I’ll never forget when we first met. There I was, minding my own business, walking through the mall, when I happened to glance at the store to my left- there it sat- encased in glass, sitting atop a shelf: The Coach holiday patchwork tote purse. I felt giddy elation as I dragged an unwilling K into the store with me. It was absolutely gorgeous in every way. Large enough to tote, but stylish and feminine. I could see myself wearing dark blue jeans, a black long sleeved shirt, so simple, yet instantly perked up by the presence of this lovely handbag. A purse that wouldn’t just go with my outfits, but would make my outfits. I knew I had to have it. As I reached out for it Kashif walked up to me holding a tiny little wallet with an incredulous look upon his face: $150 dollars for a wallet?! Its smaller than my hand! The wind beneath my wings began to falter: If the wallet was $150 how much would the purse be? Some of you might be thinking: Aisha its a coach purse! How much do you think it costs? Well, you must understand that though I absolutely adore purses, and they are my favorite accessory I stick to TJ Maxx and Ross for my purse buying needs. I doubt I’ve ever paid more than $40 for a purse. I live within my means and if a cute 9 west purse from Ross will do the trick and look nice too, why spend more? Sadly this led to a sheltered life from the elite purse world that would giggle themselves silly at the sight of a Ross purse. Thus I had no idea how much a Coach purse would cost and this purse was decidedly not $40. Not even on the same planet as $40. I tried to rationalize how it might be worth it, but somehow reason could not accomodate such a purchase. How could I have fallen in love with an unattainable item?
Six weeks later, walking through the mall with my little brother I saw it again- this time sitting in the center display of the Dillards Coach pagoda. He was unimpressed: “It looks like a hobo waded through the garbage behind the Coach factory and stitched up the scraps to create a purse” My father sympathised, “it must be very expensive, is it $100?” (And it is for this reason I haven’t listed the actual price of said purse)
Then came Eid. After Eid Salat and breakfast brunch, we sat in the living room surrounded by gifts of varying degrees of gift wrapping perfection. One by one the packages went: my brothers with their matching polos, my dad and his calender mouse pad, my mom and her leather bound address book, Jadore perfume for me. One by one the packages went and finally there were none left. Just as we were about to go for our 98th cup of tea for the day, Kashif smiled saying there was one more gift. From behind a cushion came a Macy’s bag- my heart stopped for at least a second- there it was, in all its splendid glory, my purse.
My family was astonished. I’m not a brand name junkie. I’m definitely not sophisticated enough to be a Coach purse aficianado. Vat happened? I still have not removed the tag and only model it in the mirror with gentle care. Should I return it? Should I keep it? Though the coach website says it can be used year round, when I asked the coach sales clerk if I could she paused (possibly suppressing laughter) and then politely said Well, though there is no law against wearing it year round…. I would not recommend it. That much for a fall winter bag? But I reason: 1) I am careful with my expenditures 3) In my twenty-something years on earth I have never wanted something this unnecessary but fun and pricey 4) It is a gift 5) I really love this purse. Its a conundrum indeed, but just maybe purse, you are finally home.