The Similarities Between Dating And Shopping

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 4.29.32 PMI’m not sure if I believe in love at first sight with human beings, but I absolutely believe in love at first sight with inanimate objects. Like this delicious handbag to the left. It’s good, right? The minute it and myself locked eyes, it was over. We had to be with one another … or … I had to be with it. 

And that’s when I decided there really isn’t THAT much difference between finding a really great guy and a really great handbag (Jesus do I sound like Carrie Bradshaw up in this bitch or what). 

The emotions I felt today before purchasing this magnificent beast were all too familiar. The racing heart, the drooling (just a little … :::shifty eyes:::), the feeling of just wanting to hold it and caress it. Video montages of us strolling down the street on a beautiful fall day together playing in my head. You know the drill.  

For example, if I locked eyes with a swoon-worthy dude, I would probably escape as quickly as I could to stalk him on the interwebs to make sure he wasn’t wanted for murder (oh shush, you do it, too). And … you know … just to stare at him a little more. But handbags don’t have Facebook pages. They have product pages on store websites. So I kept a secret tab open all day so I could keep taking small ganders at it.

When you leave a guy after a first date and are in the “flirting stage” of your relationship, there is always a fear that someone better will come along and distract your prey (or am I just a freak?). You’re completely blinded by all these crazy emotions, and find yourself constantly on edge like, “what the eff is happening!?”

In a similar state of fear, I found myself carrying on with my day, forgetting the handbag existed, only to get a moment to myself and think, “wonder if some other bitch scooped up my bag?!” I frantically clicked the tab, and with a sigh of relief saw it was still available. BUT … I placed one carefully in my “shopping cart” just to be safe. On a different note, if only dating was this easy, right? You like a guy, lift him into your imaginary “dating cart”, and boom … you’ve found eternal happiness. (Seriously what is WITH my Carrie Bradshaw vibes today?!)

Then there is that feeling like you’re going to vom. Like his sheer presence in front of you makes you so weak in the knees, you could literally hurl all over him and yourself (hot, right?). Turns out shopper’s remorse has the same effect. I wanted this bag. I NEEDED this bag. It was me in every sense of my being. But it was a little expensive. JUST a little. I believe a purchase over $50 is something you should think about. But much like seeing a crush, the shopper’s remorse was making me want to hurl all over my MacBook. 

And just like making your relationship “Facebook official” or accepting that marriage proposal and gorgeous ring, getting that email that says “your purchase is being processed” after pulling the trigger … well … there is nothing more satisfying in the world. Now all I can do is wait patiently for my love to show up at my door step so I can twirl in circles as I hug it, and Instagram the shit out of it (seriously, I need a therapist), because much like your engagement ring, clearly all anyone cares about is my handbag.

So while I’m clearly no expert on dudes or relationships (really … the Carrie Bradshaw vibes are giving me the heebie geebies), I AM an expert on a good handbag. And while I would say, yeah totally, go out and get it, too. It’s such a good handbag that EVERY woman should have it. I can only say in the nicest way possible, “LAY OFF, LADY, IT’S TAKEN!” 

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You’re SO Fake

fake-louis-vThe other night, I was sitting on a very crowded train with a girl standing next to me with her “Louis Vuitton” tote basically shoved in my face (ahh the joys of public transportation). Normally I wouldn’t oogle a designer handbag, but in this instance, I had no choice. 

The dark brown and light brown checks passed my test, and the brand name was actually spelled right. Perhaps this bag could be real. But when I took a closer look (again, I had no choice) the lining, the weird “leather” dangly thing hanging off the back, the outer rim … the word “FAKE” started flashing in my brain with bright lights around it. 

How do I know all of this? Where did I get these silly skills of being able to decipher if a designer bag is fake or not, especially a Louis? Well … I went to the school of Canal Street in New York City. Literally. During the early 2000’s and the hay day of Sex and the City … you were nothing if you didn’t have a designer bag. And it didn’t matter if you were 13 or 35. 

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I believe I was 15-ish when I had my first experience on Canal Street in NYC. Back in the early 2000’s, before the cops ruined all the fun, you could walk into any kiosk on Canal and find any replica handbag from Dior to Prada and beyond. It was a little crazy how these bags looked exactly like the bazillion dollar ones that lived in stores like Bloomies. And while the 1% were buying them up in department stores, my mom and I were scooping up all of our favorite designers for under $20. 

Looking back, the things we did to score these handbags were a little insane. Like I said, there was a small window of time when you could just go up to any kiosk on Canal Street and pull an amazing fake right off the wall and purchase it. But once the authorities got wind of this, it got a little more … hmmm dicey, to say the least. 

