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As someone who's AIM screen name used to be PurseGirl6785, I am utterly embarrassed at the state of dismemberment I have allowed my last purse to get to! It wasn't until I was organizing some files at work, looking at photos that were taken of my purse for a project, that were dated TWO AND A HALF YEARS AGO, that I truly realized how long I had been using the same purse. Although, I have to admit, the fact that the purse was starting to disintegrate and flake apart in front of my eyes probably should have been a red flag.

I used to not be able to go more than a couple of days without transferring my stash of lip gloss, loose change and movie ticket stubs from one purse to another. I would alternate between saving up my baby-sitting money to buy another one of my favorite accessories, and cruising the aisles of JoAnn's to find just the right fabric to make one myself. This alternating pattern continued throughout my college years and well after (with a real salary taking the place of baby-sitting money of course.) HOWEVER, I have apparently fallen off the wagon!

They say one of the steps on the road to recovery is admitting you have a problem. So here I am, admitting that this has become a problem and I am officially on the road to purse negligence recovery. I was at Target tonight buying some notebooks and, because I can never go into Target and leave with only what I came there for, this seemed to be a perfect opportunity to take the first step and finally buy myself a new purse. Nothing fancy or expensive, just a casual grey crossbody purse. Heck, I have to be a little budget conscious now in the purse department so someday I can splurge and get my dream Chanel bag ;).

I was torn between the purse I bought and a smaller, chartreuse colored crossbody. In the end I went with the grey because I figured it would go with more of my outfits. I love a good novelty purse with fun patterns, colors and textures, but I've been on a more subdued, classic style trend in the last couple of purses I've bought.

As much as I am astounded that I had gone so long without buying a new purse, I am equally as astounded that the purse I have been using has lasted as long as it has. For Pete's sake, it was just a $20 purse from Forever 21! So I do have to give it a little credit for sticking with me for so long. You often think of a great pair of jeans or a trusted pair of boots to be with you for quite awhile and to get better with age as they start to form to your body, but purses aren't always intended to work that way. I used to think of purses and handbags as trend accessories. That they were great to add a punch of pizazz to an outfit and were great because you could switch them out as the trends changed and move on to the next in the blink of an eye if you wanted. I never thought a purse I intended to use for one fashion season would stick with me for so long. much as I am impressed by it's lifespan and longevity, it's time to officially retire my good friend.

Dear Forever 21 Purse,

Thanks for being a great purse. We've gone through a lot! We've traveled to New York, Nashville, Tennessee, Minnesota, Chicago and back to New York again together. You've been my date to multiple weddings (Sorry I didn't bring your onto the dance floor, but you don't have the best rythym.) You've been my side-kick on many shopping sprees, flea market adventures and movie outings. You never complained when I had to abandon you in the locker at the gym or when I made you sit on the floor for hours and hours while I worked. You've kept my gum, mascara, lip gloss and money safe. I appreciate it all, my friend. I hope you enjoy your retirement. You will be missed. (But not too much, don't forget, you're just a purse from Forever 21)

Well hello there New Purse! Nice to meet you.

You've got big shoes to fill but I'm sure you'll do just fine. I like your off kilter buckles and your calm, cool & gray demeanor. I'm sure we'll get along great.

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