…in progress…

Louis Vuitton handbag. Always wanted one, never thought I could afford one. Money around here is precious these days and that means I don’t have it to throw around much less throw it away. Plenty of perfectly good handbags out there at much, much better prices. What is it about wanting what you don’t or can’t have? I swear, I think it starts at birth!


Went to a local festival recently, enjoyed the sights, sounds and all the people milling about. I just love those events. So much at one time and if I’m lucky I can wander in and out of the tents without a responsible thought weighing on my mind. So many different types of art, crafts and beautiful goods to look at. I marvel at the abundance of talent in this world.


I couldn’t help but notice a lot of people all abuzz at this one tent. Just like a traffic accident on the freeway, I had to see what was going on. The closer I got, the more I could see. I couldn’t believe it! Purses everwhere! Louis Vuitton, Hermes…all those expensive ones and some good sensible ones too. I was drooling! They were beautiful. I was happy just to see them up close.


I heard my name but didn’t think it was only for me, I heard it again and turned around. It was a woman I had recently met. I apologized for not remembering her name but she didn’t seem to mind. She reintroduced herself. Her name was Sue. We talked, swapped stories and passionately shared our desire for  the miniature pieces of luggage that define so many ladies and men, too. It made for a wonderful afternoon! One that I didn’t expect. Sue was delightful!


Time went by and the seasons changed like they always do. One afternoon when I came home from work, there was a package at the door. I wondered what it was. I brought it inside and began opening the box. As I pulled the top flaps back and spread the packing paper away, there it was, a L’absolu de Voyage Lois Vuitton handbag! I was stunned. Quickly I checked the package label…yes, it was addressed to me. I couln’t believe it. I ran to the nearest mirror and posed. Beautiful, just beautiful. I couldn’t wait to show it off.


After smelling it, feeling it, looking at it and going throught every inch, it happened. I was struck with the obvious, where did this purse come from? I had no idea. I flew to my computer and looked it up. It was a Mahina leather Lois Vuitton purse retailing at $3,500.00. Yes, you read that right, Three thousand five hundred dollars! I fell back in my chair flabbergasted. Who would give me such an expensive gift? I racked my brain until I fell asleep later that night. I could not imagine. I simply could not imagine!


Well, you know I wore it with my new outfit to church! It was just the place to try it out. Those church ladies always notice what you’re wearing. Once I got there, I could tell the ones that wear the big vulgar diamond rings saw it straight away. I enjoyed their look of astonishment. Later, I would realize I confused astonishment for sneers. They knew I could never afford such an expensive handbag.


After church, I went out to Sunday dinner with my friends. None of them noticed my purse. At first, I was hurt that they ignored my treasure. As I calmed down, I realized they had no idea. The handbag could have come from Big Lots for all they knew. They meant no harm. Well, I knew and that’s what really mattered. I said my good byes and left the restaurant when it was time to go. My youngest, very blonde sister said as I went out the door, “nice purse”! I smiled.


I started to put my key in the door and as I turned it, there was a voice calling my name. I knew that voice, but where from? There she was, that woman from the festival! I was pleased to see her, we got along so well. I said hello and so did she. We chatted for awhile, said good bye and that’s all there was to it.


On Wednesday, as I was almost to my diveway, I saw someone walking up the street but I paid no mind. I came in the house, and as is my habit, I dropped everything in my big chair nearest the hallway. I was walking to my bedroom to change my clothes and the doorbell rang. I opened the door and there was Sue. I guess I looked blank because she started saying that it must be a bad time and she would come back and visit some other time. She started to walk off the porch, I recovered fast enough to speak up for her not to go. “Please, do come in!”


I opened the door widely and stood back with a welcoming gesture for her to come inside. I motioned for her to sit on the couch and asked if she would like something to drink. I returned with waters for us both. As I was moving my things out of the chair, she said, “How do you like your purse?” I froze…something about her tone of voice, yet maybe she said that because I’m holding it. I looked at her and there was no mistaking the look on her face. It was her. I knew it, she’s the one who gave me the handbag. Still the same, my mind was racing and questioning why. She was talking and I was still in shock. I didn’t say a word. I watched and listened for a clue but the conversation never went back to the purse.


And as I lay in bed that night, my mind kept going over Sue’s visit. Who was this woman? Why would she give me something so expensive? Why is she not telling me it was her? Too many questions. No answers and that bell was ringing in my head. I silenced the bell thinking how wonderful our conversation together had been. Enough so, I think I would enjoy getting to know her better.


Days turned into weeks and I had not seen Sue in all that time. I thought about her occasionally, but for the most part I was busy living my life. Work was good and taking a yoga class was just enough to keep me from being bored. I was loving my purse and the superimposed confidence it gave me was just crazy and sassy. I was loving it! But always that thought if people only knew who I really was they wouldn’t be so impressed.


On Saturdays I volunteer at St. Phillip’s Young People’s Gay and Lesbian bible study.  The beginning of our sessions always begins with The Lord’s Prayer. I was running a little late, slipped in, quietly joined the circle and put my hands in the hands of those beside me. I closed my eyes and joined the prayer. As we approached the end of the prayer my hand was gently squeezed twice in a row. I opened my eyes and looked down at the hand that sqeezed mine. I must have been startled, what was I expecting to see beside two hands? I looked up and the woman was smiling at me. I was numb with the realization, it was Sue! We hugged and said hello.


After a brief chat, we all split into our study groups for the discussion. I found myself distracted and anxious. I could sense she was looking at me as often as I was stealing looks of her! As hard as I tried to stay focused, I found it impossible. I could not wait for the session to be over. Finally we stood in a circle to say the Lord’s Prayer to close out the session. I was looking forward to talking with her.


It was early still, only about 12:15, so we decided to go to lunch. We walked to a close by local eatery. The waiter led us to our seats in the side alcove near the small waterfall. This is my favorite seating area of this restaurant, full of flowers and aesthetic pleasantries. Pretty cool for a burger joint! The waiter pulled out my seat and I sat while accepting the menu. Sue, on the other hand, took the menu and slid into the chair next to me. I was a little taken aback as I thought she would sit in the chair opposite me. Obviously this friendship has taken a new course, if you had seen her eyes, you would know this, too.


Again, as I lay in my bed, my mind was racing over the day. The plans I’d started the day with, groceries and dry cleaning went out the window. I spent the entire day with Sue and we never ran out of topics for conversation. I had so much fun! We laughed and laughed, telling story after story. The kinds of things you do when you get to know someone.



No comments yet. Be the first.

Leave a reply