You know the old saying, "You get what you pay for"? That is not always true. Earlier this week my friend Johanna and I spent the day shopping at a huge handbag store that carries designer look-alikes and jewelry for cheap, cheap, cheap. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if Johanna will ever take me back there again because I suffer from the plague of indecisiveness. She was very patient with me as I opened and inspected no less than 101 wallets. She listened politely to my critique of each one's good and bad features. I finally had to put the wallets down and walk away. So then we moved on to handbags. I had gone in search of one particularly adorable purse that a girl from church had this past Sunday. Evidently, everyone else also thought it was adorable, because there were none left by the time we got there. So disappointment, coupled with the massive inventory (minus the one purse I wanted) only added to my predisposition of being unable to make a decision. I finally settled on one style that I liked. But then came the task of choosing which color. I was relying on Johanna for help to talk me through this. I personally liked the golden toned leather one, all though unsure of the everyday practicality. Johanna tried to steer me toward a more reasonable choice of classic brown. Very pretty, but boring. I am 41, I'm boring enough without any help from my handbag. Then she found the pewter colored one. Oh.my! It.was.GEORGOUS! Unfortunately, I already have a bag that I currently carry when I'm wearing black or colors in the "cool" family. If I got the pewter purse, that would only add to my decision-making stress because then I would have two viable options. I needed a purse to carry with my "warm" color wardrobe, which is why I kept gravitating back to the gold bag. Not too gawdy, but trendy enough to say, "I'm really not as boring as you think I might be." Johanna, wearied from the 3 hours we had now spent in the handbag super-store, finally gave in and encouraged me to go for the gold. She said, "If it were me, I'd get the brown; but if I were you, I'd get the gold." (Translation: Go for it sister, but don't say I didn't warn you.) We made our final purchases and went to lunch at an amazing Mongolian BBQ place where you choose your own ingredients and spices and they cook it up for you. I'm really a pretty good cook after all because my meal was de-li-cious. (Of course, I probably wouldn't be able to recreate it the next time I go, but hey, that's the way I cook at home too--different every time regardless of the recipe.)
Now back to the purse story. When I got home that evening and was showing the day's treasures to my oh-so-sweet and handsome husband, he kept sniffing around my shopping bags. "What's that smell?" he asked. "Oh, its your purse." I grabbed it away from him only to discover he spoke the truth. My beautiful golden handbag reeks with an unidentified chemical odor. I have tried all I know to rid the purse of the smell. I've sprayed it with fabric deodorizer inside and out. I've hung it in a well-ventilated area to allow it to air out. It might be a little better, but I can still smell it...and worse, so can everyone else. I was so excited about walking down the streets of New York next month with my stylish bag and maybe even finding myself on the "Do" list of a major fashion magazine's "DO's & DONT'S" column. But now I'm afraid that if I carry my bag on the subway, the ATF might be called because of the unidentified chemical odor permeating the train car. While I don't mind a little adventure, being added to the "Possible Terrorist Watch List" is taking it a bit too far.
And so, in this instant, I not only got what I paid for, but I got more...a foul smell. Next time I shop at the Off-Brand Purse Mega Store, I will have yet another factor to consider in the decision-making process. Yep, I'm pretty sure Johanna will not take me back there. And I do not blame her. Not one bit.
P.S. On a bright note, I did finally choose the 102nd wallet I looked at. It's a lime green, faux alligator, slim line clutch. I love it! (and its odor-free)