Categories
Fashion Health

Cutting My Own Hair

bad-haircutI woke up this morning and cut my own hair. I’m not really sure why I did it, but I wanted to have short hair right now, so I got my kitchen scissors, watched a You Tube video (Liar!!!!) and cut it.

I told my daughter last night on the phone that I was going to do it and she immediately went to one of my felonies from her childhood. “Remember when you cut my hair and I looked like Jeremy Thomas and was traumatized for years!?” Whatever. Where is Jeremy Thomas now, I ask, and you worked on the Impeachment hearings for the United States of America. Who cares about your hair?!

So, I looked at the haircut in the mirror just now, which I have to say is truly awful, and I realized that one side is not the same length as the other. I looked in the mirror and said, “Look, life is not fair. Get over it.”

So, my hair will grow back, and the real question of the morning is how will our country grow back?

Categories
Business Fashion Women

Taylor Swift’s Legs

Image-1OK, gather round. I was speaking with an intern last week whose friend works in specialty insurance. Being the curious type, I asked for more information. Here’s how that went:

“What is specialty insurance?”

“Oh, it’s when you insure something that makes you a celebrity … like Taylor Swift’s legs.”

“Taylor Swift’s legs?! Surely, you jest. Taylor Swift’s brain for writing songs, and her voice, I get — but her legs? You can’t be serious.”

I couldn’t help but think of that great scene in “Something’s Gotta Give,” in which Jack Nicholson’s character remarks on the attractiveness of Diane Sawyer’s legs, and says he can’t understand why she’s always hiding them under the desk in her job as a newscaster. Diane Keaton’s character replies, “I mean, she’s Diane Sawyer. She goes into caves in Afghanistan with a shmatte on her head. Who cares about her legs?”

The intern was serious: Her friend, who does insurance underwriting for these types of clients, defends the notion that Taylor Swift should insure her legs. Something about her concert performances …

“She can sit on a fucking stool and play the guitar; her legs have nothing to do with it!” I said, growing angrier by the second. “Call your friend, and ask him what things male celebrities insure. Ask him how much Brad Pitt’s biceps are worth!”

“You are overreacting,” the intern told me. “I’m sure Taylor’s voice is insured too.”

A day later, as we were walking together, she remarked, “I thought I should let you know that her voice is not insured.”

I just looked at her and rolled my eyes. But deep inside my soul, I recognized the awareness that there is something so very wrong with so much of what we hold valuable in this country.

Photo by the photographer, Peter Lindbergh, who recently passed away.

Categories
Fashion Government History Politics Women

Women In Congress Wearing White to SOTUS

Screen Shot 2019-02-06 at 2.59.27 PMWe sell visually in today’s world. How one presents a product or service is all about how another (your potential client) feels when looking at it. I’m a strategist and like to always consider the view from the other side of the railroad tracks when putting together an image or a video or any message. It’s why I was disappointed in the women of Congress, who all showed up in their white suits and jackets to signify the unity of women by wearing the uniform the suffragettes wore when marching to secure the vote. Yes, I am aware it’s the 100th anniversary. I think it is a mistake to present themselves as a “united front of women” in a chamber that is supposed to represent all Americans. I think it divides, rather than unites. I think it misses the point and diverts from the conversation, which is and should always be, “What does our country need to serve the American people?”

Leave gender at home, ladies. It has no place in the chamber. And, yes, I know that we have never had real representation in government, and that we clearly made progress in this last election. You want to continue to make progress? Then stand together as Americans in politics. Ask people to vote for the right person, and when those people are elected to government, let them show up in the chamber wearing appropriate attire that makes what they wear the adjective, not the noun.

In speaking with a friend this morning, who pointed out that the congresswomen were simply acknowledging the 100-year anniversary of women’s right to vote, my answer is, “Celebrate it by working your asses off to stop gerrymandering and attacks by those who would prefer that people of color and the economically disadvantaged not vote. Fix that, and then wear a solid color to the chambers celebrating that. We are taking steps backward in people having the access and ability to vote. The women’s right to vote is so yesterday.”

