Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Buying Happiness

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Etienne Aigner handbag

My husband loves to shop. I loathe it. He decided to waste nearly an entire day of our recent vacation shopping. I was not happy about it. I’m not going to change my mind and say I enjoyed shopping, but something good came of it.

Some of my favorite childhood memories are centered around my beloved grandmother, Mammie. I remember how much time she spent on her appearance when she left the house. Her wardrobe was filled with matching ensembles, and she had different pairs of shoes for different outfits. She had certain pieces of jewelry that she wore every time she left the house, like her gold coin necklace. In winter, she had a Canadian maple leaf pin that she wore on her colorful sweater. She would color her white eyebrows with a brownish-red pencil, put on her lipstick and rouge, and brush through her curly red hair. She spent a great deal of time keeping her locks red as they turned white over the years.

And then, before she walked out the door, she would pick up her purse. Mammie had an extensive collection of purses, but not just any old purses. She only bought one kind of purse, and she had all sizes and shapes in a beautiful burgundy color. Her cedar closet was filled with these purses. As a teen, I snarled my nose at her every time she offered me one of them, but oh how I wish I had but one of her beloved purses now that she is gone.

When we walked into one of the thrift shops my husband is so fond of, I decided to look through the purses and bags to find something small I could take along rather than lugging around the mom suitcase my purse had become. It was filled with tons of “hold these,” “keep this for me,” and “hang onto this” junk that always ends up being handed to you. If you’re a mom, you know what I’m talking about. After a while, a purse can get as heavy as a concrete block. I was ready for something small for the necessities. I wanted something small enough for just MY necessities.

As I looked through the bags hanging on the small rack, I saw the symbol. No way, I thought. There was no way. I picked it up for a closer look, and it was indeed a small Etienne Aigner bag. I ran my finger over the little horseshoe-shaped ‘A,’ and I looked inside to check the lining. It was the real deal. I knew the design on the lining so well after years of digging in my grandmother’s purses for butterscotch candies and cinammon Certs. I couldn’t believe I had found one on a rack in a thrift store. And there I was complaining about being forced to go shopping.

I am not going to lie and say I stopped complaining. I didn’t. What I will say is it made me smile. It brought back memories from so many years ago and caused me to let out a long sigh. I am not talking about an exasperated sigh; I mean a ‘those were the days’ sigh. It’s that special sigh that escapes when you relive a fond memory and your whole soul smiles a little.

Needless to say, I bought it. Every time I look at it, I smile thinking of the times I spent watching my grandmother get ready to go somewhere. So, if you think money can’t buy happiness, wait until you find something that touches your heart that has a price tag on it. I bought a little bit of happiness that day. Oh, and proceeds from the thrift shop supported local dog rescues, so happiness all the way around.

If you haven't already, stop by Gran's Facebook page to keep up with me and Tater Tot.

Best Wishes,


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