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The purse

My daughter Mary takes pity on my accessories. Several months ago she gave me a purse that her friend Jim had given her. It's made of a blue leather-like (I don't think it's real leather) material with metal corners and clasp. I have been using it for a while now, especially because it goes well with jeans, which I wear a lot.

Yesterday I was in The Cakery on Foothill. This bakery offers more than cakes, but the cakes are so beautiful that I had decided to get one for my birthday. While I was deciding, I overheard another older woman speaking to one of the clerks. She was sitting at a table with a cup of tea and she was extolling the tea, in particular the silk bags it was packed in. I was tempted to turn around to look at these bags but I didn't. She, however, noticed me and noticed my bag.

She was not the first to say she liked my bag. I have never had a purse that has attracted so much attention and I don't know why. But she went further. She said it was clearly an expensive bag. I said I did not know because I did not buy it. She guessed in the neighborhood of $500 and asked if I knew the brand. I hunted around inside a bit but did not see a label. I laughed it off, took my cappuccino and sat at a table at the end of the room.

As I sat there I noticed that one of the handles was tearing. It would soon rip free. It occurred to me that if it were leather it just might not do that so easily, and that this woman had believed it was leather. I felt that this tearing was proof that this was not, in fact, an expensive bag. I didn't want this unknown woman to know! When she went into the bathroom I cleared up and left the store.

Comments

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
susandennis
Jan. 19th, 2007 08:33 pm (UTC)
That's hilarious. I'm a purse freak. I have so many that I'm pre-embarrassed at what folks will find here after I die. But, I'm a cheap purse freak. $25 is my max and that is only for the most Must Have. I am also a purse stalker. I would be one of those who comments on your bag. And I love that you ducked out to avoid possible reveal.
judith
Jan. 19th, 2007 08:59 pm (UTC)
I usually use a purse until it falls apart and I don't pay a lot of attention when I buy them.

I wondered what kind of person I was when I ducked out like that! I mentioned it to my daughter and she thought it was good that I felt that way. Perhaps it shows a kind of kinship with bag-collectors...or it shows that I do care about what I'm carrying. I am not at all sure.
dangerouslysane
Jan. 20th, 2007 06:31 am (UTC)
*lol* That's goofy when stuff like that happens! Great post!

btw--belated wishes for a happy birthday--I wasn't online for a couple of days, or I definitely would have posted to you! *hugs*
judith
Jan. 20th, 2007 03:07 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the birthday wishes. I have been really lax about checking LJ for others' birthdays or even reading anyone else's posts lately. I suppose I will come out of it sooner or later. Hard to tell...I have been developing other blogs - one for arthritis, one for travel, and I share one on a fictional homeless dog. My energies, limited as they are, are so scattered.

When I hear from some LJ friends, though, I think about you! I wonder how we would all get along in person. It would be funny to see.
dangerouslysane
Jan. 20th, 2007 07:13 pm (UTC)
I've been pretty half-assed myself--for some of the same reasons you cite, although I don't feel I've been half as productive as you are. My entries would make the comedian Steven Wright's act seem like Rip Taylor compared to my entries lately (aside from the Nymph thing, that is!) :D

As far as getting together in person--I am so sure I would love to see you, because I think we "get" one another. We have some of the same reactions to the weird stuff that happens, and I admire your wisdom.

judith
Jan. 20th, 2007 08:01 pm (UTC)
I think you are right about the two of us. We have a similar bizarre sense of humor. I am not sure about everyone on my friends list. I think a lot of us get along fine online but something would break if we were to meet and try to be friends that way too.

It's interesting trying to suss out each other's character, given the clues we offer.
dangerouslysane
Jan. 20th, 2007 08:55 pm (UTC)
"clueless"
There you go again with the insight! *sigh* What are we supposed to do with you? *g*

On one hand, I think I offer plenty of clues about my own character on my LJ posts--on whatever day it is, whatever I'm discussing (or not discussing), there's a representation of some aspect of my character on display. Sometimes it can be discerned.

If I was a better writer, I'd be able to explore and develop material about the emotional stuff with which I & everyone else has to deal, but at this point I would advise nobody on my friends page to hold his/her breath.

The most recent openness on my posts have been about the guy who had been pursuing me for the past couple of years. Wasn't a really satisfying experience for me. There was definitely conflict there, and plenty of ambivalence on my part. Too much of what I don't want (and who I am not) was being made a condition of him and me being friends, essentially, and he revealed just a little too much of the darker side of his character for me to wish to continue with our friendship for the time being. It's one thing to realize that you and the nice other person really don't have a helluva lot of common interests, but when the dichotomy in certain values hits one in the face, that's a deal-breaker for the sort of relationship this guy was seeking with me.

I think he could have quit while he was ahead, but his "little general" was calling the shots for him.

I sure as hell would like to have more engaging material, though! *g*

judith
Jan. 20th, 2007 10:15 pm (UTC)
Re: "clueless"
I don't think you need any more "engaging" material. What I've read of yours is engaging and honest. I think you are pretty open, in general.