How would I feel if I were a man who voted for those women? Would I feel they were a reflection of me and a window into that which I aspire to be? Giving the president a standing ovation when he mentioned them sitting there in a sea of white was demeaning to themselves. They are people elected to congress, not women elected to congress.

I know. I feel the onslaught coming. We have waited so long. Of course our female gender will enter into our decision-making. And so will our religious beliefs, the economic circumstances in which we grew up, and our college experience. That doesn’t mean we wear our cross front and center, or the McDonald’s uniform that we wore working our way through college, or our university-logo sweatshirt. We show up in chambers ready to do the work of the people. Ready to listen carefully to the president’s words and mark them in our memory to ensure we can follow up when he doesn’t.

If we—as women, as people, as Americans, as humans—want to succeed in bringing the country together to build great tomorrows, then leave things like wearing matching white outfits to other people.

Categories
Fashion Personal Essays Products

Me and My Lipstick

imagesI want to be that woman who cares as much about a lipstick’s name as its color. I do. Ok, truth be told, I want to be that woman who actually cares about her lipstick and doesn’t have the same one for a year because she rarely puts it on.

I recently attended a writing workshop, and the person leading asked everyone a question or two. And it wasn’t a small group either, so I admire her desire to know her audience. The woman next to me was wearing lipstick — red lipstick.

“What lipstick are you wearing? I love the color.”

“I’m wearing … ”

And they were off to the lipstick races. Naming colors and makers of lipstick as if they were reciting a memorized Emily Dickinson poem. Reverence. Rembrance. Historically significant.

I sat stunned. I have at any given moment maybe three or four lipsticks. I have no idea about the names of any of them. The only lipstick name I know is Fire and Ice, which I wore in the seventh grade because it was the only lipstick the Seventh Grade Mean Girls Police would allow any of us to wear, so the name is engraved in the fear section of my brain, which is never far away from my present self.

I peeked into my bag and looked at the name of my lipstick. Oh, I forgot to mention that they also knew who made it. I read Bobby Brown Ruby Sugar Lip Gloss.

Bobbi Brown Ruby Sugar Lip Gloss.

Everything that had been hazy became clear.

No one who is me should buy Ruby Sugar Lip Gloss. First of all, sugar is poison, a vice I struggle with every day. Putting it on my lips? What the f— was I thinking? And it’s just another in a series of details that I need to address in my life. Like going through my closet and throwing out every single thing that doesn’t make me feel really good when I’m wearing it. Every single thing.

Second and perhaps more importantly, I need to be a Chanel girl, not a Bobby Brown girl. I’m sixty-one years old for God’s sake. Do I wear miniskirts? But Bobbi Brown is right near the door of Bergdorf, and it’s the first counter I see when I shop there, so it made perfect sense when I bought it.

The details, girlfriends. God is in the lipstick details, I tell you. And if we paid closer attention to those details, instead of spreading ourselves thin, we would be stronger women with a better sense of our lipstick selves.

So I went to do the homework. I Googled “Chanel Lipsticks.” I found Aqualumiere. Yes, it’s true that Aqualumiere isn’t an actual word, but let’s face it — that might perfectly reflect the true me. I’m not sure who, what, or where I am either, so we may be simpatico, Aqualmiere and I.

Then I found a site that actually reviews all things lipstick, and it had some very interesting things to say. Some of Chanel’s lipsticks, for example, are limited editions. Limited editions? Like art? And they really describe the lipsticks. I mean really. For example: “Eau de Rose has a sheer, pink-tinged base with cool-toned, icy, iridescent pink shimmer.” Sheer. Cool-toned. Icy. And so you are described. You and your lipstick.

I am heading to the store today to find my new self. My lipstick for the decade. I vow to spend at least one hour there determining what my new signature self will be. The next time you see me and you ask how I am, I may reply, “I’m sheer and icy wearing my Eau de Rose. Thanks for asking.”

