23 January 2008

Red and roomy

For the last several years I've been carrying my books to class in one of the following bags (when I am not forced to resort to the "I'm in high school" backpack look, definitely not an option for the city, when all I usually have are three slim French books anyway):

-a navy blue cloth Aspen Institute freebie that the Mister picked up at a conference years ago
-a cute but cheaply made pink/purple floral bag that came FREE with a British airport magazine purchase (the straps have already broken twice and the Mister's mom sewed them back together)
-a plasticky black handbag that I bought on sale for 3$ at Bath & Body Works four years ago

Needless to say, it was time for a grown-up European girl bag, and the Mister concurred. But I wasn't quite ready to pay a gazillion bucks for a fancy leather item (I'm a cheapskate; witness: list above), OR to pay ten euros for one of the plasticky suitcase-sized "hand"bags to be found in H&M or Mango.

I found the middle ground when I visited one of my favorite little boutique stores yesterday (the kind of place where I adore everything in it but never buy anything because it's too expensive, and I feel slightly uncomfortable because it's tiny and as the saleslady watches me, the only customer, browse the too-expensive items, I'm positive she can tell I'm a cheapskate and won't buy anything).

BUT! Yesterday, everything was half-off, and the 60-euro handbag was only 30 euros, and even though it's not real leather, I'm kind of glad (no need to wear an animal on my shoulder) and it still looks classy. And it's really roomy, but not the size of a suitcase! It'll fit folders sideways or upways, and maybe even my laptop. For travel, it'll be perfect to carry all the cables and crap I have to cart around. And it has cute buckles but not thousands of unnecessary ones (a pet peeve of mine).

And it's red! Who isn't cheered up by red?

Cute red bag in nighttime light:


Cute red bag in daytime light:


Close-up of cute red bag because the new camera has a pretty sweet macro setting:


I stayed in last night, skipping a dinner that the Mister had organized for a friend who's leaving his job. I didn't feel super great and didn't feel like going out, but the one thing that made me want to get dressed up and ignore my complaining ovaries? The cute red bag!

But I knew that soon enough I'll take it everywhere, my new companion on the gray streets of Brussels. Tomorrow, it'll accompany me to my French exam, and the red will cheer me up so much that I'll channel my inner French girl and ace the exam!

Or, erm, at least it'll reassure me when I can't remember the subjunctive or how to spell that tricky string of vowels.

1 comment:

Lilacspecs said...

Liking the red bag! And yeah, I'll try to figure out a way to contact you next time we go to Brussels, or let me know if you make a trip to Gent.