I'm still getting past my last relationship, which ended over three years ago! It got to the point where I started a private journal about it. So I could write about absolutely any part of it. And that was a case where we clearly did not belong together, yet there were parts of him that I want in some way. I am not yet free of him but hope that by writing it all out I might rinse him out of my system.

I told myself that in future dealings with him I would not censor myself, would not try to fit my responses to what I thought he wanted. Yet I have found that very difficult. It's a good thing we haven't seen or talked to each other for quite a while now.

One of the difficulties here on LJ, I've found, speaking of that, is that I often self-censor. I have to watch out for that. Trying not to. That's one thing I really like about Susan Dennis (one of my LJ friends - I think susandennis). She's really right out there, an open book.
dangerouslysane
Jan. 20th, 2007 11:32 pm (UTC)
Re: "clueless"
I don't think that the friendship I had with that guy could be considered in the same category as a relationship. For me, anyway, it was a friendship. For him, it was something he wanted to turn into a relationship. I think he just wanted to get laid, and if I was attracted to him, I might have given it a throw (sweet Jesus do I get bored!), but there was no chemistry.

The guy started making noises (always jokingly, not convincing) about forcing me. Even for such a cartoonish scenario, I found that disturbing, since I'd made it clear and unmistakable that "it" was not going to happen.

The relationship from which you are recovering sounds much more real than what I just summarized. I think that you probably had a profound emotional impact on your former partner and that he couldn't deal. I'm also glad you don't have much contact with him these days--there will come a time when you have sorted things out satisfactorily, and that person will be of less consequence.

As the risk of sounding dopey (yeah, like that's never happened before!), you will know you're free of the influence of your former lover when you no longer are concerned with the issue of self-censorship. You're definitely on the right track, even if it is a tough road.

Of course, a passive-aggressive like he seems to be will probably pursue you all over again, because you really do matter and because having power and influence over you is something he enjoys. If you were a dumbass, it wouldn't be nearly so much fun for him.

That sounds awfully diabolical and evil for such an ordinary phenomenon--one that occurs in people of all levels of intelligence, just about.

But I'm glad I get to enjoy chatting with you sometimes--I think you're awesome and talented--a lovely person! The next guy you hook up with should start from there, and should make you really glad you decided to pay him any attention whatsoever. Of course, it has to be mutual, but shoot for the moon.

Being alone is not the same as being incomplete, and it's less expensive than when you're with someone and feel alone, that's for sure!

Courage, Baby!

judith
Jan. 21st, 2007 12:40 am (UTC)
Re: "clueless"
Well, this is a bizarre thing - the subject of my post - who shall be known as "D" - just called. I hadn't spoken to him in over a year!

I don't think I censored too much but it is hard to tell. When I think over the call I can think of things I might have said if I were talking to someone else, though:

"Why are you calling?"
"Why are you calling really?"
"What's the subtext...?"

But maybe I'll get that chance. He said he'd like to have coffee with me some time. I said I would, too. I can be more direct in person. I don't mean to be mean - and I probably gave the wrong impression about how we split - he dumped me - but there are some things he has a tendency to say that I hope he does say.

For example, one of the last times we talked we were in the "just friends" mode (long after the breakup) yet he said things that seemed like challenges of a sort. For example, while we were together, he turned vegetarian. I did not ask him to. I never try to force my views on others. But when we talked last he made a point that he was no longer a vegetarian and that he ate a big piece of beef every day. That was just plain insulting yet I didn't call him on it. I was thrown and didn't react in time.

I love that you think I'm lovely and talented. I say that about myself sometimes...but it's hard to get others to do it...oh wait, you didn't say "lovely". But I am sure you would have, if you'd thought of it.

And I second that about the alone thing. I like being alone. I am not sure that I can even stand having another "relationship". Oh, and by the way, sometimes being a friend is actually a lot more than being a lover...but you knew that.
dangerouslysane
Jan. 22nd, 2007 01:42 am (UTC)
Re: "clueless no more"
Um...yeah. I did say you're a lovely person. I hope you're not being down on yourself--you deserve better treatment, including of yourself. I've been there, hon'.

Sounds as if "D" is still a bit toxic for you. Some people are like that. If you go and have a coffee with him, keep in mind what I'd said before. It could be a game with him, and from where I sit, the odds are fixed in his favor, otherwise the bully wouldn't try to play another round with you. That's his challenge--to see if he can find more weak spots to exploit.

If you're not sure whether you could stand having another "relationship", it could be a sign that you just don't want another relationship like the one you had with "D". I don't blame you.

I'd avoid him and those like him like the plague. And I'd open myself to only that which you find satisfying. It's hard work after you've been conditioned to deal with the bullshit from people who definitely know better (which is what makes it so insulting and hurtful).

Accept no less from others, babe! I can't imagine that you could honestly believe that you deserve to be toyed with by that emotional cripple.

