$300 Sow's Ears?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

It has come to my attention recently that there are people who are spending over $300 for a purse. I must say, that I am in no way saying a person who works hard can't spend money on whatever they want to buy. . . but I've spent the entire week trying to figure out how I could justify spending $300 on a SINGLE purse?

The last purse I purchased was from a very popular retail chain of stores and it was $25.00. It was also on sale for 40% off. It's black, faux croc and very nice. It carries my personal stuff and really hasn't fallen apart in any way except for normal wear and tear on my part. And I've had it for almost 2 years now. I even found a wallet and sunglasses to match. The total ensemble less than $50. and I get TONS of compliments on the purse!

So why would a person who works hard want to spend $300 on a purse? ONE PURSE? What does a $300 purse say about us as Americans? What does it say about us as people? What does it say about us as WOMEN? Is it the status of having a Coach, Dooney or Brahmin's metal tag hanging or stamped on the side of the leather? Is the smell of the leather itself? Is it the color? What? Oh.....it has also come to my attention that people who have spent this amount on said purses have more than just one???

And I sit here and wonder why it's been on my mind? At first, I thought, damn Kelli are you jealous? Jealous because you work so hard and don't have a $300 purse? Why do you even care? And then I really began to think about it and this is what I came up with:

In this economy when $300 is life to some people...I mean LIFE...
$300 is a paycheck.
$300 is a car payment.
$300 is health care (you know most people are sicker than they think and can't even afford medical care??)
$300 is a HOUSE payment
$300 pays for an elderly persons HEAT in the winter
$300 pays for an elderly persons AIR in the summer
$300 buys 10 steak dinners
$300 pays for some single mother's daycare for almost a month?!!!
$300 buys a DYSON vacuum cleaner
$300 is a weekend getaway (well, in some places it is!!)
$300 is airfare to see your grandmother. . .
$300 is 15 pairs of blue jeans at some chain stores
$300 could feed a family for a month or more
$300 could keep someone from being homeless

And I really think that if I had $300 to blow on a PURSE...I would get more mileage out of just handing it to someone on the street or giving it to a person who may have just lost their job (there are zillions of them now) than looking down and seeing $300 hanging from my arm OR better yet, sitting on my closet shelf. And really, other than someone else who bought a $300 purse, who is going to know how much your purse cost?

Can you think of something BETTER to do with $300 than buy a purse?? Let me know. Post it here...pose the same question on YOUR blog...

1. Why are we continuing to spend exorbitant amounts of money on status accessories in this economy?
2. Why did we ever feel we need to buy a $300 purse in the first place?
3. And if we did buy a $300 purse, why do we need MORE THAN ONE?

Just my thoughts. Thanks for being here. Thanks for reading. Comment. Post. XoXoXo


Shelley said...

I treat a purse like crap and am not deserving of a nice one, even if I could afford a nice one someday. So I am guilt-free with my inexpensive purse that I can toss when I've been too hard on it. I'll bet you can't throw those expensive ones in the washer like I've been known to do with mine.

Zura said...

Two thoughts... one is that we have people buying expensive purses for the same reason we have a rampant drug problem in this country . The core problem is that something is missing in most people's lives. They feel a void and are trying to fill it with something that gives a quick fix or trying to make the outside okay hoping the inside will follow.

Second thought -- I used to buy expensive clothes and accessories, but now I shop mostly at thrift stores. Why? Because I'd rather have 10 pair of $3 shoes than one pair of $30 shoes. And sometimes I find really nice shoes at the thrift store! :)

Anonymous said...

well, Kelli, I own one of those expensive bags and I adore it. It was given to me as a gift from my husband. I had admired the bag for a couple of years so it wasn't an impulse purchase. We are far from rich, too. I do my share of contributing to my church, giving to the needy, taking care of an elderly father, etc. I will never have money because I will always find someone who has more of a need than I do. I work hard and once in awhile find something that I really fancy and the lovely Brahmin bag happened to be it. We all have weaknesses and are far from perfect. The Brahmin bag just happened to be "it" for me! The quality is there and will last me for years, keeping me from having to buy another bag. Plus, it's a neutral color that can be carried year round. Another thing to consider is that many times these pricey bags can be bought at a good discount so maybe they really didn't cost $300.

