My first love… was a handbag😘
I first met my true love during the summer of 87′ in Memphis TN. I was 16, and I was back to school shopping by myself for the first time. EVER…… This was a frightening task for me, because I was a late bloomer. Until that year, I enjoyed playing barefoot in the grass, tunneling to the center of the earth and sleeping. IN THAT ORDER. I seriously thought I was a boy well into middle school. Letting go of my yearly Girl Scout summer camping trips was very hard. But evidence was mounting that indeed I was a girl. I was entering high school, and in this before mentioned barren scape of style or personal identity; my mother gave me $125 and sent me back to school shopping.
I am conservative by nature, something I didn’t know about myself until that day. So instead of heading to the mall like any normal teenage girl, I went the opposite direction. Downtown Memphis. Downtown shopping is not trendy shopping for sure. It is the absolute destination of someone who’s style is classic/conservative. I didn’t know this, I was just heading to my favorite place and it wasn’t the mall.
When I arrived downtown, there was only one place I wanted to go…Goldsmiths department store. It was the only place in all of Memphis that was Anti everything, that I hated about being a teens in the 80’s. You’ve seen the pictures right? And the sitcom. No really. If you were a black in the 80’s, and your parents were still together. You fit in one of the Cosby kids archetypes or you and your family will aspire to be one of the archetypes represented. His name is Dr. Bill Cosby EdD, let’s not forget. He’s all about childhood archetype, as teaching tools. Fat Albert anyone…
Anyway, first on my journey. I ducked into the boutiques on Main Street. To this day, I dream of those boutiques. The styles that were to adult for me, the French fashion. Yes, that $125 refused to be spent in those boutiques.. Then the time came, I was there. Standing in the cool doorway, welcoming me in from the hot muggy Tennessee summer. I went in. Nothing in the real life had prepared me for the experience of being a “true” customer with money in hand. I walked row after row of apparel. Ignoring the sales clerk like the older women. Brushing them off with cool comfort. Even the ones who were racist, didn’t know how to take this level of confidence. At 16 years old that $125 made me feel like a millionaire. Like, I was equal to any grown woman there. But, there was a problem, there was nothing there for me. I had no style at that point and I didn’t like what was in fashion. I became so frustrated. I started to feel that I had just wasted my last Saturday before school started, daydreaming at Goldsmiths. Then I turned the corner. and it was if a new side of me was born. In that moment I felt something I had never felt before. Excitement,joy, astonishment all in a moment. In my future I would call it an orgasm. But on that day it was excitement over a material object. Until that point in my life a handbag had no meaning. But I was awestruck at the sight of a beautiful little thing. I have heard that drug addicts say the first time they took drugs. It was their highest high. That is the only way to explain the feeling I had that day, looking at that red Italian leather doctor handbags. I approached her with awe and love.
I have never felt that way, before or since about a bag. There among the many pretty, pretty bags, I found love❤️. He was a Italian burgundy leather doctor bag. It was smooth, suave and not everywhere. It also cost $124 with tax. I purchased it, and walked the seven miles home on that muggy Tennessee day.
Monday, the first day of school, I did not have on new clothes. But I got more compliments that school year, than I had ever received in my life up to that point. Same me, same clothes, new bag. And everyone noticed. I had found my style me, my fashion identity as a woman. I was a Purse girl. I dress around my bag. I found my hand bag choice was the one piece I needed to pull me together. My clothes were not old fashioned like my sister said. The Same clothes were now acceptable. Somehow, the fact that I had this gorgeous expensive bag, made everything about me make sense to people and to me. At that point, I started to make decisions that followed me for the rest of my life. I alway choose quality over quantity when it came to clothes. I alway choose my outfit to compliment the bag.
I’m a Bag Lady.