I GAVE UP CIGARETTES seven years ago. I don’t do recreational drugs. Oh sure, I used to smoke pot, but those days are long gone and now it just makes me dizzy and sort of depressed. I am not a compulsive eater or bulimic or anorexic. I hate shopping and still have just the one pair of jeans with paint stains and thin knees that I bought right when I moved to Maine, and that was years ago. I don’t drink, unless you count a glass of red wine with dinner. I do not gamble, I am not a sex addict, compulsive exerciser, workaholic or yoga freak. I am basically going it alone, except for one thing that is becoming a problem I can no longer ignore: I am a pursaholic.I realized the enormity of this problem last Saturday afternoon, when my husband and I drove downtown to see a movie. We had about an hour to kill, and I realized with a thrill that the theater was just a few blocks away from a leather goods store filled with handbags from floor to ceiling. Feeling anxious for no good reason besides life itself, I checked my watch and saw that I could run in, get a quick fix, and still make the movie but feel happier and more relaxed about everything.
I ransacked the shelves, inspecting and then rejecting bags for any infraction: Bad color, too big, not big enough, too many pockets, sticky zipper, shoulder strap too long, shoulder strap too short, ugly lining, a passing fad, an ostentatious logo, too much hardware or just “not me.” (Price is never a concern, it’s just got to feel right.) I was beginning to panic, the clock was ticking, and then I saw it: Classic black, great leather, good label with no visible logo, not too small but big enough, and tasteful. I began to breathe easier and noticed the buzzing in my ears beginning to subside. “This one is perfect!” I cried, showing it to Mitch. He grabbed it, paid, and we were back in the car in 15 minutes.
I was exhilarated. I changed from my old purse into my new purse in time to see the coming attractions and ate a lot less popcorn than I might have otherwise. When I got home I avoided the closet where all the other purses, each formerly perfect at one time, lay in a pile.
Andrea Rouda, who blogs at Call Me Madcap!, is a frequent contributor to MyLittleBird.