Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Quest for...

I am, by nature, a hunter. (Raccoons One and Two from previous posts can attest to that.) So when I want something, when I have it in my crosshairs, so to speak, I pursue it with determination. Thus begins a series of blogs about my quests.

Quest number one:

The perfect purse.

Don't laugh. If you're a woman (and perhaps a man with an eye for the just-right wallet) you know what I mean. We all harbor the fantasy of one last purse, one that will do us until one of us gives out and the other is sent to Goodwill--or on another search.

I was raised in the era of matching purse, shoes, and outfit. So I got used to several purses and changing all the things a teen of the '60s needs to switch when going from one look to the next. But somewhere along the way, I got tired of that and besides, money on my newlywed budget didn't fit the ratio of one purse: one outfit, so I settled on a summer purse and a winter purse.

Purses were simpler 30 years ago. I didn't need a cell phone pocket. I didn't mind carrying one with handles rather than a shoulder strap. But about the time I incorporated a diaper bag into the mix, I gave up on handles in favor of a shoulder strap. When cell phones first came along they either had their own unwieldy bag or were so large (think World War II radio handset) that a purse had to be large itself to hold them. No pocket could.

I've had expensive purses and cheap knock-offs of expensive purses. I've had zippers break, snaps come off, fabric soil until I was embarrassed by it. I've been through Saks and Dooneys . Several years ago, by accident, I picked up a brown leather Liz Claiborne with a shoulder strap, a center zipped section and two side pockets that wouldn't hold much but would do for the odd piece of paper. Inside, there were a zipper pocket and two pockets on the other side fit for a cell phone. And I carried it all winter. I just couldn't do it in the spring and I opted for a Fossil with basically the same arrangement. And I carried it all summer. Pulled out the Liz and it had definitely seen its day. Found a winter Fossil. I was on a roll. Until I couldn't find a summer one and switched to Etienne Aigner .

It should be noted that these were continually ooching up the price ladder.

Etienne began to show his age and I had to try again. Armed with the determination to quit all this winter/summer stuff, I spent over 2 hours at a large mall and emerged victorious with my new best purse, a Brahmin .

While I intend to carry it year round, it is not perfect. There is only one outside pocket, the snap on it is not magnetic, and the zipper required two hands to pull it closed until I sewed a block stitch half-an-inch from the end.

I've even invested (yes, that's the right word at this level) in a wallet to match. And I don't plan on going on a quest again. I've seen how my friends' Brahmins have held up over years. This could be it. I could be set.

But I'm not holding my breath.

Next: The Quest for the Perfect Iron

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