Every woman knows Lady Augusta Bracknell’s famous line in The Importance of Being Earnest: ‘A handbag?’ said with such disdain everyone instantly knows her true feelings. It’s a phrase my husband has perfected down the years, although he invariably uses the words ‘Another handbag?’ but the disdain is there. The fact that I ignore his remark goes without saying. I need my handbags.
My mother was a shoe and bag addict. The genes were passed down to my sister and I - she got the shoe addiction and I got the bag one. I always carry a bag - usually a largish one - whenever I go out. Shoulder, clutch, tote, but never ever a back pack, I just don’t like them. But I do like quirky bags.
The contents of my bags though has changed down the years.When the children were young besides my own essential stuff, notebook and pen (even in those long ago days I scribbled), purse, paperback, keys, the bag had to be big enough to carry all sorts of emergency kit: wet wipes, plasters, snacks, bits of lost lego, crayons and colouring books - oh, any mum of my generation can tell you what it was like keeping children happy in the car in the days before nintendo. And then there had to be room to carry any things of theirs they tired of holding and handed to me. These days I need a bag large enough to carry a note book, phone, diary, sunglasses, spare pair of ordinary glasses, purse, ipad, spare pen, kindle, tissues, lipstick, comb and some business cards (just in case I meet the agent of my dreams so I can hand over a card.) Invariably too, my husband will say, 'have you got room in there for my glasses and my camera?' I'm seriously considering buying him a 'man-bag' - you can buy some lovely ones here in France.
Occasionally I do try and leave the house with a smaller handbag and feel lost. And invariably whatever I decide to leave out is the very thing I need. I have friends who never carry a bag - how do they do that?
For me handbags are like notebooks - irresistible and one is never enough! How about you - can you resist a shop window like the one below?