The Goddess Speaks
Female generations linked by love of purses
MY MOTHER'S a bag lady. Not the kind you see hanging out in front of 7-Eleven asking for money or food. No, she is a much different breed. She's all about the purses. For her it's all in the bag.
She always carries a fantastic purse. She loves bright colors and woven materials with various sassy decorations. Usually expensive and tasteful, as well as eye-catching and brilliant, reflecting her own bright smile and confident demeanor.
She is well put together from head to hand.
I'm just not like that. Growing up, she taught me that shoes, purse and belt should always match. I have taken that to heart. I own a black purse, a beige one and a brown one with requisite matching shoes and belts. No variation. My friend Teresa accused me of being too matchy. I'm cursed.
It's my daughter who takes after my mother. It skipped a generation -- like having twins. But this 9-year-old girl expresses her genetic predisposition to a predilection for bags in her own special way.
We were in Sports Authority picking out equipment for her new foray into the sport of baseball. She had to have exactly the right bag to store her stuff. That's when it hit me. She is truly her grandmother's child. For Malina the uniform or costume is not complete without the bag that goes with it.
As I pulled down the nylon duffel with extra zippered pouches for bat, helmet and ball, I flashed back to when she was 4 and we signed up for her first activity, ballet. We ordered the pink leotard, tights and she HAD to have the pink ballet bag. I thought it was an age thing and really cute, so I didn't resist. Of course, ballet lasted only four months, but the bag thing has endured.
For school she has a variety of choices: the wheeled case, the messenger bag and the regular backpack with requisite zippers and pockets.
Most of the storage space in her room is devoted to these and more. There's the hula bag next to the old ballet bag, a basket of purses and zippered pouches and a special suitcase that says, "Going to Grandma's." You can guess who bought that for her. It's bright and sassy like both of them.
I read somewhere when she was younger that it is a security thing. Carrying a bag of stuff provides some sort of connection to home and, thus, a sense of security. So I figured that it was certainly more appealing than my daughter dragging around a blankey.
These days, I like to interpret it differently. I like to imagine that it is not only my daughter's unique sense of style and need to have each outfit absolutely complete, but also a direct connection to her grandmother.
Just like my daughter, it is not only form that my mother carries. It is function, too. Her purses are not small. They must be big enough to carry what she needs, which is a collection of lipsticks and medicines and Kleenex. In the far reaches of my memory, I can recall that if I needed ANYTHING, she had it in her purse.
That's what I see in these ever-present bags that bind these two generations that surround me. These two females are both complete and prepared. My mother and my daughter share what often eludes me, but something I certainly admire in them. And for these two fashionistas, it's all in the bag.
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