When my sister-in-law Ann got her RN degree in May 1993, she had worked so hard. She had two young children and was very pregnant with a third. She chose to spend the graduation gift money she had received on a Dooney & Bourke handbag. Ann, my mother-in-law, some other female relatives and I were standing at Dillards looking at the options when she pointed out the one she liked the most. I said, “That doesn’t look like a “mom of three” purse.” Meaning it didn’t look that practical – no little pockets on the outside to hold stuff, and kind of sleek and trendy looking. She said, in a tone that was a unique combination of flippant and reflective, “Thanks a lot,” as in “thanks for reminding me that I am giving my body, brain, and heart to three little beings on top of being a wife, earning an RN degree, and all of that.”
She got the purse. She loved the purse. When she passed away in her sleep six months later, one of the first things my mother-in-law said was, “I am so glad she went ahead and got that purse that she wanted and she enjoyed it.” I was too.
When Kat asked what my purse says about me, I wondered how I could respond without repeating my sock drawer blog. I decided that I would turn the topic around just a bit to “If my purse were threatened with replacement by a high-end handbag, how would it respond?” Let’s call my purse, for short, B.U.P. for Black/Brown Utilitarian Purse. Let’s say that some handbag fairy has decided to bestow upon me a $400 “high end” purse carrying a girl’s name (you know, a “Kristen” or a “Natalie.”)