Gray Matter


Women and Expensive Designer Handbags

handbagsWhat is it with women and expensive designer handbags? I’d really like to know. As far as I can remember, it all started in 2009 when my wife, Josie, bought two Coach handbags and gave one as a gift to our daughter-in-law. Those handbags weren’t cheap, and they weren’t on sale.

I have watched her browsing online for hours at a time, salivating over Louis Vuitton and Michael Kors handbags. Is it something about the brand names or just that owning expensive handbags is a status symbol or something?

Women and Handbags

When I was growing up, women carried purses. I guess “purse” isn’t politically correct anymore, and they’re called “handbags” or just “bags” these days. I never hear women saying “purse”.

Regardless of what they’re called, women seem to be collectors. They never seem to be satisfied with the ones they already have. I’ve always dreaded going with Josie when shopping at department stores (other than Walmart). She’ll inevitably steer herself toward the section where the handbags are. I’ve lost count of how many handbags she’s owned in the last several years.

I understand the impulse to buy things you want, because I’m the same way when it comes to computer-related items. The difference is that I rarely buy what I want.

The strangest thing about a woman’s handbag is not the handbag itself, but the things they store in them. I think Josie could start a small-scale thermonuclear war with the contents of her handbag. Why else would it take her 15 minutes to dig out something she needs right away?

Men, Wallets and Messenger Bags

When I was growing up, men carried wallets and billfolds. I guess “billfold” lost out to “wallet” over the years.

I don’t know how other men feel about their wallets. It’s one of those things we never talk about to each other. As for me, I feel ripped off if I spend more than $20 on a wallet, regardless of how cool it looks or how functional it is.

In the last 35 years, I’d venture to guess that I’ve owned maybe six wallets, including the one I’m using now. I’ll use a wallet until it starts falling apart at the seams, regardless of what it’s made of. Regular or trifold, the style makes no difference to me. After all, I’m only going to look at when I’m either taking something out of it or putting something in it, and that doesn’t happen very often.

I’ve owned exactly two messenger bags, including the one I’m using now. The first one I bought, in 2015, was actually too small for what I needed it for. I gave it away just before buying a larger one. In the Philippines, I have to carry a roll of toilet paper in it. I prefer washing, and some places that actually have personal hygiene rooms don’t offer any other way, and they’re always out of toilet paper.

A messenger bag serves other purposes for me, like holding my cell phone, my bank savings passbook, my United States passport and my wallet. I don’t like putting things in my pockets, especially my back pockets, when I’m in a place where it really isn’t safe to do so. The point is, my messenger back is purely functional.

Handbag Prices

Back in 2009, Josie told me one of her Coach handbags cost over $300 (once the sales tax was included). After that, I just had to go visit the website to find out what was so great about Coach handbags that compelled her to spend that much on one. I’m sorry, but I wasn’t impressed.

The handbags she’s looked at since then have been in the thousands. Thousands! One she drooled over was priced at over $20,000. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather buy a new car with that kind of money.

Designer Handbag Fascination

There must be something about designer handbags that fascinates women. Or maybe it’s just that women are fascinated by anything they can carry around that’s expensive. I’ll never figure it out.

Ever since Josie started carrying around her designer handbags, other women have stared at them and commented about them. The men just ignore them, like they ignore most things women seem to be interested in.

Regardless of why the fascination exists, I guess us men will just have to deal with it.

Other Designer Items to Go with the Handbags

Josie has to own shoes and watches to match her handbags. If she can find the right ones, they’ll be designer items. Why?

Honestly, there are literally thousands of alternatives to the handbags, shoes, watches and anything else with designer brand names on them. There are many well-known names on less expensive products. I’m talking about the likes of “Guess” and “Fossil” and others I can’t remember offhand.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t care about the money Josie’s spent on them. I just love to harass her about it because everything I wear or carry on a daily basis costs less than $100 anywhere in the world and only one of the things she wears or carries costs more than that.

It’s amusing to me how much people will spend on brand names. I stopped looking at brand names years ago. I live on a fixed income now, and I’m glad those brand names don’t do anything for me. Otherwise, I’d probably end up being broke all the time.

Photo Attribution: Ann-Marie from Pixabay

Author: RT Cunningham
Date: August 29, 2020 (UTC)
Categories: Shopping

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