The golden rule of the internet is: don’t read below the line. Comments are frequently poisonous. Nevertheless, they are quite entertaining, and very addictive. A recurring sentiment that accompanies these columns when they go online is: HOW DARE YOU SUGGEST THAT WE BUY A NEW COAT WHEN SOME PEOPLE CAN’T AFFORD AND/OR DON’T WANT A NEW COAT?
So I’m going to come straight out and say this. If you don’t want or need a new weekend bag, and don’t want to buy one for a male relative for Christmas, then first, you should stop reading immediately because it will send you into a rage, and secondly, relax – I am not going to make you buy a bag. I don’t have that power. Yet.
I will not apologise for the fact that I would like a new bag, though. Hell no. I’m also starting to think about what to get my dad for Christmas, and guess what? I might get him a bag, too. At some point he’ll retire and start going on mini-breaks with my mum. I assume with my mum, anyway. So I’d like him to go on these trips with a nice, smart-ish weekend bag. I worry that left to his own devices he’d just stick a change of underwear in a Tesco carrier.
What will work for me won’t necessarily work for him, though. My current and longstanding favourite is a teal leather tote bag from Coach, but when my dad first saw me with it he congratulated himself on bringing me up to carry a lady’s luggage for her. So I’ll stick to something a bit more traditional – a holdall in grain leather for him.
Equally there is no point on spending a fortune on, say, a Mulberry bag for my dad, because he would never have heard of the brand and would be disgusted by the expense. It’s that kind of attitude that might mean he ends up with a pleather bag from East London’s Ridley Road market.
I’ve been weighing up a swish Vivienne Westwood bag for myself. Literally, feeling the weight of it. And also gulping at the price. I suppose if I want to buy it I can always eat less, right? I’m torn as well because part of me wants a timeless classic like a Bally bag, but then another part of me wants to make a statement, along the lines of: “This could not be my dad’s bag. I’m still young(ish).” I wear quite plain clothes so figure I can afford to go a bit lively with my accessories. Like this Eastpak bag with an atlas print. I might get it for my dad just to see the look on his face as he unwraps it.
If you’re reading this online, thanks for not clicking “straight to comments”.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010