Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sisterhood of the Traveling Purse

A few years ago I bought a cute purse at a resale shop.  It was sort of blue-jean blue, with gold threads interwoven throughout the fabric.  I paid about $10 for it, or maybe $12.

I brought the purse to a gathering of a few friends; and one friend in particular, BrokeGirl, admired it a great deal.
"Here, have it," I said spontaneously, dumping out the contents and handing it to her.  "I'll just put my stuff in a plastic bag until I get home."  It didn't feel like a big deal to me, but she was touched, which in turn gave me warm fuzzies.  As Friend Phoebe figured out, there is no such thing as a selfless good deed:

Phoebe: [on phone] I have found a selfless good deed. I went to the park and let a bee sting me.
Joey Tribbiani: How is that a selfless good deed?
Phoebe: It makes the bee look tough in front of his bee friends. The bee's happy and I am definitely not.
Joey Tribbiani: Uh, Pheebs, you know the bee probably died after it stung you?
Phoebe: [stares blankly] ...Dammit.
[hangs up]

The story doesn't end with BrokeGirl.  Many months later, BrokeGirl was visiting with our mutual friend Catosa, and Catosa admired the purse.  BrokeGirl decided that the well-loved purse should continue her soon-to-be-epic journey, so she dumped out the contents and gave it to Catosa.

Subsequently, Catosa, who lives in Estes Park, Colorado, gave it to C-Rey, who held onto it for several months before giving it to a "darling, sweet woman" from her church, JaMo.  At the moment, the Traveling Purse is living happily with JaMo in Denver, Colorado--as far as I know. 

I feel sort of proud to be the first donor of the traveling purse.  If I had any inclination that the purse would become such a symbol of friendship and generosity, I would have taken a photo of it hanging over BrokeGirl's shoulder--but alas.  I had no prescience, no foreknowledge, no psychic abilities.

But if you admire a cute blue fabric purse, and its owner says, here, have it!--please send me a photo, and let me know how long you hang on to it before you feel compelled to give it to another admirer.


Anna D. said...

I love this! When I buy things at garage sales sometimes I wonder how many times they've changed hands... but it's so fun you've kept track of the purse for so long.

JKWW said...

I was inspired by your blog post, so I gave a co-worker a poster in my cube that she had been admiring. She is actually going to give it to her son, so maybe that counts as 2? :)

Anonymous said...

JRO: "There is no such thing as a selfless good deed" OR How about "no good deed goes unpunished" ? Different perspectives!

E. Peevie said...

Anna D--Tracking the purse was inadvertent on my part. BrokeGirl deserves the credit--she keeps me posted.

JKWW--Yes, it counts as two!

JRo--Too cynical for me, and for you, too, I suspect, because you are a doer of good deeds.