Friday, June 11, 2010

RIP Prada Bag

It is time to finally lay my great leather Prada bag to rest. Although I collect shoes with ease and frequency, handbags are another story. Given my preference, I would buy one about once a decade at most. This particular bag has so much history with me that it is hard to say goodbye to it. It is, alas, time.

First, the story: When I made the decision to uproot from Seattle and start my career and life again in California, I got the sweetest note from my favorite saleswoman, Paula,at Barneys, in which she said "Say it isn't so". (Yep, that's how much shopping I guess I was doing at the time!) So I went in to say goodbye to Paula and also to try to use my existing store credit (since there was no Barneys in SF at the time). I arrived at the store in the last hours of the last day of the winter sale, just as a distressed saleswoman was putting out a whole group of atypical Prada handbags which had been misplaced, never put in the sale, and so now were marked down from $1200 to $275. My credit was for $300, so I essentially ended up with an amazing leather bag for free!

I used and abused this bag for about 6 years,never switching it out, watching it become more and more mellow and Lisa-shaped. I got many comments on it and loved telling the acquisition story. It's Prada-ness was never its appeal, as in fact it is logo-free and not at all characteristic of the brand - it just was me. And then it started to fall apart, and I knew it was time for me to begin to search for a replacement, which I eventually found.

Every once in a while I pull that bag out of the back of the closet and give it another try, and really, its life is over and I must let it rest in peace. Of course, I see a metaphor here with my marriage, to which I was dedicated and with which I was associated for so long until it was no longer alive and breathing. And while I tried to resuscitate the marriage, there was inevitably a time to call it quits. The thing I am learning from both my experience with this bag and with my marriage is that perhaps there is another way to preserve a great thing without running it into the ground. Give it a break sometimes. Don't count on it being the one and only in your life. Recognize when it is going downhill and call it, act on it. OK - enough with the metaphors!

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