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The Life of a Purse

July 7, 2012 by 25hoursadaymom

I have a friend I’ve taken with me everywhere for over a year now. Her name is Big Betsy and she is a descendant of someone named Vera.  Here is Big Betsy:


Isn’t she cute? I love the shape, cut and size of this purse. I also still love the black-and-white print. I started thinking about getting a new Betsy, in purple, because I like that pattern, too.

But why, though? I like my current purse just fine. Why do I start to think Betsy is just too darned old and I’ve got to replace her with a younger Betsy? I started to realize what a wasteful way of thinking this was. It is typical western thinking; in fact, some would marvel that I’ve used only that purse for this long.

Why is it not typical to use things all the way up anymore? I still like everything about the purse, yet still feel some unaccountable urge to replace the purse because it is “old.” I would even buy a purse that is identical in shape and size and different only in color.

The one complaint I could make that has actual merit is that the straps are worn some in the center, where they go over my shoulder.  However, I can easily see how I would remedy this.  I could cut two pieces of black “leather” fabric and make it like a sleeve that covers and reinforces the center of the strap.  This could even be done such that it appears it was designed that way from the start.

I’ve been thinking perhaps I’ll just continue to use this purse for a long time into the future.  Sort of just see how much use I can get out of it. I wonder how many women actually do this.

I recall a conversation with a soccer mom who told me she cleaned out her garage and could not understand how it was that there were about a dozen discarded backpacks in there. “There were all these backpacks in usable condition! I guess we just bought the kids new backpacks each school year without realizing it wasn’t really necessary.”

That is why I don’t buy new backpacks – or lunchboxes – until I’ve seen a real problem with the current one.  Only my Magnificent daughter has a newer one, which I got her for high school; before then, all of my kids had their original (Target) backpacks and “Arctic Cool” lunch bags. I bought her new one because her old one was torn. I expect her newer one to last at least through high school and perhaps through college.

The bag I use for college was a diaper bag I bought before we went to Disney in 2005. (Don’t worry; it isn’t lavender with teddy bears on it!) I will admit, I have considered replacing it with a rolling attache or something else that looks more adult. But I do enjoy using something fully, rather than running out to buy new. For the next however-long, I’m still going to be using the red Land’s End backpack (that was a diaper bag). It even has a little padded slot in the back, that was meant for a diaper changing pad, but fits my Macbook, so how perfect is that?



  1. dianne says:

    Wow, I was just looking at my Vera backpack purse that I have used for over a year now and thinking the same thing. I saw a new one that was so cute and I hardly ever splurge…but, so far I haven’t gave in to the desire, probably ’cause I am too dang cheap. As it is, my first VB bag was probably 3x the price of any bag I had ever purchased prior to that.

    • 25hoursadaymom says:

      Dianne, You must be my conscience. I was looking at Vera Bradley on-line just a few hours before your comment, strongly considering getting a new purse. On sale, of course. But I refrained. 🙂


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