Bags. Not the bags under my eyes, though, which felt like they were carrying themselves on my face this morning. Late night G.B.F. movie that my friend soundtracked and a late night binge of mini-donuts and tofu corn dogs added to the blah. My two-ton cat Lyla mirrors my restless sleep by turning toward me instead of into me and her paws stretch at me all night. In short, I wanted to sleep in more than anything. But I had another go at the meeting in Woodland Hills.

It went fine, but it brought on the wandering gypsy Jew in me. After the meeting, I couldn’t resist checking out the Goodwill up there for purses. Good feeder place. And sure enough, first bag I saw was Prada. I pulled it. Then another bag was Kenneth Cole and a larger Liz Claiborne tote. Only five minutes in the Goodwill,  I was already annoyed and wanted out, but I was literally stuck holding the bags. I couldn’t think. Every five minutes, as I’m checking out the labels, the condition, comparing the bags, since I don’t need all three, they’d make an announcement over the loudspeaker, “New cart of clothes coming, people.Right now. Look to your left. Get it now. Rolling toward you. Check it out.” Everyone would look, and sure enough a cart of clothes was rolling toward me. I’d stop, check out the rack, then I’d go back to inspecting one of the purses I was holding. Two minutes later, “White tag sale, 25% off logo jeans, and a new cart of clothes – these just in, people – come check them out.” Everyone would pick up what she was looking at, holding on to it in fear that someone else would buy it, go check out the rack, then resume the previous activity.

My chest was starting to hive. I needed out of there. I decided to ask the manager about the purses, were they real, how could you tell, a litany of questions about bags. We can’t authenticate any of the bags. We get them, price them, whatever happens.

Ok. But I’ve never understood women’s obsession with purses. They take up so much space of which I have none, and they’re for the most part bulky with shiny bling hardware. I see them in restaurants next to a woman; they sit on a table like a sad little pug. Yet people spend life savings on them. There have been one or two friends with purses, I’ve liked. My friend Carla’s pink scaley Banana Republic bag, and I had to copy my friend Shaylee with her faux snake skin Banana clutch, but other than that, they’re not that interesting. Could be why my stuff is always flying out of my hands. If I was an octopus, I’d have just enough arms to carry everything. Usually, it all ends up in my bra, card case and phone. When the passport inspector had to 

I generally loathe having to hold anything in my hands. I’ll lose it, or set it down since it feels so unnatural. Last year, so averse to purses, I used a paper bag. When I recycled my wallet that was in my paper bag purse, I could only blame myself. I had to admit, there might be a purpose for them.

Purses were originally designed for men. Cut purses were named because thieves would cut the rope that was tying the purse to the waist. Later, women had deep pockets in their skirts, which developed into a purse. 

Before the Woodland Hills Goodwill, the only purses I had were mine from when I was a kid, small undersized but stylish ones, or those I inherited from my mother’s collection of costume purses, or her leather one from Mexico in 1970s. Mostly, she had 1920s-1950s purses in her drawers that shouldn’t be used. They’re works of art. But why let them sit in the drawer? I take them out mostly for dinners or movie premiere nights. These purses, I get, though. I love this black and hand embroidered purse from Israel, circa 1960. I should get it repaired…but in my next life. All of the purses, they’re so delicate, I’ve had to pick up the beading halfway down the street before I get to the party. My mother wrote me a note in one wooden bead 1930s purse, yelling at me in capital letters that it would be a sin to pull at any of the strings because the whole purse would unravel. I keep the note in the purse and when I use it, the only thing I put in there is lipstick, still putting everything in my bra.

My bra purse is the only way I can keep from losing or having things stolen. The immigration guy in Mozambique had to shake the wet sweat from my passport after it’d been in my bra “purse” for weeks. He pressed the frayed edges, curling his lip in. He lectured me, “You should take better care of this. This is your life, you know. Your passport is your life.” I nodded in agreement. But keeping it close to my heart, wearing it my chest, I still had it in my possession, didn’t I? 

But back to the Prada bag. I’ve never creamed over a purse and never paid more than 10 bucks for one.Thus, Goodwill. But did I NEED it? The purse was light olive, interesting latch and design. I have two greenish/olive purses that I’d bought the last time I was here. (That time, I bought 15 purses in one purchase. Somebody had unloaded a mother lode.) 

What makes a bag and how can you tell if it’s a fake? A serial number on the inside, apparently. A stamp. I looked. This had none that I could see. Ugh, did I care? No. I left it there.

I’m looking on eBay and there’s one that’s like it for $987. Hmm.

Here’s what eBay had to say on telling a real Prada from a fake:

1) look at the prada name on the emblem, look at the R in prada if the right leg on the R is strait– its fake, if it curves in –its real.

2) the background of the prada plate, usually should be the same color as the bag.

3) The metal on the bag even the buttons should be engraved with the word prada.

4) the tag inside the bag must say PRADA MADE IN ITALY exactly.

5) The lining should say prada going horizontal all over it ( For example: Prada~Prada~Prada~), its Pradas signature lining that is used in most of their bags and the fake bags well have something that looks like it but it wont say prada!

6) It should have a serial number from prada and come with authenticity tags and a dust bag (please note if someone is selling a used Prada bag and all 5 things above are present but they do not have the item number, authenticity tags, or dust bag ask questions about where they bought it from, some people dont keep those things after buying a bag)!

Look for these 6 things and if all are present then you are good to go with your new authentic prada bag!

I conclude The Prada was a fake. The lining inside didn’t say Prada (looked like Coach) and there was no number. Great design, though. Dang. I’m going to check the Kate Spade bags that Car Jack didn’t jack.

I ended up liking the Liz Claiborne bag, though, simply because it was shiny, fun, sturdy and I could put my camera in it and carry it around. It made me laugh – I like pieces with sense of humor, like the only big purse I’ve ever bought is this red and white leather paneled one with zippers between each panel. Bought it at Black and Brown in San Jose, maybe 60s, 70s, 80s, but fun, solid and well-made. Like that bag, I thought the Liz Claiborne (which seems like such a  has been name) but this purse has an 80s Joan Jett vibe. I conclude, unless it’s actually from the 80s that it’s not worth much more than $50. So, I’ve already made out. It smells like a sweet powdered elderly lady. I like that.

Sort of like this one: