Sunday, March 6, 2011

the silver purse

A Marshall's department store landed in my neighborhood recently. I’m not sure when it opened but about 6 months ago I stumbled upon it and checked it out. I needed a black purse and couldn’t afford full-price so I happily went through the racks. As oftenhappens in those type of stores—Loehmann’s, TJMaxx, Daffy’s—I found the perfect purse but it wasn’t black. Or practical. Or cheap. It was fabulous. Silver. Versace. I fell in love.

OK, those of you who know me are saying Versace? Believe me it was beautiful, not too flashy and looked so good on. It was also $400 and (again) SILVER. I tried to rationalize the purchase and I just could not. It was too big a stretch. I don’t go places I need a silver purse anymore. Sadly, I put it back.

I’ve thought about that purse a lot over the past 6 months. I still want it. Every time I went to Marshall’s I’d look for it—Maybe it’s still there and marked down!—but it was gone. Some lucky chick with more money and a different life is walking around with it. It was kind of a relief to not see it, not have to make the decision not to buy it again. But every time I went back I looked for it just to make sure.

I never saw it again. Until yesterday. It was back. The same one. (It has a couple flaws I had tried—unsuccessfully—to use to negotiate a price reduction that first day.). It was still gorgeous and silver and the price was the same. I felt like crying.

Back when I had a “real” job and a steady paycheck I would have seen the purse and my still- burning desire for it as a sign that it was meant to be mine. Yes, the price was steep but not outrageous. After all, I would wear the purse to work and with jeans on the weekend and feel totally awesome. It would be part of my Spring/Summer look; the signature piece I bought to start the season and tie my wardrobe together. Yeah! I would feel that thrill of buying something wacky but cool. I would look forward to work the next day.

But I’m not that girl anymore. I have no where to take that purse. I would feel stupid wearing it to the playground to pick up the kids. I’d be pairing it with running shoes and 2 grocery bags not the “right” jeans and flats. I’d feel guilty for spending that kind of money when I have a ton of leftover purses that haven’t seen the light of day since I started working from home.

Will I ever be that girl anymore? The one with sparkly dress and an office? The one who wears lipstick and feels just a tiny bit smug cutting out of “family morning” at school to get to work on time. Sometimes I hope so.