...or tries to...

Monday, January 9, 2012

Collections: Pursenality




I was never much of a handbag girl, maybe because I grew up in a 1920's house. This really does make sense-1920's houses had small closets, tiny closets that did not foresee the future of 1970s middle class families with more than one week supply of clothes, or shoes, or handbags. My Mom had a normal number of purses for her time, but, crammed into tight spaces, they avalanched on top of her every time she searched for the one in the back. It was a constant source of amusement for the rest of us, that tumbling sound, the soft cry of dismay, and I swore, as a black-clad 80's teen, I wouldn't ever need anything more than a backpack, or something like the grey laundry bag that Ally Sheedy dragged around in The Breakfast Club.

But we change. We grow. Or, our closet space does. And somehow, that indispensable accessory, the thing that sends you into a phantom-limb panic when you don't feel its weight on your shoulder, becomes a symbol, a banner. I don't like status bags, I still don't get them, but the older ones tell a story-vintage gifts from Mom, from friends, anonymous hand-made pocketbooks found for two dollars, the beaded purse my mother carried with her on dates, and she saved, in a way, just for me, the daughter she couldn't have known she would have.















6 comments:

Eartha Kitsch said...

Love this post. And your purses. I hate carrying purses but have about a zillion because I love them. It doesn't make sense but that's how it goes. :)

Amy said...

It never makes any sense, doesn't it? I'm pretty sure that in the mythical time when we look back-(though I think that if I'm at that looking back point, I'm probably too preoccupied with being really pissed that there's no more "forward" top look towards). Wait, that was a downer. Anyway, when we're looking back, I'll bet the stuff that made no sense was the stuff we would do over and over again. I barely use any of these bags-doesn't that figure? Though if I ever lose my home, I can live in the first one-that sucker's pretty big.

Daydreamer said...

You have a Lovely collection, Amy.... all with such Pursenality! As with Jewelry... I have ones I never use... or only use once or twice... I keep TRYING to downsize to one condensed lightweight SMALL carry-all... but then it won't Carry-ALL! LOL! I never seem to get past that feeling that I should be able to have "everything I need" at my fingertips no mater where I am!
Changing handbags can bring on the trauma of lost "identity"! Until I figure out where everything goes in the new one... I'm always thinking I forgot something...!
I especially like all your beaded bags..... possibly because their impracticality makes them like a rare jewel ... or a flower... fragile... and purely decorative!

Amy said...

B., I'm exactly the same. I know I should wear more of my things, but I'm still running out of the house carrying the poor sad old handbag that wants to be retired so badly I can almost hear it cry out in protest. Plus the routine of transferring everything, down to the ball point pen and the three colors of lipstick and the loose receipts, from one old sad bag to the other, because if I don't, there will be a huge collection of abandoned disposable junk in every bag I own. They're a pain, men don't know how lucky they are. They're much more beautiful as decorations for the shelf or the chair or the back of the door! Handbags, I mean, not men.

Sans! said...

Oooooooh, vintage bags, how I LOVE them! I am not ashamed to admit, I have more than 100 of them! :) Would you believe I collected all of them in the span of 1 year. ALL from ebay (mostly US)!

No Chanels or Guccis for me either, no thank you. Beaded bags for you , sculptural ones for me. Extra long (the longest I own is 21 1/2") clutches especially.

People hang their paintings on the wall, I have Francois California "architectural" bags in 4 colours on mine :). I told myself I had to stop when I ran out of space for them.

I use to change my purses to match my outfits not so long ago when matchy matchy was totally out of fashion. These days I just carry a bag that was touted to be indestructible , very modern and huge. Sadly, only spiders reside in my vintage bags now.

Amy said...

Sans, I didn't know you are a purse collector!And now I must look up Francois California bags. Even the name sounds intriguing. And, by the way, those are very very lucky spiders.