Bag Lady

birkin.jpgI’ve never been a handbag girl. I don’t know anyone who is, but I have the impression that there are a lot of them out there, these ladies who spend crazy sums on the latest bedazzled clutch or giant slouchy shoulder bag and store them carefully wrapped in tissue on their own special shelves. (Who has that kind of space?) I feel like I’m always reading magazine articles or chapters in breezy books about these women searching for Birkin bags or extolling the wonders of some awful clutch they won’t be caught dead carrying in a year.

The last one I came across was Laura Bennett in her mommy book, Didn’t I Feed You Yesterday?, in which she described how her Birkin bag was her diaper bag for her five young boys and we should all follow suit. To make sure we know she’s a real DIYer and down-to-earth woman just like me, she assures her readers that she got her Birkin from a consignment shop and could never pay retail.

Well that’s a relief. I was trying to save up the $75,000 the antique one was going to cost me on eBay, but that felt like that might be too much for a diaper bag, so I downgraded my aim to $4,500 for the modern equivalent. It’s such a weight off to think that if I spend my copious free time ingratiating myself with my local consignment shop workers, they’ll ring me when one comes through for a mere $2,500. Whew.

Let’s be clear: I have never spent more than $250 on a bag, and that was only once and for a bag I have taken around the world. I don’t think I – or my budget – are cut out for the bag acquisition team. I have my own indulgences but the only thing I think I’ve ever bought in that price range is a laptop. And a college education.

Each to their own though: I have spent $95 on a single bag of groceries at Whole Foods, so I guess we all have our financial blind spots.

I am, however, on my third diaper bag, so maybe I should’ve considered an incredibly expensive, crocodile Birkin instead. Perhaps it does have everything I need. My first diaper bag couldn’t stand up to my overpacking and my skinny Air kept falling out of it, so I had to upgrade to a doctor-bag type. That lasted six months until A. got really fast and heavy: you can’t keep upright on our stairs with a bag on one shoulder and a shifting 25-lb weight on your other arm. The bag lost all the time, which must have been discouraging for it, so, out of concern for its feelings, I retired it and, with severe reservations, cut over to a backpack.

Don’t get me wrong: the backpack is the right tool for the job. But much like the hacksaw you pull out to whittle down your Christmas tree every year, it is not chic, and I look uncomfortable in it. (Don’t ask me how I end up wearing the saw. It’s none of your business.) Sherpas and small children are the only people who look good in a backpack and I am neither. The one advantage to it, besides its carrying utility, is that I have my hands free to hit anyone who tells me how silly it looks.

Not that that happens. Handbag Moms are too refined to call out their derision verbally. But I’ll bet when Junior needs a granola bar right this very instant, I can get to mine faster than they get to theirs. Now that I see that in writing, it does seem like a small win. But I’ll take them where I can get them until I can get back to my cool, green world-traveler bag which holds my stuff and only my stuff. In the meantime, I’m hands-free and my kid is cuter than all the others anyway. So there.


Categories: Baby


Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: