OK, people, I've had it up to here.
I have owned four handbags in my life. Four! For a woman of my age, this is hardly representative. I have owned so few handbags not because I am incredibly thrifty or because I have a lot of pockets. I have owned so few because I dislike shopping for them. Because, invariably, YOU PEOPLE don't know what I want.
Clearly, what we have here is a failure to communicate. So now I am telling you, the designers and manufacturers and marketers and buyers of handbags for women across the globe, what I want.
1. A bag with a long strap. Walk down Michigan Avenue and take careful note of how many women are wearing bags across their chests, down by their waists or hips, or dangling from their shoulders. You'll find this is almost universally true (the rest are wearing backpacks). I am BUSY. In addition to handbags, I may very well have to carry shopping bags, tote bags, extra shoes, CDs, books, lunch, flowers...and that's an average day. A clutch purse is not practical under these circumstances. Lots of bags have straps, but they are too short to comfortably sling from one shoulder without whapping the person behind you in the chin. Long straps, people!
2. A bag that can be secured. I live in a big city, I ride the subway, I walk by myself. I want to zip, snap, and fasten my bag together and know that I'm not easy prey for any pickpocket who stands next to me on the Red Line. Help me keep my wallet safe!
3. A bag that has a pocket in the back for my Walkman. This is strictly optional in my case. But even women who are not music-dependent like me appreciate easy access to a pen, lipstick, a cell phone, etc. Besides, we like the illusion of being organized, even if we don't use the compartments as designed.
4. A bag that I don't have to coordinate. It is incredibly difficult to find all of the above components in a package that's sleek, water repellent, and reasonably contemporary. (Please don't make cute products only in brown. I have a black leather coat and black shoes and I want things to match within a reasonable margin.) Life's hard enough without having to coordinate and switch purses every other day. Simplifiez!
5. A bag that I can afford. I am not a millionaire, alas. I am not able to invest hundreds of dollars in a purse, unless said purse is made of some material that will appreciate with time, like gold. (And that violates rule no. 4.)
Are we clear now?
Don't say I never mentioned this.