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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Twixt Virtue and Love: A New Purse??

A STRIFE is grown between VIRTUE and LOVE;
While each pretends that STELLA must be his.

That's by Sir Philip Sidney. The lines just popped into my head, as lines of poetry are wont to do. Was I thinking about grading final exams? No, I was taking a daydreaming break. I was thinking about my new handbag!

So, the strife within me is between virtue (frugality) and love (not physical desire in this case, as it was for Sidney, but for NICE STUFF). That strife is why my blog is often conflicted. I love frugality and even wish I were of the cut WAY back on stuff mindset (like many of the frugality bloggers) but I do enjoy getting things now and again. Even if I don't need them.

So, the purse. I realized last year that I was getting near a big birthday (2014) AND that I had never bought a new handbag. I've gotten them from thrifts and from my mother's donation bags. So I thought I would buy one for my 2014 birthday. Then I decided to get one this year. This is not really frugal since I have lots of handbags from the above sources.

For a few mad moments, I thought about getting an iconic bag of one name or another. But I noticed when I saw these bags carried by various stylish women--here and in France last summer--I did not feel that frisson of desire. Thank heavens for that.

So I started looking at midrange bags, more befitting my midrange life and definitely midrange salary. I now have three bags to choose from: all bought from Nordstrom at between 40-60% off. Since I must resume my grading in a bit, I cannot post pics. But you can see two of the candidates on the blog UneFemme. Pseu has such good taste. (The two are the Astrid and the Candace. The Astrid, probably unfortunately, is in a python print which looks like something Carmela Soprano might carry. so maybe not for me. The Candace is black).

I await the homecoming of my daughter, Miss Em. The rest of the family is of the genre INDECISIVE. fortunately, Miss Em did not inherit this trait. So we all wait for her visits and await her decisions. She's always right. (OK. She was wrong once.)

I got the bags from Nordstrom and will return the losers. Even at 40%-60% off, these bags are a splurge for me. So, not really frugal. Every time I deviate from the frugal path, I fear that I will never return.

I'll let you know what Miss Em decides. She's due for a visit December 23. She may tell me to return them all.


Shelley said...

I could be a member of your family, having the indecisive gene myself. I figure it's saved me a lot of money, looking and dithering and then finally walking away. I was just talking to someone the other day about those lovely little porcelain figurines of shoes that were popular about a decade ago. I never could figure out which to buy - I wanted them all! But not to give over space, dust, etc, so I decided just to admire them in the window.

Good luck with your purse purchase. Bags don't grab me much. Boots are more my weakness and I'm in actually NEED of a new winter coat. Holding out for the January sales and I'm going to pay shipping and duty in British Pounds which will just about double the actual cost of a London Fog coat. They are THE most practical for my needs here in Britain...but made in the US, darn it! I just keep remembering the cost per wear - they last about ten years even with daily wear about 9-10 months of the year.

Duchesse said...

I love thw way the Candace reads, the perfect intersection of softness and structure. I think the Astrid is too "lady" for you, since you wear casual clothes. A python bag would be a nice variation IF you have many other bags and colours. It is so instantly "that bag" that if you carry it a lot you will be sick of it and as your best bag, you don;t want that.

When I read of your indecision I thought of my GF Vicky who worked at Hermes for years. She advised women to not buy the bread and butter black bag when it was finally time for that big special purchase. She said it's too predictable. She advised burgundy, cordovan or grey, a 'different' neutral like red or green.

Just thought I'd contribute her wisdom.

Frugal Scholar said...

@Shelley--The indecisive gene wastes a lot of time for me, sadly. Wish I could bring you a coat!

@Duchesse--Thanks for the advice. This isn't going to be THE bag--just a nice one, of my choosing (rather than best of thrift store or mom's rejects). I'm thinking of getting two, in fact. Just have to step out of the comfort zone. I was thinking of burgundy...

Duchesse said...

Frugal, you remind me so much of my mother, who was beyond frugal but now and again would do something like buy an alligator bag or fur. Then she lived with it happily for eternity. So, if you need anyone to say it's OK, it's OK :)

Burgundy is wonderful-a rich, interesting colour and not too dark for where you live (and will, I imagine, mostly carry it.)

Frugal Scholar said...

@Duchesse--If I'm like your mother, maybe my daughter will be like you! I've bought 3 very expensive things: a rug (when in grad school--still have it), my house, and a big old cupboard. I await my daughter's verdict on the bags--it will be about 2 weeks.