Never Mind First Class... I'm Flying Coach! or Threesomes Really ARE All They're Cracked Up to Be!

Do you see that gorgeous purple, grey, black and white bag? It's mine... MINE!!! It's my first Coach bag, and believe me, the smile I've got from this stellar purchase was well worth the loss of my Coach cherry cost.

Why do I deserve such a great gift? I don't. But my husband thinks I do, so why argue? Like my mom always says, "Choose your battles wisely." Why fight it? 

"Go buy yourself a purse, honey, " he said, "Anything you want! Consider it a belated birthday present."


"Yup, anything! You deserve it. You've worked hard on your writing this year, snagged the greatest agent of all time, and picked me to live your life with. Those are just a few small examples of why you deserve it."


Let me explain something. I'm normally a two-purse-per-year girl. One in early spring that screams, "Summer's Coming!" and one in the fall in shades of I hate the world because winter's coming brown or black. But that was the old me. Now I only need one bag per year because I'm flying Coach!

This purchase was not impulsive. I'm a writer. I did my research. First, I combed through the aisles of handbags at Macy's and Bloomingdale's. At Bloomie's, a certain bag caught my eye. It was a Coach bag with a $358 price tag. Ouch! Major freaking OUCH!

More research was in order. Turns out there's a Coach outlet store five miles away. I'M SO THERE!

I soon found myself in the company of about 1,000 completely annoying strangers of my closest friends jammed into the post-Christmas Coach outlet store. I left not a single bag unturned or untouched. Ew! H1N1 magnets! But, alas, "my" bag wasn't there. 

Not one to give up without a fight, I perused Kate Spade, Michael Kors, Ann Klein, and Juicy Couture. Still no luck. What does a girl do when faced with such a mammoth problem? She heads right back to the mall, that's what she does. This time, I bypassed the uncouth department stores and headed straight for the big guns. 

For those of you outside of the Philly area, here's an important fact: On the eighth day, after much R&R, God created the King of Prussia Mall. She sat back, gave herself a high five, and said, "Damn, girlfriend! You are goooood! And you thought the Grand Canyon was all that? BWAHAHAHA!!!!"

At the KOP mall, Coach, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Sal Ferragamo each have THEIR OWN STORES. I stood in a massive hallway surrounded by handbag royalty. I checked my pulse to make sure I hadn't died and gone to retail heaven.  

Louis Vuitton: All the bags look nearly identical. I picked one out for grins. "How much?" I asked.

"$1100" said the clerk.

I blinked. "Uh huh." I pretended to consider the possibility of purchasing the little clone. Little did I know, $1100 would soon seem reasonable.

Gucci: All the bags are seated on their own shelves BEHIND the counters. That's right, you can't look at a bag unless you ask for it. I perused the perfectly lit shelves. "May I see that one?" I said, pointing to a periwinkle blue leather bag.

A twenty-something woman in a perfectly tailored suit carefully handed it to me. I sensed my Fossil bag made her nervous. "It's part of the new Palimiere Collection." (Or something like that. I couldn't quite understand what she said since I'm not fluent in Gucci-speak.)

"Does that mean something?"

She glared at me over her Gucci eyeglasses. "Well, a lot of people are coming in asking for it."

I looked around. There was one other customer in the store - a man - and he was looking at gloves. I'm not sure where the hoards of customers were hiding. Perhaps behind the finely lit shelves? I inspected the bag, admired the stitching, the perfection of the leather, the seamless zipper. "How much?"


I looked it over for a few more seconds. I mean, really, I had a choice here: buy the bag and risk a divorce summons, or walk out of the store remaining a happily married woman. For a moment, it was a tough call. "It's nice, but I'm going to keep looking." Me and my $75 Fossil bag scurried out of the store like a rat in the subway.

"$1690?" I thought. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME???? (Fun fact: While doing research for this informative post, I clicked onto the Gucci website and picked out a nice-looking bag. Not extraordinary-looking, mind you, just nice. The price? $2450. Bite me Gucci.)

There was one more store to explore before heading back to Coach: Sal Ferragamo. These bags looked more  inexpensive "normal." I relaxed as I perused the bags lined up along the  SAME long shelf (blasphemy!). You could even pick them up and inspect them without asking permission. Can you say, slumming? I eyed a little black leather beauty with a distinctive silver clasp. "How much is this one?" I asked the clerk, who'd just given me the spiel on which bags were on sale, including the one I was dangling before her. I guessed $250.

"That's a great deal! It's 30% off - only $900."

"Really?" I set it down and grinned at her as I peeked at the tag on one of the New Arrivals. $1390. I headed out the door.

The Coach store was shiny, new, and blessedly uncrowded. Apparently, I'm one of the only idiots in the area choosing not to shop at the outlet store. I looked at almost every single bag in the store at least twice. The same bag I'd seen at Bloomingdale's was perfectly perched on its own shelf. Nora (I decided to name her, because that's what writers do) looked stunning. Then I spotted her evil twin Natasha - the same bag, but instead of dull gold and brown, Tasha was dressed in eye-popping purple, grey, black and white. Hussy! I felt the floor shake as our souls became one.
"I'll take this one," I said to Andy, the obviously gay and very happy sales person.

"And did you see the matching wallet?" He fiddled around on his handy store iPhone. "Hmm... Yup, just as I thought. It's the last one."

The little wallet reached out, took my hand, and whispered in my ear, "You had me at hello." For $98, it should be able to do freaking trapeze acts! 

"Fine. I'll take that, too."

Victory flooded Andy's face. 

"Just head towards the back, sweetie, and they'll wrap it all up nice for you. They'll call you when it's ready." He punched my first name into his phone.

Now, I'm doing something I never thought I'd do - I'm living in a polygamous marriage. Me, Chuck, and Coach. And, for the record, threesomes really are all they're cracked up to be.


Happy New Year, everyone! May 2010 be filled with good health, happiness, laughter, hugs, great music, and many dreams fulfilled. And a new Coach bag, perhaps? 

Once again, namaste; I bow to you.

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