Girls Write Out
Monday, September 10, 2007

My friend Maria took me out to lunch for my birthday last week. And she had a cheap purse. She was dressed magnificently, like she always is, but she had a cheap purse and she apologized for it. That made me feel badly because I'm the type of person who notices and she felt like she had to apologize. It's not like I judge her, but to me, holding a handbag that isn't like buttah leather...well, it's...it's a travesty and I feel pained. If the carpetbaggers could promise 40 Acres and a mule, I'd promise well-crafted Italian leather and shoes with great architecture for everyone.

I did not grow up rich. No one taught me about the finer things in life. It was ingrained in me and I cannot help it. My surroundings are like a pulse. I feel it. And it dawned on me, so does Scarlett. I'm Scarlett! And who wants to be Scarlett? She's a complete brat! But could she help it? Like when she's in the hospital with Dr. Mead, and she has to run out because she can't see any more death, she can't nurse any more sickness -- I totally get that! It's not a trait she's proud of. She can see that Melanie does it without complaining, so what's wrong with her?

My weeks are filled with waiting on people. I am a constant bus driver and fry cook. I have a choreographed day where I drop kids off with packed lunches, pick them up and feed them again, help them with homework, get them clean, pick up all the clothes they shed outside the shower, wash them, get them dinner and get them to bed -- and the next day, I do it all over again. And so does every other mother, but they don't whine about it. They seem to relish it and find joy in their accomplishments.

I'm thinking to myself, when can I escape to LA with my agent and do some brainstorming and retail therapy at the mother ship (South Coast Plaza)? Why can other people be happy with Lee Jeans instead of Booty Fit Joe's Jeans? I tried to find a cheap purse the other day. I walked around in Macy's for twenty minutes with one on my shoulder thinking, I can do this...I can do this...I'm not special. I read in Oprah that 50% of women won't spend over $50 on a handbag. Why can't I just be normal? I can do this...yeah, but I couldn't.

I left the mall with a luscious, buttery winter-white Dooney and Bourke bucket bag with this great nautical navy/white/red wallet. In my defense, it was my birthday and I'm just not one of the 50%. I wish there was a Bible verse that said work out your salvation with a fear of bad leather. Beth, Maria and I are so there!
--
www.kristinbillerbeck.com
Kristin  
posted at 10:33 AM  
  Comments (24)
 
 
Delicious Delicious
24 Comments:
At 1:35 AM, Blogger Anna Marie said...

Happy Belated-Birthday Girl!
I hope it was a good one.
Sending you a wish of many blessing's!
I'm glad you found a handbag you love,it's better to have something you can enjoy, than to live something you can't care for.
Only have one life to live, so be happy!
Anna M.

 
At 8:33 AM, Blogger Jaime said...

LOL - You and I could SO not shop together!! :) I hit all the sales racks at AE and Gap and then take about 10 min to decide whether I should spend more than $15 on jeans! However ... we could totaly meet up after we were done shopping at Starbucks! :)

 
At 8:40 AM, Blogger Doug said...

Kristin--I must be in the 5% who won't spend more than $15 for a handbag. And that's when I'm feeling VERY extravagant! And the thing is, we're NOT POOR. But I just don't have those Italian genes. Or jeans. :) You know what they say about the Scottish pinching pennies till they scream? It's a sterotype, sure. But it's TRUE. And I, too, can't help it. I was born this way.
But I DO value good coffee, and have it every day. :)

Happy Birthday, and I am very pleased that you found a purse you LOVE!!!

Katy McKenna www.fallible.com
Ignore the name "Doug" on this post. I don't know how to change the settings. Although he, too, buys the cheap purses.

 
At 10:26 AM, Blogger Kristin said...

Hey, the good news is that I'm not in the 4% who will spend over a thousand on a handbag. See...pick your battles. : )

 
At 11:06 AM, Blogger Rhonda/WA state said...

Kristin, Kristin, Kristin,

What shall we do with you??????

You remind me of my very good friend, Jamie. She, too, is in to the very best bags, jeans, eye lashes, whatever.

She shows up Friday night at the football game. (Both our boys play together.) She says she just had to buy a new purse because her old one wouldn't do since it's white and it's now after Labor Day. Oh, heavens! I asked her if she was gonna be embarrassed to be with me since I was wearing white and my bag didn't even match.

Her bag was some name brand, one I coudn't pronounce. It cost upwards to a bejillions. For a purse?

You just keep those great books coming. You deserve a cool purse. Happy belated birthday by the way!

 
At 11:55 AM, Blogger Julie Carobini said...

Well, I do like to have a purse for every outfit which is probably a good reason for NOT spending much on each one. I'd go broke. Give me a cotton beach bag and I'm good to go (as long as it matches the outfit, you understand :)

Happy B'day, Kristin!

 
At 12:10 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

Yes, Julie, I don't care if it matches, as long as it "feels" right. In college, I found this bag that was $200 at the outlets, but I felt it, and I had to have it. It's not the name brand for me. It was by an unknown, who turned out later to be Kenneth Cole, but that was in his early days. He doesn't use the great leather now. Sigh.

 
At 12:26 PM, Blogger Rachel Hauck said...

Oh, I love the purse already!! My Christmas present Dooney and Burke is still holding out well for me. I get so many compliments.

There is nothing like a great bag!

Love ya and happy b-day again! :)

 
At 1:09 PM, Blogger Kay said...

I could go shopping with Katy and Jaime! I shop the sales at WalMart. Haven't even been in Macy's! I wouldn't know a designer purse if I saw one.
I was just telling my husband that my feet are really demanding that I start buying my shoes somewhere other than Payless! LOL! But I cringe at the idea.
I was raised to be cheap. Well, you know -- only the way I spend money. Not the other kind of cheap!