Categories
Books Fashion Women

Ooh la la! Book Review

Ooh la la! Book ReviewI must start with a few disclosure disclaimers. First, Jamie Cat Callan, Ooh La La’s author, is in my blogging group, and I actually like her a lot, so if I were not inclined to give her a good review, I would not have reviewed the book. Second, and perhaps more relevant, I was married to a Frenchman for a number of years. He’s the father of the fabulous daughter Sarah, about whom I am not allowed to blog. Although Yves-Andre (get the picture?) lived most of his life in the United States, he is very, very French. I have been to France more times than I’ve gone through tollbooths, so you can imagine. Also, I’m very, very American — that is, not French — and the thought of reviewing a book called Ooh La La did not thrill me. To be honest, I found the French less than friendly, especially when I was ordering Diet Coke in a five-star restaurant. Or when they wouldn’t let us fly over France to bomb Libya, which they really should have done themselves, but were afraid to do. All that bitterness aside, I do so very much admire French women — the way they carry themselves, and the way they wear their age with grace and joy. Now that we’ve got all that out of the way, let’s look at the book.

I didn’t expect to take Ooh La La seriously. The name alone sent me running. I’m more of a “Really?” person. Not Ooh La La. Lightweight, I assumed snottily. Frivolous. Fun, but without depth. Just goes to show you should pay attention to the old adage that says not to judge a book by its cover. This book is an important look at American women and how we may be selling ourselves short, and how the women in that strange land called France may have much to teach us. It may change you.

It is filled — filled, I tell you — with self-help tidbits told in charming, easy-to-stomach prose and stories that illuminate a subject that has been the Holy Grail for so many of us here across the pond in America — aging gracefully. “Aging gracefully” is an oxymoron where I live. You must be young to be graceful and relevant. Not so in France, and the book takes us behind the scenes to show us why. Combine it with Lean In, and you could change American women forever.

“Oh, and she’s old, so she’s got all that experience,” says someone Cat Callan interviews in the book. Right. Experience. That’s worth something? Oh my! I realize now that I need to wear my experience on my sleeve, and that I needn’t hide my age in nondescript clothing the way I do. Step to the front no matter what your age! Stand out! It reminded me of shopping in France and noticing that Valentino goes up to a higher size in Paris than it does in the U.S. I once asked Valentino why, and he told me that thin American women do not like to see larger women in the same clothes they are wearing. I am sure you are wondering why I was in a position to ask Valentino anything, and I’m not going to answer that. As we age, we women step to the back of the bus to give up the front seats to those who are younger. We dress down. We speak less. Ooh La La shows another side of us, a side that celebrates age and shows that you grow in worth with your age. Amazing.

In the same section, Cat Callan goes on to describe another woman’s home, and all the objects she has on the walls representing things that move her. She has clearly accumulated these things over the course of a lifetime. She talks about greens and browns and golds, and she says her living room is “awash” in those colors and objects of personal meaning. When I read that, I immediately got up to hang a few things that have been leaning against my wall since I moved in more than a year ago. I’m not kidding. Surround myself with things that make me feel good? That make me feel? Oh la la! And they somehow come together to tell the story of me? Forget the Story of O. I am going to start telling the story of me.

She talks about finding clothing pieces that are your icons. For Jamie, it’s a sailor shirt. For me, I guess it would be pearls. No, maybe a black cashmere sweater and pants. I love black on black, but I am happy to know it’s my iconic clothing image, rather than the darkest color I can find. It defines me. I was never defined by fashion before. Ooh La La taught me the context for my own personal style. Love it.

Jamie, you lost me in the lingerie department. Lingerie, Cat Callan’s interviewee states, is for the person wearing it, and no one else. Someone in France once told her that Americans, when they came to Plymouth Rock, needed to lose that part of themselves to survive. Well, that explains it. I’m a Mayflower girl — sixteen generations ago my people came to this land, so it’s no wonder I’m a black Victoria’s Secret cotton hipster person. Nonetheless, this is the one area I do not feel enlightened after reading about. I’m into comfort. But there was something I liked about the idea of wearing what you want underneath for you, not for anyone else. It’s like making your bed when you live alone, when you know no one is coming over. You feel better when you go to get into it. Note to self: Find undergarments (I don’t have the will to even call them lingerie) that are functional but a little different. I want to find something unexpected that no one else will see, but I will know is there. I will try some and see if I feel differently. Maybe it will nudge me to leave that ice cream to some other aging woman who doesn’t wear underwear for her own pleasure.

