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Don’t try to buy your wife a purse for Christmas

November 22, 2011

I thought I would really step up this year, get creative and buy my wife a new purse for Christmas. In my professional life, I seek out experts on topics to get educated and then make a decision. I did the same for my purse education and utilized my local Fashion Yoda (FY) who sits next to me at work. Let me begin by noting that NASA space scientists are presented with less complex problems when putting people into space than when a guy attempts to buy his wife something so seemingly simple as a purse.

First of all, they are not called purses they are called ‘handbags’, and this is merely the generic term because there are many sub-categories of ‘handbags’. Your grandmother carries a ‘purse’, or you can have a ‘coin purse’ or an ‘evening purse’ but you no longer refer to your ‘handbag’ as a purse. Best as I can tell handbag sounds more youthful and allows for more sizes than the term purse. My Fashion Yoda (FY) then began with the questions, and I was quickly overwhelmed. Let’s begin with type, which also indicates size and application. I glazed over in about 30 seconds and my eyes resembled those of a dying fish washed up on the beach, so I had to go with a graphic… clutch <mini bag <cross body <satchel <small tote <top handle <tote <hobo <magazine tote… etc. The list goes on, and these categories are subdivided again, but my sketch was beginning to look like a Pentagon decision matrix.

Then, we got into… Evening or casual? Does she want leather, suede, fabric, metallic, straw, microfiber or jacquard? Does she like hardware or prefer one without? Does she want it monogrammed? Does she want an embossed logo or one that is more prominent?

I needed a break, and thought maybe we could start with price? Bad starting point. I asked what the Cadillac of purses was, and I learned about the Hermes Birkin Bag that ranges in price from $5k-$20k if you can find one. “Uhhh, is that in pesos?”

I was curious if handbags were waterproof or which types did best in the rain and would be the most practical for everyday use. I then learned that many women don’t think in practical terms when it comes to fashion and would use their children as human shields against the elements before allowing their handbag to get wet or damaged by the rain.

The whole thing had me tired and my FY frustrated at my lack of answers. I realized how much easier it was to be a guy. Then, my FY asked if I would suggest a ‘hunting bag’ for her husband? Which led to my decision chart: What kind of hunting? Upland bird, duck, deer, antelope, big horn sheep, turkey, elk, varmit…? Will it be used for hunting in fall, winter or spring? Domestically or abroad? Is he going on a safari? Lower 48 states, Alaska or Canada? Does he want leather, canvas or nylon? Waterproof or non-waterproof? Does he like the waxed canvas type? Would he like monogramming? Camouflage or non-camouflage? Which pattern of camouflage? Realtree, Morning Wood, Tundra, Mothwing, Snow, Natural, Traditional, Desert…etc.? Will he be carrying rifle ammo or shotgun shells? Does he want it to match his gun case? What does his gun case look like?

In the end, we both agreed on gift cards.

© Johnny Hea – 2011 All Rights Reserved


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One Comment
  1. Great title … interesting journey …. classic ending. Well done … and good advise to we guys.

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