for the love of purses

Author: angiem, 09 23rd, 2009

My love affair with purses started the summer before first grade.  Upon one of our Sunday afternoon outings in the city center, I was struck dumb by one of the most beautiful sights my young eyes had seen thus far: a red patent leather purse.  Round in shape (this was the seventies) and with an outside pocket containing a little doll, I just had to have one exactly like it.  For the following weeks, I was an obsessed child imploring my parents nicely, and sometimes not so nicely, about my need to get one.

Eventually my wish came true, and with my red patent leather purse I also received a pair of red patent leather Mary Janes.  Imagine my joy!  I wanted to wear the shoes and the purse everywhere.  I suppose that was the origination of my showing off, although it’s hard to tell as I’ve been a show off as long as I remember.  Yet my mom wouldn’t allow it.  They were only for church and visits to friends and family, where they could be properly appreciated.  And because we lived in a communist country and things were difficult to come by, her reasoning made sense.

Over the years I’ve accumulated a variety of purses that have been objects of intense love at one time or another, but which have lately been gathering dust on the shelves.  Yet, I can’t bear to part with them.  The memories they hold are many and precious.  Girlhood, womanhood, motherhood.  Specific moments and specific contents within, are ingrained in my mind.

I suppose there’s plenty of psychological explanations for my love and need of a beautiful purse, yet who cares about all that?  I’m too busy enjoying and loving.


13 Responses to “for the love of purses”

  1. Jena Says:

    I don’t like carrying purses. I prefer my wallet stuffed inside my pocket. I have a few of those seventies purses with the long thin strap.

  2. angiem Says:


    When we came to the US we were taken on a shopping expedition at J.C. Penney’s, and I remember those purses you’ve mentioned. There was a certain one that had two rows of flounces… I really liked it and wanted it, but my mom thought it was better suited for her, not me. Neither of us got it though.

  3. Aurora Says:

    How lovely! I think that saying that one has too many bags is just like saying one has too many shoes, which I call an oxymoron :)

  4. Ligia Says:

    I have read before the editor of a woman´s magazine what is Marie Claire or one of those… and she said exactly like you but with clothes…she remembered each piece like a memory of an important day or time in her life… would love to be that way, but I just forget everything have a terrible memory… enjoy your purses and do not analyze it more!!!! they are your treasures because of what they represent… and that is great….

  5. audrey Says:

    it always amazes me how children really know what they love from the beginning. i can just see you now wearing your red patent leather Mary Janes and carrying your purse. how wonderful is that! i think the thing is not to talk ourselves out of these loves, just to love them.

    hope you keep your purses, i bet they make you smile…

  6. Laura [What I Like] Says:

    Good for you…there’s too much analyzing and not enough enjoying going on today…glad to hear that you have your priorities straight!

  7. Susan Mills Says:

    Kind of like shoes, huh?

  8. Stephanie Faris Says:

    I have no idea when my love for purses started…but some women feel this way about shoes. I feel it about purses. I don’t really collect them. I buy one and use it for a month or two, then take it to a used clothing store and sell it and go buy a new one. The used place doesn’t pay much, IF they buy it, but still, it’s better than tossing it!

  9. Ani Says:

    Lol… I love purses and I love shoes… I love to match my shoes to the purse or visa versa…
    Every time I look at a purse or a pair of shoes, my husband pulls me away because he says… “Where in the world are you gonna put that one?! There’s no more room”
    Still… oh man… the other day I was gonna buy this bright yellow one… it was a round shape… too bad it had a little scratch at the bottom, so I thought that was a sign for me not to get it… ha ha ha..

  10. Miss Cavendish Says:

    I was anti purses all through my graduate career (too many classes on deconstruction and feminist theory, I guess), but now I do like classic shapes. I insist, however, on having only one for spring/summer and one for fall/winter, which I will use until it falls apart. Now shoes: I like choice!

  11. Brittany Says:

    I love purses! This is a great entry….so many women can relate:)

  12. Julie Says:

    Purses and shoes. I don’t think we need to rationalize or explain how love for them to anyone!

  13. Ruth Says:

    I’m a shoe person… I have a few purses but I always use my most recent for a year or so then when I get a new one I go through the older ones to give some away. I do like the vintage ones, though, and there are some I’ve saved that I can’t bear to part with. I have a Vintage Shoes book, I wonder if the author has a Vintage Bags one. Enjoy them, life is short and we make do with the little things that give us a little pleasure even if it’s only temporary. At least you can go through them every once in a while and enjoy the memories.

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