilty when I go off them because I know I haven’t broken the bank and, if I want to swop my bag every day, I can.  Women have been known to covet a particular handbag of mine - do I tell them it cost me a couple of quid at Oxfam?  Hell, yes!  I love to see them squirm! 
My favourite handbag story involves being broke at Christmas and eBay.  Picture this … Christmas approaching, husband unemployed, no money for son’s presents.  Time to offload on eBay.  Rummaging through my wardrobe I came across what I believed to be a fake Chanel cocktail bag.  You know the type, square, quilted, with gold clasp and chain handle.  I was given this bag by my brother-in-law’s brother, who had acquired it from a young lady many years ago.  Complicated, I know, but it’s the truth.  Anyway, I’d used this bag many, many times and had grown bored with the slightly 80’s look.  After a little research, my husband discovered it wasn’t a fake at all but a genuine Chanel (it had the little holographic label stitched in the inside lining).
We decided we’d be happy if it went for forty or fifty quid - a nice little amount to start off the Christmas savings. Well to cut a long story short, after much excitement and frantic bidding, it sold for £170!!! 
I did feel a little sad as we posted it to its new owner.  It had been to many a “do” with me, and to my knowledge was the only designer item in my wardrobe, but our time together had come to an end.  No time to be sentimental - time to convert to cash.
Another anecdote comes from my lovely, elderly gynaecologist.  Not the usual place you’d expect to be discussing handbags, but we’re not talking bog standard gynae here - we’re talking cuddly Father Christmas type (complete with flowing white beard) who goes out of his way to make his patients feel at ease.
 So, routine check up complete, as I’m dressing, Father Christmas piped up, “I always say to my lovely wife, it must be so frightfully difficult being a woman.”
 “Aahh,” I thought, “How sweet, a man who truly understands what we women go through!”
“Yes,” he added, “It must be such a chore having to match all those shoes with all those handbags!”
Father Christmas has retired now but his little joke lives on with me.
So, designer ladies, as you stroke your obscene piece of couture fashion, I place my latest acquisition (£3 from a jumble sale and totally gorgeous) on the breakfast bar stool in my kitchen.  Another habit of mine - any new bag will take pride of place there for a few days. It can be easily viewed as I go about my chores, admired from on high and I can pat myself on the back for my cleverness.

There's bitching, Botox and designer bags in my novel, Diary of a Mummy Misfit - on Amazon for Kindle or PC.

Now also available in paperback at Lulu.

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