BTBM: Bag Lady

I am not an adventurous person. I was never one for all night parties, sex without regret, and experimentation of anything illegal, mind-altering, or past it’s expiration date. All my life, I thought it was shameful to be so tame, but I’ve finally learned to embrace it. It’s who I am. So here I am. Liz Black, born to be mild.

I just bought a new bag the other day. (The Hopewell bag from Brooklyn Industries, thanksforasking.) With every new bag comes the age-old lady ritual of transferring the contents of my old purse into my new one and enjoying the wonders, multiple pockets, and comfortable straps of it all. After that, it was time to take this baby out on the town. This was the moment I realized that, cute bag purchased from trendy outer-borough-namesake store aside, I just became my mother.


Because the first thought that came to my head as soon as my bag and I departed on her maiden voyage was that on my night out, I didn’t want to have to set it down on the floor somewhere and I really, REALLY wanted one of those purse hooks that any woman over 50 seems to own, including my mother and everyone she has ever socialized with. Honestly, as cheesy as they are, it’s a pretty great idea. I could never in good conscience use one, it’s like (Sex And The City reference) how women in the city never wear scrunchies. It’s just not something one does here. So I sucked it up and put my brand new purse by my feet next to me at dinner at a Mexican restaurant on the Lower East Side that offered up menus literally bathed in salsa. I cringed the entire time because I have too much pride to own such a practical thing that would salvage my new, lovely, pristine bag. I mean, if the menu was that filthy, I could only imagine what the floor was like. (A word about fashion pride, btw, because if you know me, you know there’s no rhyme or reason as to what I wear. I’m not too proud, for instance, to not wear Birkenstocks 100 days out of the year, or to not wear homemade tie-dyes in public. The fact that I cringe at the fashion statement made by a small metal hook further complicates me. No rhyme or reason at all.)

In the end, my bag was fine—no salsa, no dribbles of frozen margarita, no footprints, so my worrying was for nothing. I think the biggest cause for concern out of all of this is that the hook is a gateway drug that will someday lead to Eileen Fisher tunics and quilted anything. If anyone notices me going the way of the Mom, I preemptively permit a style intervention before it gets out of control. Preferably over margaritas.

About lizblack

Liz Black is an entertainment writer who lives in Brooklyn, NY. She has improvised and written several sketch comedy shows which she performed at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, and most recently directed the sketch group Gentleman Caller. She has a blog,, and she really enjoys NY1 and burritos.
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1 Response to BTBM: Bag Lady

  1. Brandy says:

    I was absentmindedly looking in a window recently, admiring a flowing pearl gray cardigan of some sort, and then realized it was an Eileen Fisher store. It was an upsetting moment. Right there with you.

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