~Monday, January 19, 2009

Coach

Somewhere in mid-November, when I was broke and sitting on my couch alone because I was paying off my credit card, I decided my Christmas present to myself/ reward for getting out of debt/ reward for surviving the year would be a new Coach handbag. I have one of the signature handbags covered in the brown Cs, but this time I had my heart set on creamy black leather.

Two days after Christmas I walked in the Coach factory store among every other woman in the surrounding area. Ladies had 2-3 bags dangling off their arms: at over a $150 a piece, you couldn't tell the economy is in major meltdown mode. I accepted my 10% off certificate the doorman handed me and proceeded in.

I had my mother accompany me this time because I wanted something classic that wouldn't look ridiculous years from now. If I was going to spend this much on a purse, I wanted it to last. However, my mother is abusively frugal and buys her bags secondhand. I didn't know how she would react to my extravagance.

The handbag I had my eye on for months was hanging in the crook of a slender Chinese woman's arm, along with the red version of the bag and several other choices. She had the only black one left and I stared at her forlornly as I stood in line with my okay pick, but it wasn't the one I really wanted. I debated putting mine back and just saving my purse allotment for another day. I knew I couldn't approach her and ask her if she really wanted it, because my asking would just make the desirability of the bag increase. Instead I shifted my weight on each foot and whined my mini-tantrum.

Then she did it. She put the bag down. I immediately ran out of line, picked it up and ran back in line without even asking her. To me, if it was on a table, it was fair game. The tag on the bag read $328. The factory price was marked at $309, marked down again to $146.30. The 10% I received at the door took another $14.63 off and a scuff on the front—the assumed reason the lady put it back—reduced it by another 10%. In the end, my $328 bag sold for $118.50. I threw in another smaller Coach bag my father gave me for Christmas and my final total was $75. Even my mother, who hasn't spent more than $3 on a purse in years, got into the spirit of my deal.

And the best part about it wasn't the $75, but knowing I could afford it free and clear. I splurged on an item without the guilt of the credit card statement or even wondering what else I had to skimp on to afford it. It was mine and I deserved it and every bit of happiness that came along with it. It feels good.

I haven't even used my brown Coach bag since I bought the black one. Every time I look at the black one, I am reminded of how hard I worked and of my accomplishments and the good vibes return and I smile. I have the same feeling with my little car I got last summer. It was my down payment that took me a year to put together and my own loan with my credit and something I had to work at to get. I paid cash for all my other cars, but this one is different because it's nice, not to mention new(ish).

So I guess at the end of the day, I like to work. I like to save and I like to earn the things I have.

And I like them to be nice.

20 comments:

LizSara said...

Every time i read you now you have something positive to day. I'm so pleased for you x

kristinblakely said...

such a good feeling.

as i was reading about watching the other woman hold the bag you want all i could think about was that's how dating is. sometimes we settle for something all the while envying what another person has. um, i have a one track mind. help.

Lisa said...

I have a classic black coach I purchased in the same manner as you - I love it and still cary it.

Just goes to show - it pays off to do things the right way.

J said...

Yay for new handbags! And a double yay for cheap new handbags. This is an awesome story.

Amber said...

That is so awesome! I love that you brought your mom with you :-).

And I love that you recognize you *deserve* to have nice things when you work so increidbly hard for them.

Good for you!

KennethSF said...

Being a member of the male specie, I must admit I don't share your enthusiasm for Coach bags. But I do have a fountain pen fetish and would similarly fight over a good deal on a satin-black Montblanc.

Anonymous said...

nice story...it is such a good feeling to earn your own luxuries. However, I'ma bit confused. If your mom is a "spend thrift," how is it that she buys second-hand bags? spendthrifts are people who spend extravagantly (know the meaning is ironical, given the "thrift" in the term)

Sarah said...

Point to you, anonymous, I misused the word.

Blue soup said...

I don't know what a Coach bag is, but I know exactly what you mean about working hard and saving hard for a real treat.

It seems that in this See One Want One Now society that prevails, many people have forgotten the value of money.

Glad to hear the positivity continues for you, it's great to read it :)

Sarah said...

www.coach.com

I'm a little surprised to discover it's a purely American thing. They're so gorgeous!

kissashark said...

Sarah, I'm a coach junkie! I remember my fisrt Coach purchase and it still resides in my closet in it's dust bag....I am lusting for a new bag from the Spring line, but I have to pay off my credit cards first...ugh. I should be able to splurge for my b'day!
WE totally deserve it and yay for you!

Kelly said...

So now I want to know what it looks like :-)

KT said...

bravo!

nuttycow said...

I don't know what Coach is either (am going to have a look now) but I know how you feel. I have my eye on one of these (http://www.radley.co.uk/en-gb/ProductDetails/?pid=RHNDBEAU&cid=RHND&language=en-GB) but I know I'm going to have to save up :( It'll feel good once I buy it though!

M-Joy said...

I'm more of a Tiffany girl myself, which is hilarious because I rarely wear jewelery.

The purse is luscious and one of the few I've seen that are classy, bravo buy!

Sarah said...

OMG those Radley bags are so cute; I have never seen them before! Too bad they aren't available here :(

gekkogirl said...

Sarah - what a wonderful story my favourite part is how the good vibes return every time you see the bag and remember how hard you worked for it. I applaud you... XXX

dont eat the token said...

Good feelings for you!!

For the first time ever I took my Christmas gift cards and just spent them on myself. I bought a $30 sweater because I could. I still can't believe it!

Colleen Snell said...

Congrats on the purse, the restraint and the positive outlook!

Jewels said...

Congrats on the Coach purse. And no the obsession with Coach is not just an American one...Canadians like them too :)

 

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