If you are now expecting a selection of the best and most elegant bags from Gucci, Burberry, Louis Vuitton or Dolce & Gabbana … ideally with a „mini pinscher” inside that doesn’t even know that he is a dog, because it barely sets one foot, pardon me a paw, on the bottom ground or the street,  you are, unfortunately wrong. What follows is more a merry tale of everyday life.

The FIRST BAG I remember was a kind of red and white sandwich box with a thin shoulder strap that I always wore with a red coat. Let’s say, according to a photo from 1965, that’s what my  mother considered to be chic and suitable for me at that time.

STARTING MY SCHOOLDAYS I was dressed up with large brown leather satchel on my back. Basically, it was much too big at the age of six years, but my familiy always used to say  “you’ll grow into it”. My parents were not entirely wrong about this, because as far as I can remember, I shouldered this rectangular, stable piece up to eighth or ninth grade. Fully packed with books, the spacious satchel sometimes was so heavy, that I was even driven by car to school. Especially when a gym bag or special drawing and handicraft material had to  be carried along in addition.

Finally, as a TEENAGER at the age of 13, I got my first classic handbag. With rounded corners, it measured 35×35 centimeters and was made of sturdy, black cow leather with a long, adjustable shoulder strap. Today one would say a true universal piece. I did not consciously choose this bag. However, I received it, because it was a sponsorship gift for the second place of a national figure skating competition – coincidentally for me.

When I went to UNIVERSITY, I was very eager to carry a black briefcase instead of a shoulder bag. At the time, such a briefcase was simply a symbol for business and administration and a kind of student preparation for future business life. In the seventies and eighties, normal plastic bags were used as shopping bags, which were available in abundance in all stores, usually with shop logo and in all sizes. Jute sacks or  bringing along your own shopping net wasn’t really an issue.

Being invited to a fancy PARTY OR THEATRE, I only carried a clutch or a small evening bag made of black velvet with rhinestones or silver lurex with me. I still didn’t need anything except a handkerchief or some lip gloss.

Well, that situation changed AFTER THE WEDDING and BEGINNING OF WORK LIFE. All my My workplaces were many kilometers away from home and I had to be prepared for any eventuality, such as keys, wallet, cell phone, personal documents, makeup, deodorant, sweets and hand cream, etc. not to forget a pair of extra tights and an ambrella. As demand grew, so did the size of the handbag, and so did its weight. But rearranging the entire content every day was just too much of a hassle; so I kept adding things. The wear and tear on bags increased and of course you also needed some styling alternatives. I countered the constant rearranging with the trick of simply stowing a smaller one in a larger, more appropriate bag. A concept which has proven itself very positive over the years.

Ultimately, in my bags was also room for everything that a men can’t carry in his trouser pockets, such as spare socks, headache tablets, sunglasses, glasses cleaning cloths or plasters. The funny thing is that my husband would never look for anything in my handbag himself. As of today  its content seems downright suspicious to him and although he is definitely not a macho, he like to quote saying: “The content of a sausage and a woman’s bag is unfathomable.”

Well, TIME FLIES and THINGS ARE ALIKE. But the need to constantly carry additional remedies against „physical deterioration“ or in favor of an „optical reconditioning“ with you, increase every year. On the other hand with increasing age, it becomes more and more difficult to carry heavy objects and gradually corresponding orthopedic problems often arise in the back, shoulder or neck area.

IN OTHER WORDS: As you get older and your household is growing, so does the size of your handbag. In addition, the term “bag” may quickly convert to a new meaning, especially in times of the Corona and home office. Instead of window shopping – of course with the  matching handbag to my outfit – I currently feel like taking out the rubbish twice a day, in a chic yellow handle bags with lemon scent. Sometimes I don’t even remember whether it was yesterday or this morning. The days just run by in the daily routine, and you lose track of things more and more. I like to call this „The pestilence of everyday life”.

The same applies to the “day of long arms”, the day of alimentary shopping. You just don’t know what will happen next, or whether toilet paper and pasta will run out again after all. So it is better to store a little more of the everyday necessities in order to be on the safe side. I’m not talking about „hamster purchases“ in the mega shopping centers on the periphery. I live in the city center and do not want to use my car every time to get more exercise.

But if you already have one shopping bag over your shoulder and two other bags in the right and left hand, there is simply no more space for a ladies handbag – whatever brand. Futhermore I always hope that it doesn’t rain, because how should I hold an additonal umbrella?

And so most of my long-standing handbags (only one of a luxury brand) now remain in the closets, where they only take up space. However, if I am looking for a certain one, I often can’t locate it or  at least I would have to clear out half the closet in order to reach it. But when searching, you come across things that you have long lost out of sight and above all your memory. It may sound strange, but this type of search not only saves time, but also money. At least for now, I can spare myself spending hours searching for a new summer handbag in the internet. I have just detected at least four of them in different shapes and colors.


top photo: M. Posthumus/ Fritz

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