*g* Is that a little less fuzzy?
judith
Jan. 22nd, 2007 01:57 am (UTC)
Re: "clueless no more"
Way less than fuzzy. I don't think it was particularly fuzzy before, of course.

You are right that D is likely to try to find little bits that somehow make him "better" than I am. If we do have coffee I will be on the alert for that.

I think that I have pulled punches before because I was afraid of losing him. There is no danger now and that's always a bad reason anyway!

I love your support! Funny, because with some others I just don't want it.
dangerouslysane
Jan. 22nd, 2007 02:21 am (UTC)
Re: "clueless no more"
You have the support because I like & admire you. You're no fool.

I also believe that you have reserves of emotional power with which you've recently started to become reaquainted. That should be no problem for you, but it is amusing to contemplate how confounding it is for lightweights like D.

There could be a scenario in which you privately wonder "what did I ever see in this person?"--in your future. It could hasten your recovery if you focus on this objective. You are likely more capable now of taking an objective assessment of some of the lousy things he did, since you are meditating on it anyway. I recommend this. Since you are empathetic anyway, it is not out of the question for you to revisit issues (such as the vegetarian/not vegatarian gambit), and to visualize it as if it had happened in someone else's relationship. What would you think? Would you perhaps have a different view of her responses?

I've learned to tell my friends (when they're making a lifechoice that I may think undermines them), that I support them, even if I wouldn't make the same choice if I was in their shoes.

I realize that each person has her/his own agenda, own emotional landscape to navigate. I respect that, when it's my friends, because I feel that I know them to be good people who aren't trying to hurt others, just trying to have fulfilling lives.

But I also know that good people sometimes attract emotional vampires.

One needn't call in a priest for an exorcism.
judith
Jan. 22nd, 2007 02:43 am (UTC)
Re: "clueless no more"
I too support my friends, whatever their decisions. Sometimes it's damned hard.

I've also learned the "little clues". That is, when I am with someone and he says something that throws me, that says something about him that I don't like, I pay attention to it. Some things are simply too important, however flippant the remark.

When I was "dating" the guy who is now my tenant, we were out one night shortly after my cat had been attacked by a dog. I mentioned my distress over my cat's condition to Paul and he said "I've never known a cat who couldn't get away from a dog if he really wanted to". It was a completely asinine remark that told me right away that he was clueless (the subject of all of these posts!).

Since that night this subject has come up a couple of times. Paul continues to think that I was upset about the dog, that I hated the dog. But that wasn't it at all. I was upset about what my poor cat had gone through (he died ultimately). I was completely forgiving of the dog, especially when I learned more about her and when her owners stepped up and paid the entire vet bill. I held no animosity toward the dog but Paul could not understand that.

He has, incidentally, become quite reliable when it comes to my current cats! He takes care of them when I'm traveling and he has developed a fondness for them that he is, of course, somewhat reluctant to admit out loud.

But back to the point. I figured out that little events like the cat one are in fact meaningful and should not be dismissed. I pay more attention now. I also do this with my daughter Mary when she is dating someone. And I have broken rules by simply telling her when I don'[t think a guy is good for her. I don't rant about it.

For example, one guy she dated for a while and broke up with a dozen times wrote her some of the nastiest emails I have ever read - and then came crawling back, saying he didn't mean it...but of course he did. when I read those emails I knew he was absolutely not the one, and I didn't shy away from saying so to her. But I focused on her, and how she is not at all the person he said she was in those emails. Those hurt her very badly.

I hope that the day comes when I do say "whatever did I see in that guy?" Sooner rather than later. I am in no danger of going back to him as a lover. What I'd like to accomplish is to become an honest friend. If he can't take it, then it's better I know.
dangerouslysane
Jan. 22nd, 2007 03:31 am (UTC)
Re: "clueless no more"
I hope that D is worthy of your friendship. I have reservations about friends who have been disrespectful to me when they have had privileged status in my life, but that's just the way I see things in my own life at this point. But it may be a legitimate question to explore.

As far as the children's decisions go--I'm with you. From the time she was a kid, I told my daughter that the tradeoff for my not meddling would be her obligation to listen to my opinions when I felt the need to voice them. I, too, weigh in with observations. Most parents don't want their children to make bad choices, and some are too nervous to call the kids on it.

Usually I'm not too nervous to do that. There had been occasions when I actually did hit the roof, but for the most part I don't rant, either.

And, yeah--incidents such as Paul's reaction to what happened to your cat (poor thing--I'm really sorry about that, btw), may seem minor (hence the term incident, as in incidentally), but they give a person a clue about the person with whom they are dealing.

The erstwhile "friend" who wanted to nail me, is a case in point. For all the nice things about our friendship, there were incidents in which he revealed things about himself that I could not accept in the context of what he was after with me. That's not who I am, not what I do.

And your daughter is well rid of someone who would email her nasty stuff--even if he DID regret it, he put it out there, he was wrong and hurtful, and it means that he would do or say those things to her again.

Who the hell needs to continue with something like that? If it walks like a duck & quacks like a duck...

(And, no--I have nothing against ducks!) :)
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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