I Shouldn’t Feel So Happy About Stuff Like This


But I do. People like my purse.

I was quite a while coming to this purse. Several years ago, I bought a great, black bag with a pretty fabric lining. I paid way more for it than I usually do (and it happened because I misunderstood the saleslady when I asked the price), so I carried it much past it’s glory days. The handle was fraying. I kept trimming off the stringy part and kept on toting it. I carried it winter, spring, summer, fall, and back to winter. It was roomy and could hold lots of stuff. It had these convenient pockets on the side. Finally, people (people I knew and liked and trusted) began to comment about it. And not in a positive way. “Honey, we need to find you a new bag,” was the gist of things. I finally caved when Dillard’s ran an ad in the paper, encouraging folks to donate their used handbags, which would be refurbished and donated to an agency that helped women get back on their feet. The incentive was that it you brought in a bag, you could get a price break on a new one. If the new bag cost $25.00 or less, you’d get $2.50 off; if the new bag cost $50.00, you’d get $7.50 off. The more expensive the bag, the greater percentage you could subtract. So, aha. I can get another nice bag with a nice discount. (There are no photos of the old bag, either new or very old. Sorry. It was before I was a blogger and took photos of everything I thought I could use.)

I looked at and handled almost every bag at Dillard’s. Well, the bags I thought would easily contain my stuff. I winnowed down the field and ended up carrying two bags around the purse department. Finally, I asked a total stranger for an opinion. She pointed to the black bag and said, “I have one if those. It’s the best bag I’ve ever had. Actually, I have two, in different colors.” So I ended up with another black bag.

I carried it all fall and winter. Then in the spring–

I’ve carried this bag, from that spring, through the summer, fall, winter, and now back to spring again. I’ve carried it for more than a year, and only in the past month or so have I had people notice it and comment. “Nice bag.” “Where’d you get your bag?” “I like your bag.” It’s kind of them and pleases me, but, you’d think I’d been carrying it inside my jacket for the past year. I don’t quite get it. And, seriously, I like my bag and that’s all I need. But it is ridiculously pleasing to me to know that other ladies like it, too. It must be a female thing. I don’t think guys care very much if their peers approve of suits and ties and t-shirts and briefcases and backpacks. Well, maybe t-shirts.


Yes, they're wide, diabetic, padded, custom-orthotic-lined shoes. Compared to other shoes I have to wear now, I do think of them as my pretty shoes. And…SOMEBODY ELSE THINKS SO, TOO!

Yes, they’re wide, diabetic, padded, custom-orthotic-lined shoes. However, compared to other shoes I have to wear now, I do think of them as my pretty shoes. And…SOMEBODY ELSE THINKS SO, TOO!



Anyway, this past week, another astonishing thing happened. I was at the retina guy’s office and a lady came over to me and asked me where I bought my shoes. (I got them at my podiatrist’s office. They have a shoe department, where we people with foot problems can find shoes for our challenging feet.)

Admittedly, she was older than I, I think, by several years. And I know our criteria for “cute” shoes is so very different from when we were teen-agers. Or 20’s or 30’s or 40’s. Or now. It’s like my renal diet to protect my kidneys. If it’s tasty and interesting and appetizing, then I’m pretty sure I can’t eat it. When I walk by a shoe store, or even a large store’s shoe department, I glance over and see the cute shoes and think, “Nope. Not for me. Not any more.” Sigh.

But, in my present peer group, someone thinks I have cute shoes!  On the one hand, it’s kind of nice. On the other, it’s a little embarrassing how happy it made me feel.



Since prayer is at the bottom of all this, what I want mostly is for men to pray—not shaking angry fists at enemies but raising holy hands to God. And I want women to get in there with the men in humility before God, not primping before a mirror or chasing the latest fashions but doing something beautiful for God and becoming beautiful doing it.

1 Timothy 2:8-10 (The Message)

 This is an interesting translation of the passage. I do know that I’m at a different stage of life now, but it seems good sense to spend a little more money on clothes or shoes or a bag, if I’m going to use it and wear it and use it and wear it, instead of buying something trendy that might cost less but I get a fraction of the wear from. And maybe I should be better about starting a conversation with someone who comments about my shoes. It might lead to a new friendship or a pathway to a greater compassion or understanding. Or, just a brief chat about how hard it is to find good shoes that fit well.



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