If you’re new to this blog, one thing you should know about me is that I’m crazy about handbags.
But not just any handbags. Just the ones that are in my closet because all of them have their own stories; on how I got them in the first place, what made me buy them, where they’ve been around the world, what they’ve seen and heard (if only handbags could talk…)
I guess handbags (not diamonds) are a girl’s best friend. (OK fine, diamonds also can..)
Like my creamish Dior Gaucho bag, for example.
(I swear it was cream when I bought it…contrary to my mom’s belief, I did not dirty it! It was never white to begin with! It was cream, godamnit! Cream!)
This was the story of my determination.
Gauchos were so hot at the time. All the celebrities wore it, donning it in every colour.
I wasn’t that interested because I thought it looked a bit ‘dirty’ until I saw this creamish vintage-looking one, with brown trimmings.
Dean and I were flying back to KL from London. As usual, at the Heathrow airport, we would be circling round the shops like sharks to take advantage of the duty free goods.
I passed Dior and made a double-take when my eyes caught this creamish Gaucho.
Oooohhhhhh… TING! *lightbulb flashing*
That’s the one. I want that one.
I circled the airport one more time just to be sure I wasn’t acting on impulse. And still I found myself standing in front of the Dior shop.
I want it.
I did not dare walk in. Because I knew I wouldn’t let go of it the minute I laid my hands on it, and plus the saleslady will say things like “Last piece, this one!” or “There’s this lady just now who wanted it….she might come back for it…”. I swear they go through trainings to learn all these tricks.
So Dean took me to Starbucks. Had a drink in hand, but my mind wouldn’t let me drink.
I want it.
I tried to think of something else.
I want it.
I looked at the flight summary on the big screen. Half hour to flight. People were boarding now.
I want it.
This was 3 years ago when my finances relied solely on Dad’s credit card and nothing else. So of course, I had to ring Dad up. I rehearsed a few versions of pretty-please speeches with Dean and I chose one that sounded the most pitiful.
I dialed Dad. I knew this was it. Make or break. I only had one shot at this with my Dad, so I better make it good. I looked at watch; 20 minutes to flight.
Dad picked up. “Darling, are you boarding already?”
“Umm yeah yeah..in a minute..”
Cut to the chase. Time is money! I blabbed my speech in just one breath. I thought it went well. Apparently, Dad did not. He said no and told me off for calling him at 5 am to ask him for a handbag, no matter how nice it is and no matter how many years I have been waiting for a colour like this. He told me off for having nothing else to think about except handbags and he told me money doesn’t grow from trees. At least, not at 5 am in the morning. And no, bloody hell, a Dior bag is not an emergency.
Crap….this conversation would be a lot different if he was awake! It was 5 am in KL, why didn’t I remember that?!!
That was it. The end of my Gaucho…
5 minutes later, Mom called.
“You really want the bag, ke?”
“Yes….” I gave my best youngest-child voice.
“OK, you can get it. Next time, don’t wake your father up for things like these.”
I think that’s what she said, I don’t know, you’ve got to ask Dean. Because I’m pretty sure I threw the phone at him and ran straight to Dior.
“HOLD THAT BAG!! I WANT IT!!!” I leaped to the saleswoman touching the bag.
OK, I only had 15 minutes before the gate closes. They already called for passengers on the flight.
After I checked the condition of the bag, the lady took her own sweet time taking the bag to the back to wrap it up.
This wasn’t the time to wrap it nicely. I had a plane to catch, LADY!!!
She hurried up and it was time to pay.
“FINAL CALL FOR PASSENGERS ON MH BLA BLA BLA…”
Dean was getting pale. “Er…..that’s us.”
My heart was beating fast. I practically threw the credit card at the lady who finally decided to come out from the back room. I swear her hair was different just now…she went to fix her hair?!!! I wanted to punch her.
She delicately pressed some stuff on the cashier and swiped my card. She frowned.
“Is this a supplementary card?”
WELL AREN’T YOU A GENIUS? Of course it is! Do I look like I can afford this bag on my own? I was only 18 then!
5 minutes passed and my card still wouldn’t go through.
“The bank is calling the issuing bank who is calling the principal card owner for his authorisation. And they can’t get through to him.”
Oh no……they’re going to wake my Dad up….oh nooooo….
Dean was white. “Can’t you just forget about this? We’re going to miss our plane! The gate is closing in 5 minutes and we still have a long way to walk to the gate!!”
Flight home or bag? I had to choose. No wait, I can have both. I can feel it; luck is on my side.
Nothing is impossible (The Cempaka School motto, btw…I didn’t graduate from there for nothing!)
“Can I just talk to them?” I grabbed the phone from her. “OK look, I have a plane to catch…I’ll answer any questions you have….bla bla bla…”
“OK.” The bank guy obviously knows a girl hungry for a handbag is just as bad as a man hungry for food; they’re not be messed with.
I don’t know how I did it, but even I’m impressed with how an 18 year old can shut a banker up.
The transaction went through. We had exactly 5 minutes until the gate closes.
The white and brown combo, with the vintage metal Dior buckle and the gorgeous Dior key…..
The lady handed the bag to me. I smiled and looked at it adoringly. “Mine….all mine….you’re so beauti -“
“No time for that.” Dean grabbed me and dragged me all the way to the gate.
The gate was far! At the other end of the airport. We had to run like hell. Probably not the best place to wear heels, those airports.
At the same time, I was calling Mom and Dad; my personal must-do before boarding any plane, especially at this time to thank them for the gorgeous bag.
When we got there, they were already closing the door. Our Charm met Their Sympathy, and these two combined agreed to open the gate for us. Everything happened so fast. Scanner, security check, passport check, overhead compartment, seats.
Dean was so mad at me at the time. I probably shouldn’t have turned to him and said, “See, I told you we’d make it.” Somehow that made him angrier. Hehe.
Now I look back and it’s all so silly. All this commotion involved my dad, my mom, the saleslady, her assistant, Dean, the banker, the issuing bank, the airport crew….all for a bag.
But somehow I still feel a sense of pride till this day carrying the bag. It was the day I knew that I was a determined person; I will try everything to get what I want. I don’t just do things halfway. I couldn’t just walk away when I have come that far as to ask the lady to wrap the bag. I couldn’t just let my heart down even when the final call was announced. Somehow, I knew that I would make that flight. I knew that my determination wasn’t going to waste.
If I didn’t push for it, I wouldn’t have gotten the bag. Which would not be the end of the world, I know. But this was more than just a bag. It was about a person’s character. Whether or not they believed that something will happen, whether or not they will fight for what they want and will do everything to see it through, even to stop the plane if need be!
It was also a character test for Dean. Whether or not he was the kind of person who would leave me in times of panic, or would he stand by me and probably miss a flight together, even over a small thing. Till this day, he’s never left my side.
Sometimes, Dean and I reminisce this story; he would roll his eyes saying how annoyed he was, and I would just remind him “See, but I told you we’d make it!” He calls this bag “The Bag That Almost Made Me Miss My Flight”. Pftt so pessimistic! I just call it “Oh Sweet Victory.”