French Baguettes and Hefty Bags

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“I am going to buy a $7,000 purse when we get home,” a companion of lithe, yet athletic, build declared.

Next to me was a pissing Cupid fountain. I was deep in the bowels of the Burgundy region of France. Cupid’s head was encased with a laurel wreath. My Old Navy cargo shorts clashed with the Perscio.

These people were always up for a good rebellion. Her husband gave compliance with silence.  I too was speechless.

What does a multi-thousand-dollar handbag accomplish what a generic cloth bag, or gasp, a doubled Hefty bag cannot do?

I try to subscribe to the idea of “if it costs more, it must be better,” but I am befuddled when it comes to purses.  A purse is designed to serve one primary function and a very minor secondary function.

  1. Carry your crap-this could really be any type of bag
  2. Make you look good while carrying your crap.  This is the secondary function of a handbag.  Decorate a bag in some combination of jewels, sequins, leather, tassels, chains, buckles, exotic leathers, designer’s logos, or pom poms and the primary function of a bag is unaffected.  It still carries all your crap.
Reasonable pricing, efficient, and talked about–everything you want in a purse

As for lugging all your crap, I have noticed the older the woman– the larger and more expensive the purse.  Here is a chart to show a woman’s age, her bag size, and common items found in the bag.

Age of Woman Average Bag Cost Bag Size Bag Material Common Items Found
4-10 Free to $5 Various, but small Pleather Candy, toy money, key to nowhere
11-22 $15-20 Wallet Cloth ID, cash, credit card
23-28 $25-300 Clutch Leather-Black or tan Same as above plus lipstick
29-35 $200-2,000 Able to carry a terrier Leather-Color other than black or tan Same as above plus book “This Is Why You’re Still Single”
36+ $1,500-$300,000 Too large for airplane overhead bin Calf, alligator, crocodile, or ostrich leather with palladium, titanium, or gold hardware–diamonds optional See c)
  • c) Same as above, less the book, plus 2-year old hard candy, 1-AAA battery (dead), receipt from 2015 Ringling Brothers concession stand-one pretzel and one Diet Coke, 8 types of mascara, seventeen pens-some actually work, pacifier-even though youngest child is now 14 years old, cell phone, $14.86 in change of currencies Yen, Euros, Baht, Pesos, decomissioned Rubles, Dong, cell phone declared “lost”, your ex-husband/boyfriend’s underwear, mystery cream with the label worn off, vibrator, expired car registration, a smaller purse which was eaten by this purse, broken whistle, flask of vodka, janitor size key ring, US Weekly magazine (Jennifer Aniston cover), and Band-Aids.

There is a direct correlation between your age and the size and cost of your handbag.  Maybe you carry more crap, so you spend more money on a bigger bag. Maybe you get a bigger bag so you can carry more crap.  This paradox is beyond the scope of this article and way too difficult for my small brain to attempt to unscramble. 

I Want To Be Somebody

I was at a party, but dial back visions of togas, random sex and mounds of drugs.  The woman of honor was turning 80 years old, so the party started after morning meds and ended well before Sundown Syndrome appeared.  I was talking with my brother-in-law who hawks high end watches for a living.  A guy walked in wearing an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 41mm 15500ST (MSRP ~$35,000 USD).

“Who’s the guy with the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 41mm 15500ST?” my bro-in-law asked.

These two immediately struck up a conversation about the pros and cons of wearing something so rare and exquisite the odds of a common man encountering one are less than being diagnosed with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and immediately getting a successful organ transplant the following day. 

I can only imagine the people who notice ten thousand-dollar purses are the same people who sell ten thousand-dollar purses.

“I’d like to hit that so I can get a better look at her Hermes crocodile bag with palladium hardware”, said no guy in the history of the world.  Compare this to the internet billionaire who drops $1MM on a Ferrari to get the ladies to sleep with him, only to find they are all obsessed with the hippie who hasn’t showered in a week, lives out of a storage locker, and makes his living playing acoustic versions of pop songs at Pot Belly on his garage-sale-purchased 6-string guitar.

“But It Is an Investment…”

My wife was gifted a multi-generation old Gucci Handbag.  I often hear these designer purses described as “investments” or “good re-sale”.  After planning an all-inclusive trip to the Dominican Republic, I looked up Gucci purses on eBay.  With great haste, I canceled the Caribbean vacation and considered something more appropriate for my soon-to-be windfall:  a bunch of bananas or heavily used baseball glove from the mid-80’s on Craigslist. 

I thought of calling Louis Vuitton for comment, but the phone was on the other side of the room, and I have a general rule I don’t get off the couch after 8 pm-especially performing a tantric deep thought while constructing high level articles such as this.

I thought the time spent doing a comprehensive investigation of purse ideology would enable me to understand what drives women to buy large and/or expensive purses, but I am more confused than before I wrote this article.

