“I showed her the handbag I wanted to buy. She said it seemed too expensive. I knew then that we could never be friends.” - An Anonymous Shopper
The fact is that men know little about women’s handbags. We like the elegance it adds to a woman, but do not understand them completely. While there are hundreds of quotes and jokes about men’s wallets, I could find only 25 about women’s handbags.
Modern day handbags date back to 1841. A rich business owner named Samuel Parkinson was planning a long trip with his wife. He commissioned a set of luggage. Realizing that the fragile cloth handbag she used would never survive the trip. He ordered a range of handbags made of leather for her. When other women saw them, they wanted one and an industry was born.
Handbags can be classified as baguettes, barrel, bucket bags, drawstring, hobo, tote, saddle, pouch, clutch and a myriad of others. They come in many colors, with different buckles and brackets accommodating the many varieties of women’s fashion and shoes.
I enjoy buying handbags for my wife Kathleen, but not entirely sure why. Certainly, it is to show affection but, also to honor her, add style, impress others or perhaps in hopes she might remember me when she looks at it.
A handbag is a private sanctuary for a woman. No man knows everything that is in it. We imagine such things as hairbrushes, cosmetics, wallet, phones and keys but know there is much more. I have asked Kathleen to tell me, but she has always failed to answer completely keeping what must be some pact among women.
She will give small hints, such as “there may be a lipstick that I have never worn just waiting for the right light situation. A receipt for a long ago purchased fashion item, I still may return. There are also private small mementos of special occasions such as a note written on a napkin.”
I am now trying to remember if I ever wrote something on a napkin for Kathleen?