Thursday, September 2, 2010

I want Fashion! Function can kiss my...

19 more sleeps til our big adventure across the pond and prep has already begun.

In my youth I was a card carrying member of the Procrastinators Club. I was always the student up all night before a project was due. I could be found busily knocking it out, often with unhealthy sugar infused food fueling my efforts. One time I ate an entire bag of Oreos while finishing an assignment. Just before dawn the assignment was complete, and I was experiencing a sugar rush that could easily rival any drug induced high on the market.

Any questions concerning how I gained my “Freshman 15+” are now answered, I’m sure!

Now, lists are my world. There is honestly nothing more satisfying then crossing something off of a list. I have lists for EVERYTHING! Needs, wants, to dos, don’t forgets… I’ll write a list and then re-write it. Condensing and expanding. Expanding and condensing.

I can see you nodding in ecstatic agreement Michelle, I know you would give me a high-five if you were here. Save it. I’ll be collecting soon enough!

So the lists for Germany have begun, and at the top for me was to find a great carry on bag. I wanted something big enough to carry all the paraphernalia I’d need to keep the Munchkin occupied, uber functional so I could grab and go whenever I needed and, perhaps the hardest part of all, SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL TO LOOK AT!

I know when you are a mom about to travel an enormous distance with a soon-to-be-two-year-old, fashion should not be your #1 priority, but I just can’t help it. It physically hurts me when I have to settle for something that is functional, but ugly as sin. Is it too much to ask to have fashion and function without having to slap down a mortgage payment to get it?

The first stop in my search was Etsy.com, a fantastic marketplace for crafters, collectors and those searching for something just a little bit different. I figured maybe I’d get lucky and find a bag handmade to perfection, or maybe something vintage. As with my crafting, in fashion I love to be unique. My favorite haunt as a teen was my local Salvation Army Thrift Store. I’d spend hours combing the racks, looking for something different, vintage and one-of-a-kind.

After hours of searching I hit pay dirt. I found it in a shop called BrightWall. OMG! It was just too beautiful for words! I could instantly picture myself, chic and sophisticated travelling momma, with this vintage bag hanging over my shoulder.



Be still my beating heart! I showed it to my hubby, bubbling over with glee from my find, expecting a husbandly, “Whatever you want.” Instead I got a great big rainstorm drowning out my parade.

His questions of practicality and functionality made me want to scream! Couldn’t he just read my mind and see my vision. Me, posh and pulled together, serenely pushing our precious daughter through the airport, carrying THAT bag! Ultimately, the endless questions finished with a compromise. He said we would look at the mall that weekend, and if I couldn’t find anything else I liked, then I could get the DREAM bag.

Determined to prove him wrong, the next day I hit the mall with my partner in crime and soul mate in all things esthetically pleasing, Jessica. I knew surely she would commiserate with my plight, help me stage a search of the mall, thereby allowing me to skip home and order the bag I was meant to have!

Except… my fashion guru, my style icon, my lover of all things artistic and beautiful, is NOT about beautiful handbags where function is concerned. As our search began she confessed that although a big part of her world revolves around fashion, she is unabashedly about function when it comes to bags for hauling her kiddo’s stuff. Her diaper bag is a simple black Eddie Bauer model, and although it has zero going for it esthetically (except maybe being black) she loves it because it makes her life easier.

As we walked into Macys, she advanced on a display of luggage on sale for 50% off. I wish I could describe the bags on display in beautiful flowery terms, but the only thing I can say about them is that they were definitely functional. Pictured below is not the exact bag presented to me by my dear friend, but really, they all look the same to me, so it will do.



UGH!! It’s just so plain and uninspired! On our search we must have found a million just like it. “Dude, it will be so functional. It will make your crazy long trip so much easier. You won’t be tearing your hair out. Dude, I don’t want a bald friend…” Jessica reiterated all the reasons Colby had given me (and then some). I knew they were both right. But, MY bag. My beautiful, vintage, Kelly green duffel, perfect in its uniqueness and character, was calling to me. Pleading with me not to cave. Not to give in to the modern and mind numbing. Urging me to be inspired and impulsive for once. Screw function and practicality, just buy the gorgeous bag!

But in the end I caved. I listened to my friend, and my husband and did the practical and responsible thing. I bought the ugly bag.

Being a responsible adult really sucks sometimes!!

In a mope I spent the evening staring at the offending bag. The bag I KNEW I would never use again after my trip. Colby said he really liked it. It was perfect. I’d be able to fit everything I needed in it.

“FINE!” I snapped “When I get back it’s yours!”

I know, all this over a bag, grow up, right? What can I say, I’m a SAHM, and I can’t help but leap at any opportunity to feel stylish. Mac and Cheese, snot and diapers just aren’t sexy!

So, I bought the ugly practical bag and that’s the end right? Nope. My goddess of the shopping find came through for me!

The next day Jessica called me, so excited she could hardly contain herself.

“DUDE I FOUND YOUR BAG!!! IT’S BIG ENOUGH, AND HAS A TON OF POCKETS AND A SHOULDER STRAP AND IT’S BEAUTIFUL! I’M EMAILING YOU A PICTURE NOW!”

So sometimes you can have your cake AND eat it too.

One beautiful Sojourn Style Croco Weekend Duffle Bag in Merlot red, courtesy of Target for $39.99.



Now the search is on to find an umbrella stroller to match.

Wish me luck,

Mandy:)

3 comments:

DollyDog said...

Mandy you sould have checked out Ju-Ju-Be.com!!!! They have awesome, BEAUTIFUL, functional bags, I got one for my trip and LOVE it!!!

Mandy:) said...

Aw man! I'll have to remember to check it out next time!!! THANKS!

Fatshion Chic said...

Oh. my . god. the funniest story EVERRRR!!! freaking love you girl, love you.
See, now that we can't talk as much, it's good you blog!! LOL
again....I made you do it. :)

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