Friday, August 21, 2015

Portrait Of The Blogger As A Young Woman: A Purse Retrospective

I got a kicky new handbag for my birthday.  It's big and rugged and up-for-adventure.  It makes me feel like I should fill it up with a camera that takes film (if I still had one) and  my (blank) passport for a spontaneous excursion to some new locale instead of remembering to pack a Pull-Up just in case as I slide into my sleek mini-van with the peeling roof liner and make tracks for kid pick-up.  I'm a girl with a new bag and it makes me feel good.

As I was toting around my new accessory, I remembered the first work bag I bought for my teaching internship.  It was a black, pleather messenger bag that had a compartment for files and I felt so grown up and purposeful carrying it.  I was an adult, and my bag proved it.

And I can't help but smile this time of year at all the fresh, clean book-bags and lunchboxes, carefully adorned and filled by anxious parents and worn by too-small people.  This bag has ballerinas and that one has Batman and each is a little representation of the wearer.  Whimsical, adventurous, silly or studious: the things we carry speak to who we want to be.

I've carried plastic Barbie cases, and then little girl purses that resembled the style worn by grown ladies. I got my first "status" purse around 12.  (Remember Liz Claiborne? Was that not the ultimate in Middle School Cool?) I moved on to the Jansport years of high school and college.  I've never been able to drop triple-digits as an adult on some truly drool-worthy bags, but I happily received one on my most recent birthday.

The Liz Bag. Mine was beige.  The first thing I put in it was Raspberry Extra Gum and daydreamed
that I would snatch it as I ran to meet the The Man (Boy) I Loved In The Nick Of Time.
I was 12.

Pretty close the bag I carried in high school. Thank you, Ebay picture.

My New Bag Identity- The Explorer Tote Crossbody.

The bag isn't overly fancy or ornate-- it's made well, with strong materials.  It's subtle and up for anything.  And like those ballerina backpacks on mini-mes, this new bag exudes what I hope this next year is for a year-older me: stable, prepared, and ready for new things.  And cute.  Because above all, a girl wants to be cute, no matter the age.  If clothes make the man, a purse makes the woman.

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