handbag prologue

August 11, 2009

This is the prologue to one of the books I’m working on. I wrote it a year ago and I’ve forgotten all about this one until I found it in my harddrive.


A handbag to a woman is like a dog to a man. Best friends. Forever. Well, OK, until a new It Bag comes out.

It goes everywhere you go, sees everything you see, hears everything you hear. You count on it. To hold your valuables dearly, to shield you from the rain, to mask your face when you pass someone you don’t like on the streets. You fiddle with the handles on your shoulder when you’re nervous, you play with the embroidery when you’re bored on the tube. Can’t live without it!

Just like diamonds, handbags are so much better when they’re more expensive. Then the friendship is on another level. Handbags become your pride, the reason why girls turn green when you walk past. The focal point of your outfit, the first thing other women see and envy.

And just look around the room. You’re not crazy. It really is happening this bag phenomenon. 10,000 dollars for a bag? Women just shrug. No problem, they say, I’ll just starve for the next few months. The really snooty ones would say “10,000? You mean that’s all? Pftt, those bags are at the back of my closet!”

Pretentious. Me? Never. I buy a bag for the quality. No, really.

It all began when I was 8.

There it was. The big Gucci store my mom walks in and out of all the time. Just fulfilling her oestrogen-induced desires, she too was a sucker for handbags. I used to think she was crazy for paying enormous amount of money for this tool, I just didn’t get it.

I used to be so bored having to wait in the store, I would sit in one corner and start whining to the bag in front of me. Freeze that image; a little girl with a bow headband on top of her perfectly kept bangs, black dress with beautiful lace trimmings and Mary Jane pumps, pouring out her feelings to the one thing in the shop that seems to sympathise with her. The salesmen must have seen the early signs. A monster was about to emerge. I was, after all, talking to bags like they were my best friends.

One life-changing day, my dad came home and presented me with a box. Pretty box with a ribbon. What could it be? The limited edition Barbie doll? A DIY glitter jewellery kit? Polly Pocket’s new house?

Impatient, I tore the ribbon, ripped the wrapper apart, and lifted the cover.

Sitting pretty and humble, as if bowing to its new owner, was a small handbag. Simple, no fuss. Black suede. Leather lining. Gold buckle with the word “Gucci” engraved on it.

“Goo-chee.” I squinted my eyes to read the engraving.

I ran my fingers through it, and felt the softness. A sudden rush of feeling came pouring in. This is what love feels like, I thought.

I kissed my dad with gratitude and skipped up to my room with my newest ‘toy.’

And that was when it all started. The handbag monster was unleashed within me.

Hello world, it said.