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To Get Away or Not to Get Away? That is the Question

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Special thanks to M.A. for writing our first guest blog post. Lord knows we are hungry for content here at Skiinginjeans, so thanks for stepping up M.A.

It starts before school even gets out for summer.  You may be in the pick-up line for preschool, or waiting at the bus stop for your kids, but inevitably you will start to hear variations on the same theme.  Namely, “what are you doing this summer?”  While this may seem like an innocent enough question, just mom-to-mom small talk, the underlying gist, of course, is “where are you going (translation: how much are you spending) on vacation this summer?” and/or “what camps / enrichment activities are your kids enrolled in?”

While much could be said, and many a blog post have already sufficiently skewered, the myriad options for upper middleclass kids these days – from over -the-top sleepaway camps costing upwards of $10,000 per session, intensive sports training camps for kids (meaning, their parents) dreaming of being the next D1 recruit, or even local or town-subisdized day camps that offer impressive field trips, yoga sessions and sushi making classes, little attention has been paid to the phenomenon of what I call “vacationing en masse.”  In other words, spending your vacation with all of the same people that you spend your day-to-day life with, often in a locale that really isn’t all that different from where you live.  Up and down the East coast, from the suburbs of NY (including coastal CT), all the way to Boston, you can’t throw a stone without hitting someone who spends the majority of their summer in Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket.  In the city (a/k/a Manhattan), it’s the Hamptons or bust.  Sure, some will claim to be cooler or more lowkey by going to Block Island, Shelter Island, or Montauk (which is technically just the Hamptons, but further).   Don’t be fooled:  these are still just summer outposts of the same communities.   And it’s not just an East Coast phenomenon; Midwesterners flock to their Michigan or Lake Geneva “cottages” (often more akin to mansions), southerners to the mountains of North Carolina or the beaches of South Carolina, and Californians, to Malibu.  It’s getting away, without getting away.  Which begs the question, why go at all?

“Jeeves, please arrange a ferry back to deary old Manhattan”

Sure, all of these places are certainly vacation-worthy in a purely objective sense.  They boast beautiful scenery, pristine beaches, gourmet restaurants, a multitude of activities for both the young and the not-so-young.  However, when you consider paying an exorbitant premium for lodging (assuming you were fortuitous enough to book at least 9-12 months in advance), spending hours in gridlock traffic getting there (if, in the case of Nantucket or the Vineyard, you were smart enough to book your ferry well in advance; more on the particular travails of the ferry below), the horrific traffic once you are there, and getting shut out of the aforementioned gourmet restaurants due to the crowds, one starts to wonder what is the point of it all. 

For wardrobe assistance, head to….
https://castawayclothing.com/collections/mens-embroidered-pants

Meet New People?

More than any of this though, the idea of spending precious summer weeks with the same friends and acquaintances you see daily during the other three seasons of the year is mind-boggling.  Maybe it’s because the summer population of these East Coast locales consists largely of finance douches wearing Nantucket red shorts and their Lily Pulitzer clad wives and kids (most of whom are among the most obnoxious residents in my Fairfield County burb), but I cannot fathom the appeal of spending the summer, not to mention tons of money and aggravation, bumping into them left and right on a tiny, congested island or spit of land.  During the summer months, my Facebook and Instagram feeds are filled with posts by local acquaintances vacationing on Nantucket, featuring pictures of fellow acquaintances eating dinner together, having cocktails together, hanging at the beach together, getting coffee together, and well, you get the point.  But I certainly don’t. 

Ferries are Fun

In addition to the bizarre reluctance to congregate with anyone outside of their usual  social and/or professional network or venture beyond the comfort zone of a preppy East Coast environment, Nantucket (and Martha’s Vineyard) summer residents also need to make sure they book their ferry reservation months in advance of their planned travel dates.  Horror stories abound in my town of families whose kids do not make it home for the first day of school in late August or early September, because the ferries are all booked.  They are literally stranded “on island” as they say.  Or, you have booked and paid for your overpriced yet still mildewed-smelling and miniscule rental cottage well in advance (as most rentals will require), but you forgot to book your ferry six months in advance, so your lodging sits empty for a few nights while you wake up at 4 am several days in a row hoping to get on a ferry stand-by. 

If this sounds like your dream vacation, you are not alone.  In fact, if you live anywhere along the I-95 corridor in the NY tristate area, you will be surrounded by hordes of your neighbors and others exactly like you.  Just be sure to pack your patience along with your Lily Pulitzer, crab-embroidered pants and Nantucket reds. 

For the finishing touch, definitely leave your $150 “Oversand Vehicle Permit” on your car (or, even better, multiple years’ worth stacked on top of each other), so everyone in town knows where you’ve been. 

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