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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

When Is A Wallet Not Just A Wallet?


I walked into the kitchen to see Rick spreading out a bunch of papers and stuff on the table. "What the heck is all that crap?" I asked. He turned around, rueful expression on his face, doom in his voice. "My wallet got all wet while I was up on the roof helping Butch tarp it up. I think I'm gonna need a new one."

Immediately, I grasped the gravity of the situation. This was big. "Oh, no!" I said, sympathetically. "Wow. I mean--"
"Yeah, I know," he said tragically, surveying the damage to his black bifold. "But I just don't think it's gonna be the same. And it was bad to begin with. You knew that."

I sighed. "Geeze. Getting a new wallet is huge. If you can't find the exact same one, it's traumatic. It's like committing to a whole new lifestyle. If the credit card storage isn't horizontal, you have to get used to vertical. Once you're a bifold guy, you don't go trifold. You--"

"Hey! I'm no trifold guy! You know that!" Rick said. "I'm bifold now, all the way. Thinner, more lightweight. And now, I've gotten used to the flip-up ID thingy as a separate flap. The new wallet's gotta have that. One side for the ID; other side for the medical cards. That's non-negotiable. And black. Black wallet. Not brown."

"I'm all over it," I said. "Remember, you're talking to the Connoisseur of Purses here. No one is pickier about her purses than I am. Has to be leather; has to have a shoulder strap; cannot have any inside dividers; cannot have more than one fastener; the shoulder strap cannot be so short as to have the purse graze my elbow when I sling it on one-handed; the shoulder strap cannot be so long as to have the purse ride below my hipbone; the purse cannot cost more than fifty dollars. The only people who can stand to purse shop with me are you and Leanne, and I am not entirely sure that even Leanne can stand it anymore."

"I'm not even sure I can stand it," Rick muttered.

"Watch it, buddy," I said, "or you'll be shopping for your wallet by yourself."
Later, Jared joined us. "What's up with Dad's crap all over the kitchen table?" he asked cheerfully.

"Dad's wallet got wet and now he has to get a new one," I intoned dreadfully, searching his face for a reaction.

"Oh, man!" Jared said. "That sucks! A new wallet! Remember how hard it was to find me a new wallet, Mom? We went to how many stores until we found the exact one? Man! I'd rather go with no wallet than have to get used to a new wallet."

This was too good to pass up. "Hey, Jared," I said. "You go for the bifold, too, right? Like Dad?"

"NO. Trifold, Mom. TRIFOLD! The trifold is the way to go, Dad. Smaller, more compact. Bam! Everything right there. Your bills don't fold up in half when you take them out and put them on the counter. And the credit cards have to be on the left. Bifolds are shit, Dad. Geeze. The bifold. Come on. And brown. The brown wallet. Not black. What are you, a biker?"

Sam wandered in and I couldn't resist. Sam, the most fashionable member of the Dept. Men, was definitely going to have to weigh in. "Sam, what about your wallet?," I asked.

"What about it?" he asked. "I've had the same wallet for about 8 years. Brett left it over here and I just started using it. Come to think of it, I need a new wallet. Yeah, I should probably get one."
"What kind will you get? How about a nylon one? Doesn't anyone like one of those? They're supposed to be hardest to steal. With velcro," I added.

They all looked at me, pityingly. "Mom," Sam said. "How old are we, like 8?"

17 comments:

  1. We have just about the same taste in purses. Except I don't mind an inside compartment. But it has to be soft leather, no metal anywhere (in sight), and certainly no visible logo. If I have spent a month shopping and finally find the one I want and it costs more than 50 bucks, I am tempted to go a little higher. But then it has to last for ten years. :-)

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  2. I hear you, sister! Purses are a PERSONAL item...almost more than underwear. I carry a backpack most of the time, but for funerals and weddings I like to have a good purse with me. And there are certain features that are non-negotiable.

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  3. My husband went through the wallet crisis just before Christmas. It was a nightmare. I went with him on several shopping attempts and it got old FAST. Then, just to complicate matters, he decided to get our two sons their first wallets. (They're older than 8, but not much.) The selections are nylon rip-stop trifolds with velcro. As predicted, one is already lost in the house (probably under said kid's mountain of laundry) and the other fell in the team swimming pool. But that's why he got nylon for the swimmer boy--it floated!

