Handbag-induced self-reflection

Confession: I purchased another designer handbag in Paris. It was a totally unplanned purchase. I wasn’t in the market for a new handbag because: (1) I have more bags than I have time to use them (I only get to use my good bags on the weekends, I can’t use them at work);  (2) I just bought what could be considered an “investment” piece a couple of months back; and (3) I didn’t even like this bag when it first came out. Despite the fact that everyone else was going gaga over this particular bag, it wasn’t really my thing, I actually thought it looked a little funny at first. And it’s not like the design grew on me over time. I was, on the whole, quite indifferent to the bag.

I saw it on the shelf in Galleries Lafayette, tried it on for fun, since it was a notoriously difficult bag to find, so I might as well take it for a spin, right? I liked what I saw on the mirror but I didn’t buy it right then and there. At that point, I was just pleasantly surprised that it looked nicer than I thought it would. But, man, I never should’ve tried it on. I thought about it more and more, and alas, a couple of days later, I was at the brand’s store on Rue François 1er, just trying to see what other colors the bag came in (or so I told myself). They only had display pieces that they were not allowed to sell, and was told to come back the following week, when new pieces were scheduled to come in. I came back. Three times. And on the last day, the day before I left Paris, the SA took pity on me and sold me one of the display pieces.

I was happy. I still am, I love the bag. I don’t have anything like it in shape and in color, the bag itself is very distinct, and the leather is gorgeous. The inside of the bag, entirely in lambskin, is lovely and luscious. And the smell. That wonderful, intoxicating (really, it is) leather smell. It is seriously the best-smelling leather ever.

I got to use the bag a few times already. It’s rather heavy, for one thing. For another, I’ve always been a shoulder-bag kind of girl and I haven’t gotten used to carrying a bag on the crook of my arm (what do you do with your hand, anyway?). Take those two factors together… and I’m having second thoughts about the bag.

Old habits die hard: this photo links to the NAP page for handbags. Haha.

But I couldn’t bear parting with it… which brings me to the questions. Why not? If it doesn’t suit my lifestyle, if it has its downsides, why keep it? Do I really love the bag, even I find it such a hassle to carry sometimes? I didn’t use to like it, so what’s with the sudden 180? Did I just hound the SA, Caroline, for the thrill of the chase? Do I really love it, or do I just like the fact that I have a handbag that is reportedly harder to find than an Hermès Birkin?

And all those questions actually boils down to just one: am I really THAT shallow and materialistic already, that I’ve basically been brainwashed by all the bloggers and photos I’ve seen into liking and buying a bag I didn’t like in the first place, will rarely use and had to trek all over Paris like a madwoman to find?  Did I actually buy the bag because of what people will think when they see me carrying it?

Ok, so that was more than one question. I’m afraid to find out the answer to all of them anyway.

PS: I didn’t  realize people would be curious about which bag (honest!) until I saw the comments. I didn’t name the bag , not because I’m being a tease (haha!), but because I don’t feel comfortable advertising my purchases and belongings. If you really want to know, I can let you know privately via email (which would require you to put a valid address on the comment form), or via DM on Twitter if you follow me. I know it seems the same as putting it on the post, but for me it isn’t. I’d rather answer only when asked and privately, at that. 🙂

image from net-a-porter.com

Are people fasting or just dieting?

Daphne Oseña-Paez asked this question on her Twitter account a couple of days ago, and I think it’s a valid question. If you fast and abstain over Lent but have a weight loss target to meet, is it still counted as a sacrifice?

Fasting and abstinence is supposed to be a form of penance for our sins, a form of sacrifice. While it is a sacrifice for a person to eat less food or not eat meat, if the end goal is to lose weight and, by extension, look better, then where’s the penance in that? How is it still counted as sacrifice if you still benefit in the end?

Of course I’m not saying people shouldn’t fast and/or abstain over Lent. Neither am I claiming to be some sort of expert on theology or religion. But there is something amiss if, when fasting/abstaining, forgiveness for sins is not the only motivation.