Archived Story

Falling head over heels for Kate Spade purse

Published 5:25pm Thursday, December 15, 2011

Beckoned by the call of a Goodwill in Boiling Springs, I was tucked cozily inside the cab of my truck, deliciously warm with a thermos of hot tea in the cup holder, Bach flowing from the speakers and nothing but hours of leisure diversion before me – truly a perfect Saturday.
A hand-lettered sign on neon-green poster board reading “Yard Sale” caught my eye as I approached a turn-off and, shrugging my shoulders, I followed the subsequent signs and arrows through a maze of modest neighborhoods before finally turning down a long stretch of road that ended at a farm house opposite a cattle farm.
Frankly, the fare was a bit disappointing: piles of old clothes, a stack of books, a few pieces of battle-scarred furniture. Thinking I’d rummage through the books, I turned past a chest of drawers and, completely oblivious to a wire magazine rack on the ground before it, stepped right through the thing and did something like a sort of cartwheel, reminiscent of the opening on the old ‘Dick Van Dyke Show.’
“Oh, my gosh, are you all right?!” cried one woman, racing over.
“Did you hurt anything?” gasped another, taking it upon herself to brush the dirt off my rear end.
“Just my pride,” I muttered, more embarrassed than anything. I made a joke or two and assured them I was fine, wasn’t a sue-happy kind of person and declared that next time I’d watch where I was walking.
While I was dusting off the knees of my jeans, my gaze fell upon a heap of tattered pocketbooks arranged over a bedspread on the ground. Mostly vinyl, well-worn, dated, but… wait a minute, is that what I think it is?
An immaculate little denim purse with the unmistakable sewn-in black label: Kate Spade.
“Umm, how much for this?” I asked. lifting it with the delicacy of a newborn chick.
“Oh, a dollar,” one of the women replied.
Now, if you’re a man reading this, let me put it in a way you can appreciate: imagine fate sending you sprawling in front of an antique Hardy fishing reel.
For a buck.
I never made it to the Goodwill. I turned for home with my treasure, musing whether or not it was an original. At each stoplight, I went over it with a fine-toothed comb: interior perfect, lining and stitching high quality, demure, chrome, ‘feet’ on the bottom… it all certainly appeared authentic. But here’s the problem.
I’ve never been a pocket-book sorta gal. You know, the kind the queen carries over her arm. I’m just too tall and the proportions look silly – like popping one over the wrist of the Statue of Liberty. I need a shoulder bag or even a backpack.
And even if I decided to keep it, I could never keep my mouth shut and just swan into a cocktail party with a group of women, eyes alighting upon the bag and beginning to salivate, and airily proclaim, “Yes, isn’t it marvelous? It’s from Kate’s Spring Collection, don’t you know?”
Nope.
I’m the sort that would have to actually apologize for having it. I’d have to wave my work-roughened hand and say, “Ya’ll aren’t gonna believe this: I’m at a yard sale in the middle of nowhere, I stick my big foot through a magazine rack, go flying head over heels, land on my butt right next to a heap of pocketbooks and there it was, for a dollar!”
And the women would gape for a moment, then glide quietly away, en masse, as if I had a particularly nasty virus.
Sharing my adventure on Facebook, I decided to raffle my prize away to the highest bidder, explaining I couldn’t verify it was legitimate, but all proceeds would go to a local animal shelter.
When my friend, Carol, made the winning bid, she sent me a private message and said, “I don’t want the purse, I just wanted to help drive up the bids but I’ll happily make the donation.
So I still have it.
Anybody want a purse?

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