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  4. I had no idea wallets were so personal! I picked up my husband's wallet at The Gap years ago and only paid 99 cents for it! It is black canvas, a tri fold and shuts tightly with a strip of velcro. Now I have to wonder if he really didn't like it but since our relationship was still somewhat new, maybe he didn't want to hurt my feelings?! Or maybe he's just not that picky over wallets. Now shoes, I don't dare buy him shoes.

    Purses, I agree, are personal. However, I do like a divider sometimes. Depends on the occasion. A night out...no divider. I need to see everything at first glance. Running errands...a divider is needed to keep things in order. Price... I love splurging on a designer bag from time to time :)

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  5. Funy story! Godspeed on the quest.

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  6. I go through the same thing with purses and wallets. It's like a new era in my life practically when they change. And I hate to pay more than $50.00 for a pocketbook too, unless someone gave me money or a gift card, which happened recently!

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  7. I understand the thing about wallets. I've been looking for a new one for my boyfriend, but I can't seem to find one as useful as the one he as now.

    Purses though? I'm not too picky. Long enough strap to carry it over my shoulder without it riding into my armpit. Inside pocket to put little things that I don't want all the way at the bottom of the purse. That's about it. Maybe I'm not far enough along in life to be purse-picky?

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  8. ortizzle--oh heavens! NEVER A LOGO!

    wordgirl--i will never succumb to the backpack. NEVER. some things must never happen. that is one.

    sputnik--mountain of laundry = requirement for boys. now you need to invent the wallet that floats to the top of that, and you're a millionaire!

    nina--better get the wallet interview now rather than later. bet he hates the velcro. how old is he, 8? lol.

    fringes--the wallet has been dried out and is temporarily back in service. the quest begins on saturday. i'm packing a flare gun and bottled water. and vodka.

    anali--even with a gift card, my cheap side still reigns. it's pathological. i scored an etienne aigner for 29 bucks! major.

    jenomena--are you sure you're a woman? how often do you carry your purse? i'm worried about you...lol

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  9. Black leather, bifold, flap for ID, and six slots for cards (and even that's not enough!), plus two inside pockets to put the extra, not-so-often-used cards. I sometimes wish those big travel wallets with room for 20 cards could fit in my pocket, but alas, the world is not perfect.

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  10. Haha, I think I'm a woman! Since I carry my bookbag to class, I really only use my purse a few times a week, so that's probably why I'm not too picky.

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  11. He is going to need new shoes to go with his new wallet. I always get new shoes when I purse shop. In fact, I just always get new shoes.

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  12. ih--you have The Rick Model. next time, buy two and send me one.

    jenomena--as a student, you are still a woman-in-training. forgiven.

    mist1--do NOT even talk about shoe-shopping with this man. he is impossible. he has issues that we cannot discuss like people. i have to buy shoes for myself to get over it.

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  13. Anonymous5:41 AM

    Oh honey, now that I have a non-ending supply of f-you pills (aka xanax) I can easily resume shopping with you for that special purse! Just say when.
    SoMdPrincess

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  14. SoMdPrincess--i'm almost afraid to since we will have to try and top the major score of the $29 etienne aigner bag. maybe i'll just go shopping in your Coach closet. LOL.

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  15. Hey! That's my wallet in the middle!! The brown one!! Give it back!!

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  16. dan--welcome to The Dept. and hope to see you back often! and, the brown bifold in the middle? you can have it! no one here uses a brown bifold, DUH! LOL!!!

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  17. Did Anali use the word "pocketbook"? Wow, I hadn't heard that in a LOOONG time.

    I'm a purse whore. I'm not into shoes but I love purses. Must be mid-sized to small, have an irrestible shape, look good on my shoulder, and just make my heart sing. Leather is my top choice but since moving to Belgium I've been a whore for nylon Kipling bags. So colorful, functional, and light weight. Great when you walk everywhere and a leather bag can get too heavy or suffer in the rain. I love Fossil bags, and I groove over having a wallet that matches my bag (though normally, I don't!). I have many handbags, and I switch bags at least once a week. While I have lots of inexpensive bags, I wouldn't hesitate to drop a $100 on a really wonderful leather purse. Usually, though, I spend much, much less.

    And the wallet? Well, when my son was five years old he bought himself a leather wallet in the men's section of a nice department store. Tumbled leather wallet--very soft. He managed to keep it until age 11, when he lost it. It had almost $50 of birthday money in it when it disappeared. My big boy cried and cried, not over the MONEY, the most he'd ever had, but over the wallet, which he LOVED. Yeah, he's his Mama's boy.

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