This past Christmas, my mother gave me a brown leather handbag. It was slouchy. It had a cute linen lining printed with birds. And it was big. Like really big.
Most of my handbags at least as old as I am, and most of them a good few decades older. My dad is especially good at picking them out, including a red patent leather bag from the 50s and an aqua bag from the 60s that perfectly matches my favorite aqua suit. These things are sleek. They are cool and geometric. I will never seen anyone else carrying them on the subway unless it is a G Train Time Travel Machine.
But they are really tiny. Red lipstick, phone, ID -- that’s pretty much it (I no longer carry cigarettes). With this new bag, I could not only carry an entire novel and my wallet, but I could also get in sunglasses, back-up reading (I like to have options), notebooks and fruit and nuts in case of emergency.
But there was a problem. Right in the middle of the front was this little gold logo. I really, really hate logos. Sometimes the old graphic Esprit logo will carry me back to, well, grade school or whenever it was -- somewhere in the original 80s, I assure you -- that I still willingly allowed myself to be a billboard for some random company.
And although I live in New York City, I’ve never really understood the status handbag thing. This one just identified the bag as that of a sweet, hippie-ish San Francisco company that sells modest handbags for more than H&M, but you’d need to buy the whole line before you spend the rent money. Still, it irked me.
Because I am a generally messy person, at first I thought I’d just stick a pin through it. But even I realized that stabbing a sharp object through leather is a task best left to professionals. What about just gluing on a little charm with a magnet? I picked up a 12-pack at the hardware store for five bucks, along with some Gorilla glue. I used plain old ceramic magnets, though you can get super strong neodymium ones, too, which, at larger sizes can “break fingers, crush hands,” and, if ingested, clamp together and “cause death.” Sexy!
(At smaller sizes, they are excellent for D.I.Y. projects, though you still shouldn’t get them within 12 inches of your computer, or swallow them).
I put one magnet on the inside of the bag, behind the logo and the other one on the object itself. It actually held together fine with just pure magnetic power, but I glued the inside. I was pretty happy with it. Sure, it sticks out a good inch from the handbag, and thus I have to pay attention to avoid getting it stuck on things, but I can handle that kind of maintenance.
But what is the point of having a removable magnetic charm if you don’t remove it? So, armed with a half dozen other magnets (those things are cheap!) and my Gorilla glue, I cruised through my apartment.
Me, in kindergarten. My hairstyle hasn’t changed at all.
This little love aid -- one of four! -- I got in a truck-stop vending machine somewhere between Truckee and Winemucca. Clearly I was never tempted to put it to use.
Well, if you have to be practical...