Perfume. I used to wear Hermes’ Amazon (Amazone), and I have no idea when I stopped. Most perfumes smelled too fru-fru for me. But when I smelled Amazon on one of those trips to France, I knew it was “me.” I finished the book and ordered it from, of all places, Amazon.com. I crack myself up. Buying $200 perfume at Amazon.com. I’m sure it would have been better if I’d gone to Hermes as part of the “experience,” but I live on Cape Cod and didn’t want to wait a month until I’m in New York to do it. I’m wondering if that might ruin its nuance. More importantly, I’d forgotten that I loved the way it smells, and the way I smelled wearing it. The book reminded me of the importance of saying, “It’s me, Christine, and this is the aroma I want to leave behind.” Wow. I can’t wait for it to arrive.

Bring it all together, everything the book talks about — fragrance, clothing, aging, environment, and yes, sex (that is a chapter I will leave to your private review; it was mind-blowing) — and you have a new you. The you you were meant to be. Ooh La La is a reminder that you get to choose so many, many things about who you are and how you want to be seen. Your own personal elegance. Jamie starts each chapter with a well-chosen quote from some French fashion person. I will leave you with my favorite.

Elegance is not the prerogative of those who have just escaped from adolescence, but of those who have already taken possession of their future.

– Coco Chanel

This book will help you do just that. Take possession of your future. Buy it. Read it. Gift it. Hurry.

Categories
Fashion Women

Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show or The Biggest Loser.

I’ve written about Victoria’s Secret before in a blog more than a year ago. I was insulting about it then, and am happy that I can present a different point of view this time.

I work with a lovely, really smart young woman who handles our social media and my sanity. Here is the text she sent me on Tuesday night:

“Hope you are watching the VS fashion show tonight. It’s a religious experience. The Super Bowl for women.”

She can’t be serious. It reminded me of the exchange in Something’s Gotta Give, when Nicholson mentions he can’t believe that Diane Sawyer got a job that didn’t show her fabulous legs, and Diane Keaton says something like, “You have got to be kidding me. The woman goes into the caves of Afghanistan with a schemata on her head for God’s sake. Who cares about her legs?”

I texted back to my friend: “Women in bathing suits? Why on earth would I want to do that? Are you high? I’m watching The Biggest Loser.

The worst part about my text to her is that it was true. I was sitting on the couch eating an Eskimo Pie ice cream bar watching The Biggest Loser. Please don’t judge me, and don’t pretend you never watched it. I could have left out the part about the ice cream bar and held on to some shred of the self respect I lost by outing my TV habits, but I felt that an accurate description was important to the point I hope to make at some point in this entry. Besides, I’m trying to live an authentic life, so no more secrets.

She replied, “Bathing suits? It’s an art!! Most beautiful women in the world strutting their stuff and every one’s watching. At least TIVO it… so I can convince you to watch tom.” (“Tom” means “tomorrow,” for those of you who don’t speak twenty-something text vocabulary.)

Sorry, it’s Biggest Loser for me.”

I thought about her text and reread it this morning.

Ok, is she so fabulous that she can rejoice in the perfection of another woman who will never reflect anything she is or hopes to be?

I always thought the VS fashion show was for men, and silly ones at that. You know who I mean, those ridiculous guys who slap each other on the back rather than hug hello, and who buy their significant other Victoria’s Secret stuff for their birthdays, which is really a gift for themselves.

