In a recent post, I was very enthusiastic, almost evangelical, about my new motto, Have less, But Have the Best. I would rid myself of all unnecessary belongings and start investing in high quality pieces that would stand the test of time. They would crystallise the aspects of me that I want to pin down and keep, and help them to shine.

I also wrote about the bag that would be the first pin in my quest. It would be my barometer - a high quality, soft leather tote. Very minimal, with raw edges and no hardware. I ordered after many hours of deliberation. I scrutinised all the photographs and eventually decided on the mustard yellow.

Well, the bag arrived a few days ago and it was a bitter disappointment. It wasn't the bag in the photographs, it's not the same colour, it doesn't have the same finish, it's hard and stiff with a plastic seal around the edges of the leather (something I would never choose), the straps were too short and, until yesterday, I was convinced that it was not even leather!

The bag I received... 
Bonded plastic edges.

Needless to say, almost immediately, I was back online, looking for 'the' handbag. 

I am still convinced that there is such a thing as 'the one' when it comes to handbags, and I know that I'm not alone. I have sisters. I have friends. I have this conversation with them. I read blogs and magazine articles on how to find 'the one'.

Old flame.

It sounds a lot like looking for true love, doesn't it? 

Some people believe in true love, others don't. Many look for true love, and expect that you won't have to change to accommodate the other person. They also expect that the other person will be the ideal they have in their mind of what they should be, and, if necessary, morph into that ideal. When this doesn't happen. heartache and disappointed ensue, along with the resolve that true love simply doesn't exist. 

The trouble with a handbag is that it will never change. It is incapable of morphing, incapable of compromise, so it has to be right at the beginning of the relationship.

Another thing to consider is the reality vs. expectation conundrum. As my daughter pointed out, the main reason I was so disappointed with my bag was because my expectations were so high. I'd waited so long to invest in a proper, 'grown up' handbag that, maybe, whatever bag I'd received would have been a disappointment? 

According to Dan Gilbert, the longer we deliberate, the less satisfied/happy we'll be with whatever decision we make.

It seems there's something to be said for impulse buying!

While I was looking through pages and pages of bags, on Pinterest, Google Images, eBay, AliExpress, I realised that I'm just going to have to buy some of these bags. Become a slut, if you like.


I've come to accept that this new direction, this dream of floating effortlessly through life with as few physical accompaniments as possible, will be a lengthy process. 

I also realised that the bag that I bought, the mustard yellow, minimalist, leather shopper, just isn't me. Why did I think it was? 

I wanted it to be me. I wanted to be that woman, the one who doesn't need everything neatly packed away into its own compartment. The words 'organiser bag' haunt me - I don't want to be an organiser bag lady! 

The challenge now is to find out what kind of bag lady I am, and I fear that the only way to do that is to spend some money on the exercise (even though it contradicts the Have Less resolve).

Maybe it’s as much about learning to buy wisely as it is about accepting the fact that mistakes will be made. You’re not an idiot for making a bad purchase, just as you’re not an idiot for making a bad life decision... or dating a creep.

Current crush.

Disclaimer: It's taken me far too long to write this post! I started this morning at around 10, and I've had so many interruptions (including a lengthy handbag conversation with my sister via Skype) that i just have to post it now without another proof reading. If you find any errors or discrepancies, please let point them out to me. x


  1. That mustard yellow bag was the wrong colour for you anyway, darling. Happy hunting! As in life, you might have to kiss a few frogs before you find the prince, The Bag of your LIfe. Not that you should go around kissing bags. Sniffing discreetly, perhaps (just to see if it is real leather). No kissing.

    1. Yes! Also, not a good idea to buy online. No chance of sniffing or kissing! ;)


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