Although the friend I was with offered to drive me home afterward, I decided to walk. The theatre isn’t that far from where I live; about a 15 minute walk, 25 or 30 if you dawdle and stop to look in store windows.
Plus, it was my idea of perfect weather — sunny, warm, not too hot or humid, with a nice gentle breeze. So we said our good-byes and headed off in opposite directions.
It wasn’t my intention to window shop, I actually needed to get home and work on a project that’s just kicked into high gear, so I started off moving at a pretty good clip. And then, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted something. I’d actually passed the store by the time it had registered with me. I hesitated for a minute.
“Should I go back?” I asked myself? “Nah, keep going,” my better judgement answered. I took a few steps. “Oh, come on,” I countered, “how long will it take to just go back and have a better look. You don’t have to go in now, you can always come back.”
Who was I kidding? What woman sees something she likes in a window and doesn’t go into the store?
By now, I really really wanted to have another look. Pissed off at my lack of will power, I turned around and headed back in the direction of the store. It was just a few steps, it’s not like I was blocks away.
The window was jammed with all kinds of stuff, but the bag that had caught my attention was right in front. Olive drab canvas, it was nothing special, but it’s got two features I love:
- An outside zippered pocket, which is the perfect place to stash keys, iPhone, my Presto card for the subway, mints, lipgloss, tissues — all those items you want to have easily within reach.
- Although it has handles, it also has a long strap you can sling across your body. I love having my hands free — hate carrying purses. I also detest shoulder bags because they are always slipping and sliding down my arm and I’m always having to shove them back up.
Deciding it looked like a good, practical, roomy-enough-for-anything-including-my-laptop, casual, indestructible, everyday bag for summer I knew right then and there that my writing assignment would be slightly delayed.
Lo and behold, upon closer inspection I realized it was better than I’d initially thought.
Inside the bag has lots of compartments — pockets of all sizes (a couple even for pens) and several more zippered sections as well. A dream for me because I am incapable of keeping my purse neat and organized. I don’t know why this is such a challenge for me, but it is.
And there is nothing I dislike more than constantly having to fish around the bottom of my handbag looking for stuff — which I always think is lost because whatever it is inevitably finds its way into nooks, crannies and crevices I don’t ever seem to be able to put my fingers on — resulting in my having to dump all the contents of the damn purse onto a table or a chair or a bed or whatever surface is close at hand.
In case you’re thinking about suggesting I buy smaller handbags let me just say, been there done that. In my experience, it’s not any easier to keep them tidy,
Once I decided this bag was a must-have, I glanced around the store. It’s my kind of shop, more like a bazaar or flea market, really. A wonderful hodge podge of assorted odds and sods — small pieces of furniture, a few articles of boho-type clothing, bags, chatchkas, jewelry — the kind of place where I can wander happily for an hour or two.
Difficult as it was, though, I forced myself to pay for my purchase and get the hell out of there, promising myself I’d go back and browse another time. I’m in that neighborhood often, because the theatre we have that screens nothing but documentaries every day is there; and I love documentaries.
But here’s the point of this story (apologies for rambling and taking so long to get here). I’d never seen the store before, not even as recently as a few weeks ago when I’d gone to a movie. “It literally must have just opened,” I thought and said as much to a friend when we were speaking to each other later in the day and I mentioned my new purchase.
“Oh, really,” she said. And then began to ask me questions, and every question she asked sounded exactly like the shop I’d been in. Finally she said, “it’s been there for years.” I was shocked.
Honestly, I don’t know how I could have missed it. I’m pretty observant. Now I’m wondering what else I may have missed along the journey we call life.