After a life-long pursuit for a purse that will carry all, Sarah-Kate has come to the realisation that she must reluctantly give up the hunt. She unpacks the reasons why.
I’ve finally given up my life-long search for the perfect handbag, but not because I’m tired of looking. Oh no, a nerd like me could never rest in peace with a challenge like that floating out in the ether.
It’s more that I’ve realised there is really no such thing. Turns out my mission has been flawed from the get-go because I’ve been looking for a single all-purpose bag that will take me from the Kumeū New World to the five-star eateries of New York City (okay, three-star) from here until eternity.
That’s because things go wrong when you use more than one handbag. Who among us hasn’t locked themselves out of the house, the car, the office, the school room full of hungry children because their keys are in the other bag?
My worst handbag disaster did occur in New York, actually. I was researching a novel and had to get a bus to the Hamptons, where I had rented a car and was planning to drive to Shelter Island, a setting in the book.
I tipped everything out of my trusty handbag of the time and into a backpack – never my best look, but needs must. But on the bus when the conductor came to get my fare, I realised I had left my credit card in the other bag. Merde! Luckily I had cash for the ticket, but I was not able to rent the car and in the end had to borrow an old clunker of a bicycle and wheel myself around the Hamptons in the searing hot sun – with everything plus the kitchen sink in my backpack because I thought I would be in a car.
Worse, I got sunburn.
Worse than that, when I got home late that night I found the credit card in an outside pocket of the backpack.
This would never have happened if I could fit everything in the perfect handbag. But here’s the rub: the perfect handbag will never hold all the normal things plus a computer, a notebook, a hat and the sunscreen you should always take with you. It’s a no-win situation.
The perfect handbag will never hold all the normal things plus a computer, a notebook, a hat and the sunscreen you should always take with you
Since then, I have broken the handbag situation down so that I have a smaller across-the-shoulder bag that just has the essentials, and if I need anything else I take a tote, which everything falls out of the moment it falls on its side, which is all the time.
Anyway, I have to say the smaller across-the-shoulder bag has been something of a triumph for the past three or four years. But now that I have a puppy, it’s being stuffed with leads, poop bags, bone-shaped rawhide and bits of dried chicken liver.
Also, for reasons I can’t quite explain, the last two times the Ginger has lost his car keys, he has found them in with the chicken liver. And once, his wallet.
I guess I’ve pretty much reached the stage where if it’s not tied down, in it goes. But I now know that swapping it for something bigger won’t be the answer, because the puppy will grow up and I won’t need the rawhide, computers will be replaced by something the size of your fingernail and the Ginger will get his own manbag. Although the former will happen far sooner than the latter.