My co-worker is a smart young woman. She may be smarter than me. She is cute and funny and has her shit together in many ways. I really felt the need to reflect on her ability to enjoy something that I find so abhorrent, and I had an a-ha moment—maybe this new generation of women will get it right. Maybe sexuality for them will not be wrapped up in male expectations of what they should be, but rather a celebration of what they are themselves and what other women are for themselves. Just as I take pride in Hillary Clinton as a really smart woman, even though I will never reach her intellectual heights, nor feel the worse for it. Just as I take pride in female athletes in the Olympics, even though I will never ski more than a mile an hour. OK, actually, I will never ski again, but you get the point. I’m not threatened by the successes of other women, but the women in Victoria’s Secret TV specials threaten the hell out of me. But maybe this upcoming group of women will just celebrate their bodies the way I celebrate other women’s intelligence and athleticism. Wouldn’t that be just the best?

I can hear you now. Sex is different than athleticism or intelligence. It’s how you catch the man. It’s the competition that is always there, even if you have supposedly won the race for the guy already. Well, maybe it doesn’t have to be that way, and maybe the generation now watching the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show will not find other women’s bodies threatening. Or at least maybe some of them won’t, and instead will celebrate them for their assets. I have to say it again: Wouldn’t that be just the best?

So, MBD, I will watch next year… maybe. And I would just like to add that the finale of The Biggest Loser is next week, and you may want to make sure to turn it on. A woman may actually win it, and since the guys she’s up against are exactly like the ones I described earlier, I’d really like her to beat them. NBC. Nine o’clock.

Categories
Business Fashion

Work Uniforms

Men are so lucky. Their clothes are so much easier than ours. Always have been, always will be.

Dressing for business as a woman in the seventies/early eighties was much easier than it is now. We bought five or six suits from Brooks Brothers or Paul Stuart. If you didn’t need it to be a suit day, you would wear the skirt from one of the suits with a round collar, cable knit sweater, also from Paul Stuart or Brooks Brothers. Paul Stuart was more expensive, though, and I didn’t buy one of their suits until I was a VP at the United Way. I think it was $400, but I’m not sure. My favorite was the dark gray pin stripe. That was my ‘wear it on important meeting days’ suit. And we bought silk blouses, or men’s oxford shirts in women’s sizes. Lots of them. The silk blouses often had silk ‘ties’ that were sometimes attached so you never misplaced them. They were tied in a bow. If you were a woman on the rise, you bought a soft leather man’s briefcase (they didn’t have women’s bags like they do now). We bought either black or brown. I always bought black. Even then I tended toward black unless I could find something darker. Then we carried a smaller shoulder bag as well with the wallet, etc in it. Black or brown pumps (short ones), and we were on your way. Easy.

In the seventies, when I was fabulous at the United Way, a girlfriend and I wore men’s ties with our oxford shirts and suits. We knotted them like men do. We looked great. I used to ‘borrow’ the ties from whatever boyfriend I had at the time. One of my boyfriends was a very successful lawyer. He had Hermes ties, and I liked those the best. The colors worked so well with my suit colors. The only issue was that there was always a really long end (the smaller end that sits behind the tie) so the length of the tie wasn’t so long in the front. Sometimes I would just cut it off, especially if I’d broken up with the boyfriend and he hadn’t asked for the tie back. If he broke up with me (thanks a lot Mike Gibbons, you broke my heart), I for sure cut the end off. Mike Gibbons regretted breaking up with me and came back, but I was cool and told him “too little too late, Mike Gibbons,” just in case you were wondering.

Now-a-days anything goes, and I never know what to wear. I never look right. I’m still so stuck in the past in my clothing. And, now that I live in LA and everyone dresses so cheerfully, I’m really out of place. At least New Yorkers still recognize the beauty of black. I yearn for the days of knowing what to wear and everyone wearing basically the same thing. It occurs to me as I re-read this that the word ‘yearn’ should be reserved for things like world peace and your grandmother’s return from the dead, but I’m using it here anyway.

I am a leader, not a follower and I keep waiting for people to follow my black and gray dress code at work but it’s not happening. I might do a marketing campaign and put out to the business universe that any woman wearing anything other than black, gray or navy is a ‘ho. Might work. On the other hand, maybe I should just realize that I’m very busy and don’t have time to figure this out. The seventies are gone. No one wants to go to Barry Manilow with me. And no one wants to wear cut off men’s ties to work with soft leather men’s briefcases.