 
At 3:51 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

Girls, girls. Payless? Wal Mart? Have you no shame? I mean, I go to Wal Mart for all the necessities of life, don't get me wrong. But footwear? Handbags? You're all giving me palpitations. LOL

 
At 4:55 PM, Blogger Suzanne said...

If Payless and Wal-Mart cause you to greive Kristin then you'll probably want to look away when I tell all the other girls that I get my bags at the local Goodwill store. Sad but true. I can't pay over $5 for a bag, and a used one at that. I will say, however, that I got a Dooney & Bourke at a garage sale for $1 a few years ago, I used it for a while and then sold it on eBay for $60.

It's not that I don't like the good stuff, I just need more of the green stuff!

 
At 6:52 PM, Blogger Jaime said...

Ok. Ok. I'm going to retract my first post. becuase I got to thinking about how some things are valued differentl by different people. I just spent over $1500 on rock climbing shoes, harness, and rope. So ... I'll give Kristin her $200 purse even as I grab my backpack from wally-world to go scrambling up a rock face! :)It's all in what you value ... and can't live without!!!

 
At 7:12 PM, Blogger Ane Mulligan said...

LOL - I can stand to wear a WalMart T-shirt if forced to, by by gum I'll have my Dooney Borke purse!

I'm with you, Kristin. A good handbag can dress up gym shorts! :o)

 
At 8:19 PM, Blogger Doug said...

I have had all day to ponder this issue. I am going to stop being so dad-gum cheap. I don't HAVE to be cheap at this stage in my life. Now it's a HABIT. So maybe it's time to loosen up a little. Why not start with a NICE PURSE???

Mmm-hmmm. Kristin, I think I've had a breakthrough!

Katy McKenna www.fallible.com

 
At 8:47 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

I bought my first expensive purse this week. It had been $164 and was on sale half price on ebags. I should get it tomorrow. Most of the time I spend $30 on one. LOL

 
At 10:10 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

Colleen, you can be my friend now. LOL You know, she and Diann bought me good shoes for my birthday on Zappos. I don't know why this birthday ended up being such a celebration, usually no one cares. Maybe I was feeling down. I'm 41. 40 didn't really get to me, but now...now it's getting real. LOL

 
At 7:49 AM, Blogger Lisa Jordan said...

I hate spending more than $20 for a pair of jeans, but I love expensive purses. If our budget allowed...sigh.

I bought a Stone Mountain bag on clearance sale for my birthday from hubby. The leather is so soft and supple. It's not on the same level ad a Dooney & Burke, but it works nicely for me. :-)

 
At 9:57 AM, Blogger Kristy Dykes said...

I'm craving a Liz Claiborne black and white zebra striped purse at Dillard's. But it's $138. That's downright painful sounding. But you make it sound soooo fun! Dare I? Maybe.

I DID find a black and white zebra striped purse at the thrift store the other day. Only three bucks. Made me feel so good. But it doesn't have a shoulder strap. It's only a handbag. I've been trying to decide if that will satisfy me!!

I'm really into shots of black and white zebra in my life right now. I have these items: A jacket. A large ottoman in the family room (every room needs a touch of animal print{faux :)}). A pillow in my bedroom. And now my purse.

Thanks for a day-brightening post!

 
At 10:01 AM, Blogger Kristy Dykes said...

Another comment on purses: I was shopping the other day and something on my purse caught my eye. An indented hole! Oh, no! Then I looked closer and saw that my Prada emblem had fallen off! Sooo painful! My daus. gave me this purse. It's my favorite. Just the right size for my stuff. And that emblem is a delight to behold. But no more. It's going to purse heaven (my bags of donations to the thrift store). Wonder if Prada would sell me an emblem?

 
At 2:13 PM, Blogger Kayla said...

Sigh, I just can't go shopping anymore because I'm not content with cheaper items but I can't afford what I want! However, my friend made me the cutest purse that I've used for months and I always get compliments on, so that works for me! :) She's studying fashion, so it's a designer purse! Hahaha.

 
At 5:52 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

Kristy, I have to tell you, the cheap purse at Macy's was $118. ROFLOL

 
At 10:02 AM, Blogger Rhonda/WA state said...

A few years ago I was garage hopping. I stopped at this house and picked up two purses. One big and black the other small and blue/brown.

At church this gal asks how I could afford such a purse. What? Come to find out one was a D. & Burke the other had the CC's all over it. Go figure.

I got wise. The second D. & Burke I found at a thrift store. Amazing what people toss away!

 
At 2:56 PM, Blogger Keisha-Michelle said...

Purses are great. I own about 150 of them. You need to have a purse that matches whatever you are wearing. I won't spend over $30 on a purse though. However, I will admit, I do have two Coach bags, a Gucci bag, and a Dooney & Bourke Messenger bag. These were all gifts from the rich lady at my old church. I also like Louis Vuitton.

Maybe I'll bring some to conference!

 
At 3:49 PM, Blogger Amy said...

I have a Diesel knock-off bag that I got in Hong Kong 3 years ago for less than 10 dollars US and it's all I use. I love it, it's perfect for me. clothes I love to buy, shoes and bags, not so much, I'll run them into the ground if I find one (or a pair!) I like.

 

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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

www.KristinBillerbeck.com

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

www.ColleenCoble.com

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

www.DeniseHunterBooks.com

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

www.DiannHunt.com

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

www.HannahAlexander.com

 
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