Monday, April 30, 2007

Pockets Rule

I like chick lit. Even though it's all in first person, the top books in the genre have made me more tolerant of that, and I really like the voice. Unfortunately, despite insistence from editors since the beginning that it was about voice, not content, they still put out far too many books featuring heroines obsessed with shoes. The market got glutted, and changes were made.

To handbags.

Seriously, it seems most of the chick lit I've read more recently (not that I've read that much) contains heroines obsessed with purses. Designer ones, of course. And while such a thing can be put to good use in the course of a fantastic adventure novel (Julie Kenner's The Prada Paradox), in others it means boring pages of shopping.

I don't want to read about shopping at all, never mind shopping for purses. First, I find most designer purses ugly. Second, I have no idea who most of the designers are and what makes one more desirable and worth the money than another. And finally, I don't carry one. Ever.

I hate carrying a purse. The closest I'll get is a woven Guatemalan pouch I bought on the street in DC when I worked there, and that's more like a wallet on a string, and I only use it when I don't have pockets.

I have a metal card case I got at Linens N Things for my license and debit and insurance cards (and my bookstore club card, of course *g*). It's just the things I use most often or would need in an emergency. All my other cards are at home.

The case goes in my back right pocket, which is where receipts also go when I've been shopping. Phone goes in front left pocket, keys in front right. My keychain only holds my car key, house key, rape whistle (that is now 18 year old), and Planet Fitness and Giant (grocery) membership tags. Minimization is best.

I watch women walking around with handbags that have short handles and no shoulder straps. I couldn't stand to shop like that, with only one hand free, constantly having to make my valuables vulnerable by setting it down.

With a purse, you are always at risk of losing everything. One snatch and your entire identity is gone, along with your quickest chance to save it (cell phone), probably access to your bank accounts, and who knows what else. Oh, yeah. Money. At least if someone picks my pocket, they only get one thing that may or may not be useful to them. My debit card won't exactly buy them a plasma TV.

So I will be happy when chick lit continues to morph, as a whole, and heroines maintain their outlook on life, their snarkiness and courage, and ditch the accessories completely.


Misty said...

LOL. I have to have my small backpack because I have too much crap to cram it in my pockets. But I get where you are coming from and I have no idea about designer purses. Although if someone sees you on the street you jsut told them which pocket to goose you in! LOL.

Erica Orloff said...


None of my books have shopping heroines. I HATE shopping. The Internet has saved people like me--I just order everything online.

Natalie Damschroder said...

LOL, Misty! But like I said...the $20 in my account won't take them far, and there's no point in taking my beatup, 9-year-old car, even if they figured out which one it was. Plus, I wear shirts outside my pants. It would not be easy to get into my pockets. :)

Yes, Erica, your (RDI, since we're talking chick lit) books are a welcome exception. :) I'm like you about shopping. I prefer online, but even when I go local it's go in, buy, get out. My HUSBAND is the one who likes to browse and meander through the mall. Ugh.

Victoria said...

I wouldn't know a designer bag if I was hit in the head with it. :) I "usually" don't carry a purse, but lately I have been. And I hate it! I like the pocket method myself.

Natalie Damschroder said...

That doesn't surprise me about you. :)

MaryF said...

I never have pockets! I made most of my clothes, and was too lazy to put in pockets.

I like some designer purses, but can barely afford the knock-offs!

Natalie Damschroder said...

LOL, Mary! I'm impressed, though. I never developed any skill at sewing.

MaryF said...

I haven't sewn in years, but I have a lot of clothes because I used to, and I don't wear them more than 4 times a year, so they last.

I'm just happy they fit ;)