But just know all you fabulous women in business dressers out there, it was easier back when, and you would save a ton of money and be able to retire earlier, and your feet wouldn’t hurt, and you wouldn’t have to worry about what underwear to wear so it won’t show, and furthermore, you might just be known more for what comes out of your mouth than what you wore when you said it. Just kidding on the last part. I swear. I sound so bitter!

So, wear what you want. Make your statements and I will carry on with my black, gray and navy. Alas yet again.

Categories
Fashion Movies & TV Women

The Golden Globe belonged to Meryl

I love Meryl Streep. I love that her nose is too long. I love that she looks down shyly sometimes before she speaks, and I love that she wears clothes that I would wear to awards shows that I will never be invited to attend. I especially love that she is fearless on the screen showing things about herself that are less than flattering. Last night, at the Golden Globes, the night belonged to Meryl.

Her comments about her role in her roles was downright genius. “In my long career, I’ve played extraordinary women, and sometimes I think I’m mistaken for one.” Did someone write that for her? Did it come to her when she walked up there? Either way, her delivery, as in all her roles, was perfect. She went on to say that she knows she is a vessel for the stories of the women she is lucky enough to play, and I loved that – a vessel for their stories. Such a thought provoking thought. Bringing it back to each of us, we are all vessels for the stories we live. What’s my story? What’s yours?

Sometimes I think our bodies become the story, rather than the other way around. You are what you eat. Hours and hours in the gym to look a certain way when the inside is empty. Meryl has it right. Let our outside be the vessel for the stories inside. Gotta remember that.

She went on to say that the role of my mother’s generation’s Julia Child was inspired by her own mother who had no time for feeling sorry for yourself or wallowing in that which was not positive. She said that she is not like her mother, but her mother is the woman that is the voice inside her telling her to dress up to go to the Golden Globes and smile like a star when the world outside is falling apart. One could only think she was talking about Haiti, and our war that is going on way too long, and our own poverty. But finding the strength to move on is something I’m in awe of when those around me do it under abnormally dismal circumstances.

I watched it twice to put it to my memory, the memory I draw on when I go to my dark side. Thanks Meryl. Loved your black dress and out of style wide belt. You looked fabulous!

Categories
Fashion History News

Haiti. What is the message?

Haiti. Where to begin? What to say? No words. What a surprise.

Seeing Bush and Clinton together yesterday reminded me about the best of Americans. It’s no secret that I think Bush is just this side of the devil, but watching his first venture out of retirement with Clinton on the news programs Sunday morning, I am reminded that the good in each of us lies in our ability to come together when necessary, when anyone needs us across this globe we all call home. Thanks George, I know it was not easy to do it, especially when idiot pundits start asking about the parallels between Katrina and Haiti, and what did you learn in Katrina that will help you deal with this more productively?

No tragedy this great has a parallel. It is unique unto itself. And, so was Katrina, and so was 9-11. Let us look at it without the haze of the past tragedies and let it have its own moment in time.

But, here is the thing. Haiti was a poor country in dire straights long before this earthquake rocked her shores. Actually, it’s the poorest country in the western hemisphere. Port-au-Prince is a city built to house 400,000 but 2,000,000 people live(d) there. For decades, the US has put billions into Haiti with little or no improvement in the quality of life for its citizens. Haiti’s crushing debt service of $50 billion per year has made her unable to grow, and the corruption that is as consistent as the lapping shores has made it virtually impossible for true change to take place. Lifting the trade restrictions is a must. Trying to make sure the billions of donated dollars get where they are supposed to go is another. You don’t give a five-year-old $100 in a candy store and expect them to buy a glass of water. Oversight. O V E R S I G H T.