What would you say if a random man who barely spoke English said to you, “Louis Vuitton? Prada? $20 … follow me.” You wouldn’t follow him, right? Because it’s shady and weird, and hello! Stranger danger. 

Well … if you were my mom and I, you would, indeed, follow him. Down the street, around the corner, into another shady kiosk and through a wall that turned into a door that led to a shady back room where all the fakes lived. What? Looking back, I’m really psyched we are alive and not still trapped in that back room. Hey … it could have happened.

:::Mumbles::: years later, the “fake handbag” has kind of lost its luster. Sure, being able to strut around holding a handbag that Beyonce carries is awesome. But like my good friend once said, “ain’t nobody gonna believe a girl driving a hoopdee is wearing Chanel.” And nothing has ever resonated more with me. 

Fake handbags just make me sad now. The lining, the bootleg stitching … and God knows who made them and who is selling them and the conditions they are in to do so. Apparently the whole fake handbag market is bad news and quite frankly, I want nothing to do with it anymore.

While I would sell my own mother on the black market for a Chanel bag (sorry Ma), I now know it is more important to work hard for one … instead of following a stranger through a wall and scoring one for $20 (although at least really funny stories came from it). 

At this stage in my life, I am quite confident when I say I have NO business owning a Chanel bag. I feel like that is just something you will just know when you’re ready to own one. Like, “OMG I have all this money left over after all my bills are paid … WHAT DO I DO?!” Hello, Chanel. Come to Mama. 

And of course, I still have kept a few of my fakes for nostalgic purposes. I think I still have a Prada pencil bag that was my LIFE in high school (again, what is a 15-year-old girl who has a single parent doing with a Prada bag?) and a awful fake Burberry bag. Sigh … good times. 

So while yes, designer handbags are the untouchable candy we so desperately want to indulge in, but sometimes cannot, go visit them in Nordstrom and Bloomies, stroke them, have eye sex with them all you want … and set goals for yourself to acquire one the legit way. But until then there are SO many cool and unique handbags that may not have a designer label, but will make fellow ladies be all, “OMG where did you get that bag, bitch?!” (I mean … that’s how ladies talk, right?)

Let fakes live in the early 2000’s with low-rise jeans and satin tanks and Paris Hilton. Right? You know I’m right. 

Let Your Handbags Scream

Emerging-Designer-MILLI-MILLUWhen it comes to clothes, people from all aspects of my life like to define me as “goth.” As much as it irritates the hell out of me and makes me want to stomp on top of a desk and say, “I DON’T WORSHIP SATAN, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD,” it’s kind of true. Color just has no room in my wardrobe. This was made evidently clear when I went shopping last week and everything in the fitting room was black, see below.

CaptureThe weird thing is, when it comes to accessories, handbags, jewels, socks, I love me some color. The big, bold pops are everything. I’m not just talking about ROYGBIV-in, I’m talking straight up neon. I know, right? What the hell is wrong with me? I go from an Alvira-like wardrobe to an 80’s teeny bopper when it comes to my accessories. But hey, I don’t try to make sense of my madness, though.

This spring, I’m jonsin’ for a big bag that pops. As much as it pains me to retire my black and white statement tote that has been my companion this fall and winter, it is time to move on to something a little more festive and fun … and that can burn people’s eyes from miles away.

Perhaps it is because this winter was so brutally cold, or the insane urge I have to burn my winter coat … either or. But the more obnoxiously loud the handbag the better, is what I say for spring.

So behold… just some of the handbag muffins I’m currently drooling over:

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My Flirtation With A Straw Tote

31812167_009_bThis past weekend … I fell in love with this bag. Isn’t it grand?

I locked eyes with it from across the floor. I acted casually. Pretending I was looking at skirts and shirts, dancing around the store floor, pretending the bag didn’t exist, but my peripheral was always on it. Always. And forever. I think I was scared to pick it up and get intimate with it, because I’m well aware of how expensive Anthropologie bags are (hello triple digit madness). But of course, I picked it up anyways (because clearly I like torturing myself). And it was only :::gasp::: $88! WhaaaaaaaAAAA?! I know … but did I buy said fantastic bag? No. Because I’m a damn fool. A damn fool who falls in love with bags and then doesn’t buy them because of the, “what if I can find something like it for cheaper,” factor. And as I sit here and type, I’m desperately trying not to go on Anthro’s website and purchase the bag.

I am a firm believer that you shouldn’t just jump to buying a bag on impulse that is over $50 … UNLESS it is a ridiculously good deal. Then jump. Hell, do a pencil dive. In this case, I knew I had some time to do a little research. So yeah, my newest quest in fashion is for a straw tote. I love the idea of them. They are feminine, have a vintage edge (old lady chic), fits the summer bill, and still allows me to carry my entire life within it. That’s magic right there. And as much as I adore the Anthro one, I just needed to see what else was out there … slash if I could find a better one for cheaper (more importantly).

