The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


A Girl's Just Gotta Have the RIGHT Black Bag

She stood in front of me in line, chatting with a man several years her senior.  We were waiting to be let into Il Fornaio restaurant in San Francisco, for a luncheon with Mario Battali, celebrity chef. 

I recognized the man, a local restaurant critic. 

She and I were both dressed in the uniform of big cities - black pants, black jackets, black shirts, black bags.  I looked like an aging business woman.  She looked hip.  Her boot cut pants had two thin stripes of tiny white stitching down the middle of each leg.  Fitted black t-shirt and cropped jacket that could fit in San Francisco or on a humanitarian trip with Bono to Africa. 

I fixated on her bag. 

Mine was a black leather medium-sized satchel.  Maybe indicated classy.  More likely read as dull, does not take chances.  Her bag was messenger bag material, but not messenger bag shape – a rectangle with the long sides horizontal.  The sturdy strap rested on her shoulder and across her body.  The bag sat low on her body, hitting her right knee.  A cell phone compartment on the lower left side and three other compartments, two with zippers, one with a Velcro close.  You could fit a laptop or a change of clothes in the main compartment.  I strained to eavesdrop -- was she saying she’d just returned from Europe?

I coveted the bag. 

Once home, I logged onto, filtering out other bags until I found it.  Not a bad price.  I was tempted.  But didn’t I already have several purses and tote bags?  Buying this bag would be impulsive, not practical.  I passed.

My family took a sixteen-day vacation to France.  The bags I used worked great.  I then started a new job commuting from Oakland to San Francisco.  My black purse and outlet Coach black leather tote functioned well to bring work, books and food back and forth across the Bay Bridge.

About midnight one Friday, I found myself back on  The young, hip, adventurous woman and her bag had stayed in my mind for three months.  I’d just have another look.  I looked.  I bought.

When the bag arrived, I tore open the box and then left the bag in my closet for a week.  Afraid it wouldn’t look the same on me.  The following Sunday, I transferred the contents of my purse and my tote to this one functional and hopefully chic bag.

I adjusted the shoulder strap so the bag hit right above my knee.  I checked myself out in a mirror, expecting disappointment.  Can a bag really change you? 

The bag looked great.  My look was more contemporary.  I swear it took five years off my age.  And it’s functional.  I love it and enjoy it every day.  The unwitting and unknown kindness of a stranger helped me change my internal and external image of myself. 

By Marianne Lonsdale

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Right on! You deserve it. We mamas often deprive ourselves because something seems too much like an indulgence. Think of this as an investment in your self image. Enjoy! Aren't you just glad you will never need a diaper bag again?
Now wouldn't it be wonderful if you had bought on e-bay the very bag you so admired standing in line. Perhaps the chic lady who was carrying it saw yours and admired it. You'd better put it on e-bay fast so she can buy it. Ruth Scott
Fabulous, Marianne, fabulous! And so much more so because of its intricate history. Work that purse, honey!
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