This weekend I did something I rarely do.
I went window shopping.
To me, this pastime is not only senseless, it also serves to remind me that “if you ain’t got the money, you ain’t got the honey.”
Nevertheless, prompted by the fact the Significant Other was standing in line at Starbucks, I wandered into the shop next door.
I immediately walked past a display of handbags in front of the shop.
Never having been a purse addict, I failed to see the purpose of perusing the “winter” collection.
However, three steps later, I walked back.
Something compelled me to feel, smell, and look at one of the items that brings women to their knees.
No sooner had I grabbed one of the bags from the shelf, when one of the sales associates appeared as if by magic.
“She’s a beauty, isn’t she?”
“Yes. I consider handbags female since they’re women’s best friend.”
“Most definitely! Why don’t you try it?”
“Please. I insist. There. How does it feel?”
“Like a purse I neither need nor want.”
“But doesn’t it make you feel special? Doesn’t it make you feel powerful?”
(At this point, I was wondering, who is this woman and when did she fall on her head?)
“Not really. I think I’ll pass.”
A second later, the bag was being whisked from my arm and replaced on the little stand.
And I was being given a dismissal look.
Fortunately, the Significant Other was calling my cell phone to ask where the heck I’d gone off to.
Minutes later, as I drank my coffee, I pondered the sales associates’ words.
Has self presentation really dwindled down to things non-related to our level of kindness, compassion, and integrity?
Have we become so obsessed with the image we want to convey that we spend outrageous amounts of money on something as ridiculous as a purse, believing it’s what best represents power and who we are?
When did “presenting” take over “just being?”
Sadly, it would seem that just being has been defeated by the need to use artifacts to gain respect.
As a society, we continue to be fed the false belief that we have to buy, think, and do “this and that” if we want to create an appearance of status.
In order to impress others, we have to buy overpriced items like the purse in the shop, to send the message, “Look at me! I’m chic, trendy, and ahem, powerful!”
This leads me to think that somehow along the way, we’ve stopped placing worth on our “humanness” and instead, transferred presentation value to inane things.
This makes me sad.
Ladies, we’ve come too far and worked too hard to prove our worth, power, and influence as productive members of society.
And last time I checked, a purse, shoes, and designer labels had nothing to do with it.
I say it’s time we empower ourselves through our acts of kindness, our willingness to help those in need, our intellect, and our ability to influence others with our experience and knowledge.
And really, expensive designer label purses?
Present me with one that provides me with the aforementioned qualities, and I’ll happily buy it.
In the meantime, I’ll continue to pass.