Friday, November 21, 2008

Hi. I'm Knitwit, and I'm a Purse-a-holic.

I've already admitted to having a shoe obsession, so you must've known this was coming. No one is obsessed with shoes and NOT also obsessed with purses. They're sister obsessions.
I was attempting to get Rosemary's Baby and Firstborn bundled up for our monthly pilgrimage to the town dump this morning, and couldn't figure out why the closet door was having such trouble sliding along its track. When I looked down, the reason became abundantly clear. The enormous Rubbermaid tub which houses my handbag stash was overflowing to the point that one had slid off the pile and was stopping the door from closing properly. After carefully placing the bag back onto the purse hill (remember Homer and the garbage pile?), quickly closing the door before everything fell out again, and loading the kids into the car, I got to thinking. Could it be time to get rid of a few of my purses?
Like shoes, purses do not require you to lose 5 lbs in order to use them. They can be switched quickly and easily to complement your current outfit. And a bag with numerous zippers and pockets can fool you into believing that you've finally found the one thing that will help you to organize your life. This last one is key for me. I live in chaos, and when I walk past those shops at the mall that specialize in purses, wallets and luggage, I don't see a store bursting with stuff that'll add more clutter to my already cluttered existence. I see the possibility of my life finally becoming ordered and methodical. It's a pipe dream, and an ironic one at that. Adding more stuff to my life will never make it simple, and for this reason, it's time to get rid of what I don't use and start using what I've already got.
I do go through the jumble from time to time and find an old one I'd like to switch back to, but for the most part, it's a tub of bags that, if I'm brutally honest, will probably never see the light of day again. A lot of them are products of my craftiness--something I've crocheted or whipped up on the sewing machine. If I had to pick only one type of project to complete for the rest of my life, indeed it would be the purse. It's quick, the possibilities are infinite, and it's useful. Others are super cheapies I've nabbed at places like Giant Tiger or Value Village for under ten bucks. The third category would be souvenirs. I've learned the hard way that china mugs with the name of a place on them not only travel badly, but elicit snobby protests from the Captain on their tackiness, so I've found that a cute purse is a fun and functional way to remember a trip or visit with friends and family, sometimes for months or years after the vacation.
So, how does one go about culling such a pile? The homemade stuff I'm reluctant to donate because of the work involved, although, considering a good number of these are from a time before children, they're far too small (and in some cases, youthful) for me to ever use again. The cheapies are a good bet, but some of them I really could use again, and I hate giving up something that was such a good bargain. And the souvenirs, well, they're souvenirs!
I think I'm starting to see why I have such a preponderance of clutter in general around here.
But something must be done. I'm going to have to be ruthless. And when I do get my handbag stash down to a reasonable size (which is at least not overflowing out of the current oversized container), I need to have a plan to not be right back here in a year. Like shoes, handbags seem to have an ongoing powerful pull on me even five minutes after I've just acquired a brand new one.
So, the purses I deem useless will be bagged-up for donation and I will avoid at all costs buying any more. I will appreciate the pile I have left, make good use of the pockets and zippers and compartments I forgot all about, and I will not yearn for the adorable plaid handbag with leather handles I saw in Lou Lou magazine last month. Really.
Oh, this is going to be hard...

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