On the lighter side: Strapped | TheUnion.com
Diane Dean-Epps
Special to the Sunday Express

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On the lighter side: Strapped

I’m a bit addicted to purses. Not to just any kind of purses, mind you. Showy and flashy ones.

Plus, they have to be able to transport necessities and me to a happier place.

I especially love the purses with all of the scenes, cities and thematic extravaganzas on the front of them. I call these collectibles, “art on a strap,” perhaps coming soon to an art gallery near you.

I once overheard my eldest daughter telling her father, “It’s medicinal,” in response to his grousing query, “Why in the world did your mother buy a purse with a poodle on it?”

I thought that was an apt and timely assessment of my purse attainment since I had just gotten done telling my husband to consider the purchase cheap therapy. Now we were on the same page, or is it purse? You get what I mean.

And my daughter’s right. I have only to gaze at one of my purses and I am no longer susceptible to any negativity. Even if I’m already in a positive frame of mind, then the concept works because each purse is an artistic extension and celebration of that “high on life,” thing.

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The only problem seems to be that my desire for these wondrous works of handbag ingeniousness is insatiable. Well, not the only problem.

On occasion, as I enter stores selling pocketbooks, I have had to hold my hands up as blinders in order to traverse the aisles upon aisles of exquisite specimens. Every so often, in a weak moment, I add to my collection.

One such acquisition being a 2004, auction-acquired, tan canvas number with cowgirls and horses all over it, festooned with tasteful sequins, beads and curlicued words that say, “Cowgirls have more fun.”

All right, actually, my mom bought this piece for me, so this didn’t represent a monetary challenge, but rather a social one. These purses get me into all kinds of trouble due to the conversational gambits that ensue.

I excitedly chose to drag this particular reticule with me to an awards ceremony during which time my daughter would be receiving an award.

I was at this event grappling with my high tech, 1990s, vintage video camera as I teetered on high heels and attempted to focus in on a child that at least had the same hair color as my daughter.

It was at this point that a gentleman near me decided to strike up a conversation. What he said was, “Are you a rider?” What I heard was, “Are you a writer?” To which I replied, “How did you know?” as though he was the “Amazing Kreskin,” so astounding was his ability to divine my career path.

As I took in his puzzled look, downward glance, and wife’s clasping of his arm to prevent him from speaking with me further, I figured out that he had been looking at my cowgirl clutch.

“Oh, rider” I repeated, bobbing my head up and down in vigorous understanding. “As in riding horses,” I said, accentuating the alternate auditory meaning by pantomiming the riding of a horse.

No mean feat with a video camera in one hand and a tissue in the other. He just nodded his head and succumbed to his wife’s grasping redirection.

Much more racy and less innocuous are the conversations that ensue when I carry my bag that features Las Vegas. We’ll go with a clean, though tired example of one of these interchanges which is usually delivered with a leer, “So what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, right? Am I right? Am I right? Anything that’s there?”

To which I respond, “Oh, yes, you are absolutely right. Are you planning on visiting Vegas in the very near future?”

Diane Dean-Epps is a comedienne and writer. Contact her at http://www.diane deanepps.com.