“Hello, my name is Stacey. I have a handbag fetish.” There. I said it. It’s my first step to recovery. But who really wants to recover from loving handbags? I’m not hurting anyone. Why should I stop? Of course, it’s not just in the loving. It’s in the buying. I own 30 bags of all different sizes, shapes and colors. Those bags do not include luggage, canvas totes, beach bags (3 I used to live at the shore, remember), duffel bags, backpacks, computer bags (2) or lunch boxes. (I just bought a really cute lunch box that looks like a satchel with black and pink stripes.)
I have never given away a handbag I have owned. Unlike clothes, books, comforters, and furniture, which I have donated when they no longer served me, but have plenty of life left to help someone else. I can’t part with my bags. I have the very first Coach bag I ever owned bought for me as a birthday gift from the Coffee King 25 years ago. I can’t get rid of it. One it’s a Coach bag. Two it was bought for me by my super cute then boyfriend. Handbags, baby, are romantic.
Just yesterday, I was in Kohl’s buying a birthday present for my ninety-year-old grandmother. I swung by the handbag department and found a really cute bag with lots of pockets. I love a bag with lots of pockets. Do you know how much organizing I can do with all those pockets? And it had a pouch that pulled out for separate use. Fun! I refrained from buying. Handbags were not my goal. I bought my gift and went home.
Only to keep thinking about that bag. How useful it would be when I attend a writer’s conference next month. Not that I needed it, mind you. I have bags for that. But I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I looked at the bag online just to make sure I still liked it. The bag was on sale and I had two coupons. Someone told me once, ask myself “Do you love it?” when making a purchase. If you can’t say yes, don’t buy it. By 7:30 last night I was back in Kohl’s.
Handbags have been around since the 1500s. Men and women used them because clothes hadn’t been made with pockets yet. By the end of the 16th century, and the invention of pockets, bags were mostly used by women from then on. You can learn more about handbags at The Museum of Bags and Purses in Amsterdam. Can you believe there is a museum for handbags? Guess what’s on my bucket list!
The things that we like and don’t like really define who we are. It’s no surprise I like something where I can put things. I like wicker boxes and baskets. I love cubbies, built ins, and my jewelry box that has two levels stacked together, the top one with lots of different square sized cut outs to hold necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. It also came with a travel size box with multiple compartments. Everything in its place. To me, that means peace.
So, I can’t attempt treatment for my handbag fetish because handbags are the treatment for my compulsion to organize. Clutter gives me anxiety. Ask my family. They hear me yell.
In my current manuscript, my main character is a woman fondly referred to as “Miss Hospital Corners.” I bet she likes handbags too. I never asked her and she never told me, but I’d take a guess and say yes to that one. Should I give her a few?
What is the one thing you can’t live without? Can’t pass up? What does it say most about you?