Spring is in the air, flowers are blooming, birds are singing, and the sun is shining. Women everywhere are coming alive with their eyes on spring fashions. There is nothing like shopping for a new spring wardrobe to chase the winter blues away. Ladies, don’t forget that no fashion look is ever complete without a new purse. This season always brings with it my search for the perfect purse.
What is the perfect purse? Where can I find it? Girlfriends everywhere are asking this question. What is most the common reply? “I have not found it yet!” They will probably add that, “The perfect purse is different for each person.” They will also agree the hunt is half the fun. Just like the perfect mate, the perfect purse has to fit your personality and lifestyle. The perfect purse definitely has to be you.
My hunt for the perfect purse always begins with gusto and a mental list of what important details it must possess. It ends with me shouting out to all who are in the store where I find it, “This is it! This is the best purse ever,” followed by an enthusiastic, “YEAH!” This is said to the salesclerk as I tell her in full detail, at double speed, of all the purses that got away. Then I explain, probably at least twice, why this purse was selected as the perfect purse. After reaching the imaginary finish line of the purse-hunt competition, I race home to change purses.
Once home, I continually say out loud, “This is the perfect purse; everything fits perfectly.” This feeling of satisfaction may last a month or two at most. It is only after the try-out season that defects begin to show! I say to myself, “That’s OK," when I realize that the purse is too small or too big. I assure myself, it doesn’t matter that much about the size. I then notice it’s the wrong color for my spring attire. Finally, I sigh when it becomes evident that my perfect purse is not practical at all. The purse definitely carried all the right characteristics when I spotted, selected, and purchased it, but I was so in love with it that I was blinded to it shortcomings. I only beheld its beauty!
Not to worry; if this fictitious order of events happens to you, just remember that the hunt is half the fun. Like every American girly-girl, I am off again for the perfect purse hunt, and hunt I do. I search, select, and purchase again, like rewinding a favorite movie in my mind, and doubling the pleasure twice.
Being a people pleaser and a second child rolled into one, I not only hunt down a perfect purse for myself, but many a time for family and friends. One year I called a relative to ask what she wanted for her birthday. My heart leaped when she answered, “A purse.” Before I could shout “a perfect purse,” she began to describe in detail the purse she wanted. “Not too small and not too big, “she said. “Then added, “Make it leather!” I, Ellen “Tracy,” will hunt it down I thought to myself, as I jotted a detailed note. I could not help myself; I had to have the last word, “I know the perfect purse!” Thankful that I had done my due diligence, with a pen and pad in hand taking notes, I was off to the mall to hunt it down.
In no time at all, I found it the purse that fit the criteria. I went thru the check list, “Leather, check! 'Not too small,' check! 'Not too big,' check! “It seemed practically perfect in every way, not to mention I purchased it in record time. I chose not to boast, but I did applaud. As I arrived home, I quickly wrapped the purse, signed the card and mailed it off. I sported a smile on my face that displayed how happy I was that it would arrive in time for her birthday. When her special day arrived, I dialed her number to wish her “Happy Birthday.” I could barely contain my excitement. I, Ellen “Tracy”, had singlehandedly hunted down the perfect purse. “Happy Birthday, Aunt Victoria,” I said with joy. “Do you like your (I was about to add perfect) purse?”
I only got half the words out of my mouth when she replied, “Not really!”
Still shocked, I mustered up, “Aunt Victoria, it’s not too big, nor too small. The purse is leather and I enclosed a gift receipt, so what is not to like?” What was wrong with it? How did I fail my mission, I asked myself?
Before the words left my mouth she volunteered, “Too many compartments.”
“Too many compartments,” I repeated. I had to agree. “Happy Birthday to you anyway,” I repeated as I hung up the phone. Did I mention that Aunt Victoria was in her 90s?
I may not have found the treasure of the perfect purse, nor have I solved the mystery of why we seek after perfection. However, I definitely learned a life lesson that day which has served me well. Nothing is perfect except God! Think about it for a while and you will agree it is true. No matter how hard you try you will find that there is no perfect husband, nor perfect wife for that matter. King Solomon stated, “A perfect wife; who could find one?” As wise as Solomon was not even he could find that treasure. There are also no perfect children, yet they are one of God’s richest blessings. There is not even a perfect friend. Yet we must choose them wisely. We will never find the perfect home, no matter what our budget. We will never land the perfect job, no matter how educated and gifted we are. We may never find the perfect accessory, not even a purse! Lastly, everyone knows that there is no perfect life, except eternal life.
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As the saying goes, “The world is full of imperfect people, loving each other imperfectly.” The world is also full of imperfect homes, imperfect jobs, and imperfect purses. Avoid being a perfectionist by looking at the assets instead of the defects. Always count your blessings instead of your trials. Lastly, once you have made a selection of a spouse, a home, a job or even a purse, learn to be content. “Contentment with peace is great gain.”
The perfect purse hunt has taught me so many life lessons and I bet you thought this was just another article about fashion. The Holy Spirit will always teach you on the journey, if you listen with your heart. Lessons learned; the perfect anything is rarely found. What is perfect to me may not be perfect to you. Virtue can be gained while walking the path of everyday life. Remember to always accessorize with virtue and don't forget the perfect purse.
Even though the perfect purse may never be found, I want to encourage you to never, ever give up the hunt. You see, ladies, the hunt is half the fun. It is spring time, Moms, let the “Perfect Purse Hunt” begin!
Are you in? Let me know what you find and I will show you what I found. Ellen “Tracy” is on the job! More importantly, let me know what you have learned. I want to hear from you!
Copyright 2016 Ellen Mongan
Photo copyright 2016 Ellen Mongan. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Ellen Mongan is a Catholic writer, speaker, and host of WOW MOM podcasts. Her book, WOW MOM: A Walk with God, is on Amazon. She contributes to Catholic Mom, Women of Grace, and Augusta Chronicle. Her most important roles as wife to Deacon Patrick and mother of eight led her to ministry. Learn more and contact her to speak at EllenMongan.com.