The Hole Bead Shoppe said...

Shelley, AMEN!
Zura, I understand what you're saying! I have to admit that I have often bought something I didn't need and felt guilty about it later. And as I have gotten older, I have curtailed my spending to a "do you NEED this" attitude. However, it does not always work? ahhhhh such is life.
And to the Anonymous post:
1. Why did you post as Anonymous?
2. You have GREAT points. I mean who can argue with a GIFT from hubby? or something you have coveted for "years", which I had no idea they carried designer purses for "years" in any department store, so great point.
3. Anytime you get something at a discount is a "shout out" for you!
But...NONE of these things were what I was talking about.
I am not talking about saving for 20 years to buy something. I am not talking about wanting something and getting it as a discounted gift from your husband for your 40th anniversary.
My point was. . .
Walking into a high end retail store and purchasing a brand name PURSE off the shelf OR right off the table it's sitting on for the PRICE on the tag. . . which I googled ALL the brand name purses I listed and they average $300 a piece!!!
I recently was privy to a conversation about people buying purses (at my bead shop) for $300 plus a PIECE!!! And the persons who said this had MORE THAN ONE of them in their closet.
The conversation bothered me. So I thought I would post it on the blog to get people to THINK about what they are doing with their lives.
And it appears that it worked!! :o) SUPER! Thank you for posting. Hope you write back, whomever you are! !

Anonymous said...

I posted as anonymous because I couldn't figure out how to post any other way! Maybe I should trade that purse for lessons on the computer!
I do agree with many things you said but wanted to give you my perspective, too. I think all of us think and live differently than we did, even two years ago.
Along with the economy, my family has had a string of bad luck for a few years (accident, surgeries, job loss, major legal issues, and a family fall-out to name a few) and that has definitely made my priorities different.

My new saying is life can change in the blink of an eye but my God is good and nothing will take my joy away in Him!

GLBG Exhibits said...

This is so true.
I love that you are articulate and recognize truth when you see it. Your writing is refreshing...gee..you're from the midwest, go figure! Me too.
I'm not a retailer, far from it, but I recently sold an original piece of my own work for three figures. It is a first for me!!!! But hopefully not the last. (see my facebook album at Yadasi Beads) Oh and it was a gift for someone. Do we compare our labor intensive works of art to this mass produced accessory debacle or are we above that as artists? I'm voting for the artists personally. LOL hmm getting tired this might not make sense. LOL and going to bed.
Sharon Wagner - Yadasi Beads

The Hole Bead Shoppe said...

Sharon! Thanks for posting. We (I) LOVE feedback and thoughful debate. . . I wish I had more time to banter with everyone. I would love a job like Dear Abby! haha
Anonymous-e-mail me. . . I keep feeling like I know you? Your words sound like I talk to you. . . I'm curious now. Angie?
All in all, I am happy with the BLOG post. I've posted some very emotional content here and not gotten as many replies.
I'll see what else I can come up with. . .back to work for now. Must finish beaded clasp.

Anonymous said...

No, you don't know me. Actually, a friend who owns two Brahmin bags sent your link to me! I never blog but must say I've enjoyed it. I'll have to come see you some time.

The Hole Bead Shoppe said...

HA! What did your friend say? Guess she probably wasn't happy. Like I said, maybe it made people think. It's all I wanted. I don't care what anyone says, I'll post it. Because first and foremost, we're Americans and being FREE means we ALL think independent of another. I love it. Well it's been nice to meet you. And I've enjoyed it.
Come see me? You live in Oklahoma? :o)
And by the way 2009 was bad for MANY of my friends MANY of them. So it hit hard. BUT 2009 was also a very good year for many of my friends. Therefore, the post.
Thanks! Like I said, e-mail or post here. . .

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