Sigh … my research you will find below (click the image and it will take you to your desired tote). But at the end of the day, I’m probably going to cave and invest in the Anthro straw bag, simply because of our history and my undying love for it. If you can’t get it out of your head, it has to be yours, right? But I truly believe every lady needs a good go-to straw tote this summer. Buy yourself a little Tuesday treat … you deserve it. Because you rule, and you’re pretty, and you work really hard, and it’s hot as balls outside. Right? (I can find an excuse to invest in anything)

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My Bag And My Back Problems

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Photo credit: http://www.genistra.com

I finally got around to using a massage gift certificate I had this past weekend, to which I found myself complaining to my masseuse about pain I’ve been having in my upper right shoulder. And after a very painful massage, yes I said painful … my masseuse questioned me about my “purse preferences.” Purse preferences? Psshh. I then hung my head in shame and uttered, “I like big bags … and dammit … I cannot lie.”

After getting the news that my massive commuter bag is giving me back problems at age 27, I realized I needed to take inventory. Like I’ve said in past posts, I feel as a public transportation user, I need to carry a large purse. Since I no longer have my car to throw copious amounts of useless shit that I may or may not need, I now need a bag to fill that void. Hence the back probs.

So after taking inventory, I realized my bag is a hot, unorganized mess. Shocking. No wonder when looking for a specific lip gloss I have to play the blind game of feeling around in my bag, also know as the cave of wonders, that goes a little something like, “nope, Rite Aid receipt … nope, wrong color … nope, bangles I told myself I would put on when I got to work and never did … nope, about $100 worth of change since my wallet doesn’t have a change purse … nope … ANOTHER Rite Aid receipt.”

I starred at the abyss of nonsense for a while, until I came to an important realization. It isn’t about downgrading my shit, it was about organizing it. And with organization comes weeding out the nonsense that no longer serves you … like 23 Rite Aid receipts, for the love. But, more importantly not to overwhelm, it is about identifying your three major purse problems. Here are mine, this is my confession:

 

Problem 1: I have a lip gloss/lip stick problem
Who doesn’t. It used to just be lip glosses until I discovered how ultimately fantastic NARS lipstick makes a woman feel. And now I’m stuck with over 10 options, freely roaming in my purse so I truly can never find the color I want. Hell, do I even know all my color options I have at this point? Absolutely not. Because some get wrapped in receipts and then I don’t even know they exist! Sheesh.
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Solution: Invest in a makeup pouch. And not just any makeup pouch. A fantastic, sparkly Stephanie Johnson makeup pouch that will make me WANT to pull it out of your bag so I can calmly and collectively pull the right color my heart desires. Oh, also, maybe not carry around 5 of the same lip gloss shade. Just sayin’ self.

Problem 2: My wallet doesn’t have a change purse
I got my Zac Posen wallet at a vintage store for $25, yes $25, and loved it so much that I didn’t care that it was without a compartment for change. Still don’t. But the $100 worth of pennies, dimes, nickels , quarters, and yes, Susan B. Anthony coins at the bottom of my bag speak differently about the topic. It’s gross. It’s dirty. It’s money. It needs a damn home.

Solution: Step 1: Take said change and put it in my change mason jar on my desk at home. Step 2: And moving forward, my change will live in this lovely unconventional coin purse by Stephanie Johnson, which I’m pretty sure is a makeup pouch but I don’t care, featured above. No longer will I feel pressure of the people standing in line behind me tappin’ their toes in annoyance as I check out forcing me to just stuff my money in my wallet, throw my change and receipts in my purse and run. I will breathe and take my time. Suck on that, people who stress me out in line at a store.

Problem 3 (and I’m not proud of this one): Loose pills in my purse
I know … I know … I’m the poster child of grossness. Listen, I’m constantly in a rush, so if I have a headache, cramps, a hangover or what have you … I’ll just take some Advil and throw it in my bag. Easy, right? No, totally gross and awful, actually. Think of the pill and change combo at the bottom of my bag … ugh :::shakes head in shame::: (Disclaimer: I never give people these pills even if they are in dire need. I’m not that awful)
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Solution: Meet a pill box! And not one of those Mon-Sun plastic boxes you would find at your local pharmacy next to the Bengay and canes. I’m talking about original, vintage pill boxes from the 1960’s, like the one featured above that I got off Etsy. It’s chic, it’s mysterious, a little small, but does the trick. So now if a friend has a headache, I can offer them some Advil from my chic pill bow. How fancy of me, right?

Also, I’ve vowed to never accept another receipt from Rite Aid. No, no, cashier … you keep my receipt for my $1 pack of gum. I promise I won’t return it.