“It’s not having what you want, It’s wanting what you’ve got…” –Sheryl Crow, “Soak Up the Sun”.
These are words I try to live by. Life is a series of compromises…sometimes you get what you want and sometimes you don’t. I really try not to care all that much, one way or the other. This post is a little study/photo essay of some ways in which I didn’t let my heart get set on just one option…I kept them open. By keeping them open, I was able to experience joy in other ways. Take for instance this Coach handbag:
This purse was featured in a fashion layout in the February 2011 issue of “More” magazine (which I have been getting monthly and I have no idea why). As soon as I saw it, it was love–the style, the color (oh! the color!!! check out Aesthetic Alterations for more of this rich, brown color a la Hermes), everything. No, “love” is not the right description–unbridled lust is more like it. An unbridled lust that soon gave way to obsession causing me to become an obsessive compulsive Coach bag stalker (from here will be shortened to OCCBSD). I called “Coach” immediately. The uninformed customer service rep was of no help–she couldn’t find any information on the bag. “More” magazine only described it as a Coach handbag–no style number. Blast. I started searching “More” magazine’s website for a clue. Nothing. I did random searches on the web and Ebay using descriptive words to find it. Nothing. A couple of weeks later, I called Coach again. Aha! This time I got the information I needed. The helpful customer service rep informed me that it was a Coach Hampton Handbag style number 15400. Yes! “But unfortunately we are sold out of those in our stores and this style has been moved to our Coach Outlets.” Even better!! “Could you tell me where I could find one?” “I am sorry, m’am. We do not have access to Coach Outlets’ inventory.” “OK, could I have the number for that?” “No, m’am, you will have to call stores individually.” Aaaallll righty. Do I want this bag that bad? Yes! So I tracked down all the numbers for any outlet stores in my state and the neighboring ones. I called them all. No one had any. I called down as far as Tennessee figuring if it was there my mom could pick it up for me (graciously and without a gripe). Nope–all gone. I started thinking of friends in other states that I wouldn’t hesitate to impose upon who would go to an outlet mall for moi and then ship the coveted item to me (of course I would reimburse gas and shipping because I am a great friend). I think this last thought started bringing me back to my senses as these calls were not made (and thus, the friendships are still thriving). I was about to give up when suddenly I remembered Ebay. The next few hours, or was it days? weeks?–not sure, kind of a blur– was dedicated to finding that beautiful Coach bag, going for a song I dared to hope, on Ebay. I did find it…for the “Buy It Now” price of $377. Forget it–I simply can’t justify that amount at this time (on sooooo many personal levels this type of handbag purchase can not be justified but it sure didn’t stop me going a tad insane in my search). I started thinking about “why” I really liked this bag and I realized it was because it looked a lot like the vintage, classic Coach handbag “originals” (as Coach calls them). Hmmmmmmmmmm…..
So I started a new search on Ebay for “vintage Coach brown flap handbag”, “vintage Coach walnut leather handbag”, “vintage Coach cognac leather purse” and a slew of other word combinations (and no, I have no idea how I found the time for all of this except that when OCCBSD kicks in, time is of no consequence) until I found this:
In person, this bag is not that shiny but I had cleaned it up and conditioned it shortly before I took this picture. And this is my compromise–while not the “bag of my dreams”*, it is pretty close and I can live with it until I get the “bag of my dreams” for a lot less than $377. The best part of this Coach bag? It was FREE. I won the bidding at a good price but all my money was refunded by the seller because of a shipping error she made. It is in great, gently used, vintage condition with lots of life left (for a similar handbag story, because who doesn’t love a good handbag story?, check out Janet’s).
Then there is the matter of my bed. I have had the same duvet cover on my bed for about ten years (purchased from PotteryBarn–great quality). And I still love it. When we moved just over a year ago, we purchased a new mattress set. Of course this new set is a pillow-top, thus a deeper mattress than what we had. This caused my queen-sized, favorite duvet to no longer reach where the dust ruffle meets the mattress leaving an unsightly gap of exposed mattress. Yuck. So I started shopping for a new duvet. Couldn’t find one I loved as much as the one I have. I thought about going with a linen duvet (as seen at “Restoration Hardware” or “Garnet Hill”) but realized I would probably have to go with a King sized duvet to not have the same problem I was already dealing with now–which jumps the price.
Then I thought, I will just buy a 100% linen, King sized flat sheet to layer between the regular sheet and duvet, adding a nice contrast. I almost, almost!, plucked down nearly $200 for such an item before I came to my senses. I decided to shop Ebay and Etsy one more time before making a purchase. I am glad I did because I found a Ralph Lauren king-sized duvet and shams set on Etsy for $28.00. And here is how it looks:
Then there is the matter of my dog. When I first got the life altering notion of having a dog in my life, the only image I had in my mind was this:
And this is what $95 will get you:
Oh, I am not being very fair to little Rockefeller. He is definitely a “compromise” that has brought us a lot of joy (when he’s not growling at us).
Look how happy Master Bliss is to have Rockefeller…I am sure there is a smile on his face:
So while I do not get to wear “the bag of my dreams” (yet), or sleep ensconced in the heavenly feel of linen, or enter my dog in any pure-bred dog shows, I can still enjoy my life, my choices and be the happier for them.
Have you ever made a compromise that ended up being the better choice for you?
*To clarify: lusting after a “bag of my dreams” does not happen often. Although I am a self-described handbag addict, a true “have to have it” bag comes along only once in a blue moon. In other words, I am not completely insane.