Last month I traveled 534 miles to Clarkston, Washington to attend a purse party my mom was hosting.
I’m not a girly girl and never really have been. I rarely wear makeup, the majority of my clothes are hand-me-ups (given to me by my younger sisters), and until I had children, the best purse, to me, was simply a wallet with a strap. Traveling 8 hours to a purse party was uncharacteristic for me.
But it was actually a lot of fun. And forgive me ladies, because I’m going to indulge a bit and perpetuate a female stereotype. Sometimes some woman (myself included) can be a titch indecisive. Not all the time, and not even a lot of the time, but every now and then being indecisive is a celebrated female art. And it seems the Purse Party, more than the Tuperware party, the Pampered Chef party, or even the Mary Kay party, celebrates the indecisive nature within almost every woman.
First let me explain the Purse Party. Jamie of “Designs by Jamie” is the only Purse Consultant (I’m not sure that title is official) I’ve ever met. But this is how it worked. Jamie staged my mother’s family room with countless fabric swatches, purse patterns, purse sizes, embellishments, and handles. From all those options, purse party guests got to design their own purses. And Jamie, aforementioned Purse Consultant, would help troubled guests pick the perfect purse for them. Post Purse Party, Jamie sews and sends these purses to party attendants. I sat with a stack of fabric swatches on my lap for 45 minutes, designing my purse while chatting with my mom, my sister, and other guests. And for the first time in a long time, I wasn’t the most indecisive person in the room. It was a Fickle Fest. A Picky Palooza.
After three hours (yes, three) Purse Designer, Consultant, and Seamstress, Jamie Palerino, started packing up her purse supplies. I asked if three hours was standard; apparently our particular party ran long. Most are no more than two hours, she told me. Somehow my mother had invited inordinately indecisive women to her Purse Party. Go figure.
Three weeks later my mother brought me my purse, and it was the cutest thing you’ve ever seen. Made from a tropical fabric with a hibiscus theme, I couldn’t have imagined a better purse for me. It was just darling. And then I saw my sister’s purse. She had chosen a tropical print too, only the background was dark brown and her colorful flowers seemed to pop right off the purse.
I sighed in defeat. After all those hours looking at fabric and picking just the right pattern, size, and handle, I like my sister’s purse better than mine. That is, until I saw the diaper bag my mother had designed for my sister-in-law. Maybe I should have been just a tad more thoughtful in picking my purse.
Oh well, there’s always the next purse party.