What now for we individuals who feel compelled to do something? How to help? For me, it’s not money to one group or another. I’m not sure what I will do, but I think I will do it a year from now. I want to marinate in this feeling of obligation for awhile. I don’t want to purge it with a contribution in this compelling moment. I want to take time; put together a personal plan to do something that will be more than open my checkbook. Perhaps sponsor someone to come here and go to college; asking friends to group together to do it? Go down there for a month and build something with friends and family? I don’t know, but I do know that a $10 text message isn’t going to do it for me. Not this time. I did that with Katrina, and while it felt good in the moment, it wasn’t really the answer.

Haiti’s future is the gift from this tragedy.  That is the opportunity, or the glass half full, or the hope for a tomorrow. And, while it’s hard to even think about that right now, that’s the future for Haiti. It was bad before and we didn’t notice. I’m reminded yet again of the fabulous Oprah who said, “God first whispers to you, if you don’t listen, he speaks a little louder. If you still don’t listen, he hits you over the head.” Ok, you have my attention. I will not look away. I promise.

Categories
Fashion

Handbags

I love handbags. I’ve been on the quest for the perfect bag for quite sometime. It’s a cross between a briefcase – large enough to carry some files, etc. – and small enough to not make me look like a moving van carrying things to and fro. It’s not easy and I find myself getting attached in the store, buying the bag and then it disappoints me. Then I give it away.

I once bought a handbag for $3,000. My bag broke on my way to a meeting and I ran into Bergdorf to buy one on the fly. I saw this Loro Piana bag on sale for $300, quickly bought it, transferred my ‘stuff’ and went on my late, merry way. When I got home that night, I took out the bill and saw that it was $3,000 and change, not $300 and change and immediately started to cry. My less honest friend, J. suggested I return it, but I am not like that. Actually, I might be like that, but I didn’t do it in this case. Besides, whose name is Loro? Lara? Laura? Tell the truth about your name, especially if you are going to charge thousands of dollars for a handbag.

So, twenty bags in four years, and I still haven’t found the right one. Here is the thing. Now that I live happily in LA, I need a bag with lots of outside pockets. In their brilliant way, LA has these cards that give you access to places in your life. You swipe the card when you get in the elevator and you can push the button to your business floor, and your apartment floor, the floor to your gym, and the garage in your office building, not to be confused with the elevator to your office floor, and so on. All in all, I have six things that I swipe to get through my day in fabulous, sunny LA, and so I need a bag with pockets on the outside.

I found it last weekend at Nordstroms. I still like it and it’s been almost a week, so that bodes well for the future. The only thing I do not like is that it doesn’t have a shoulder strap, so I have to hold it over the crook in my arm when I’m finding the swiping cards and using them. That’s awkward for sure.

Back to the perfect bag. It should be nice leather, but not be so heavy. Can’t they ‘shave’ leather so you have the look but not the weight? I carry enough weight around without adding to it with the skin of another  animal other than myself. I feel that way about shoes as well. They should not be heavy. Don’t you think your feet just groan when they see what you put on them? Sort of like, “Is she kidding me? Does she not know we are on the same team? Sheesh.” I know some feet think that.

Bags, Christine, Bags. Ok, the bag should have pockets on the outside and not a black interior where your black wallet  and Blackberry get lost in the blackness and darkness of the interior of the bag. It should have a little hardware but not so much that you look like you parked a Harley in the parking lot downstairs. What is that all about? All the designers adding tons of hardware, keys to enter, and then fringe the length of my first boyfriend’s eyelashes that get in the way of things when you pick the back up. I had a fringe-covered bag last year, picked it up and the fringe tracked through my coffee and then onto my white shirt. I looked like I’d tie-dyed my white shirt with cocoa beans.

I saw a bag at Gucci last year and it was $30,000. I showed it to my friend and she said if I bought it she wouldn’t be my friend anymore. I don’t agree with her on things like movies and some people, so I considered it, but truthfully, only a fool would pay that much money for a handbag. It’s insulting and it’s not about how much money you have. In addition, I don’t have $30,000 for a purple crocodile bag.

I know one day I will find the perfect bag and carry it until it’s frayed and used in a way that says I loved it. Hope springs eternal in all things when you love living in sunny LA.