NEW CASTLE —
Do you own your things or do your things own you?
Ah! What an apropos question for the proud new owner of a gorgeous, butter-soft Dolce & Gabanna handbag! I found this little treasure during my monthly half-price-shopping-day trip at the Goodwill Store last weekend.
I didn't really know anything about the brand at the time. I just loved the purse because it was teal and white striped, and the leather was the softest I'd ever felt. Imagine my delight, though, when I googled the bag and found it was worth more than five months of my mortgage payments.
Finally, I had a handbag to match my imaginary tiara! The creme de la creme of attachés, the rucksack of royalty, the purse that I deserved after a lifetime of 40 hour-work weeks that has thus far garnered me little to show but worry lines and a squelched sense of self-worth!
I talked about this purse relentlessly for two days. I texted everyone I knew to tell them about my amazing find. I sat for hours on end and caressed its soft leather and ran my fingers lovingly over its finely-stiched seams, wondering at the luck that had finally befallen my previously cursed life.
Truth be told, I was acting a little maniacal about the whole thing. I'd always coveted the beautiful things that seemed to be owned by everyone but me, but not enough go crazy over it. Sure, I'd like to have the digs and baubles of the wealthy, but I'm (sort of) content with my life. I'm happy that I make enough to take care of my family, even if it means hours of clipping coupons and digging through piles of thrift-shop clothing.
But here I was, checking and re-checking the stitching and hardware of this purse to reassure myself of its authenticity, wondering where I'd go to show it off for the first time, and already worrying about it getting stolen from me.
Now, let me interject here by saying that I've always been a purse girl. Clothes, eh. Manicure, not in this lifetime. Shoes? Please.
Do you have any idea how hard it is to find cute shoes when you have Fred Flintstone feet? But purses ... sigh! The perfect, one-size-fits-all accessory.
But even for a purse girl, I was pushing the adulation of this thing. I knew for the first time what it felt like to be owned by my things, and it wasn't a feeling I liked.
I've watched friends living lifestyles above their means, taking out too-large mortgages and refinancing for pretty cars and vacations they can't really afford. I've always felt sorry for these people, and taken great pride in living well within my own means, even if it means driving an economy car and fixing the holes in my screens with duct tape.
I know that if my house were to burn to the ground, I'd only be concerned with my family and my cats making it out safely. And I don't like the part of me that now feels like I'd mourn the loss of a purse.
And so I'm sorry, Dolce & Gabanna, whoever you are. If it comes to it, that luxurious, creamy leather is going to lose against the flames.
Because it might match my tiara, but it doesn't match me.
NEW CASTLE —
Do you own your things or do your things own you?
- Lisa Madras
Lisa Madras: I struggle with goodbyes, so I’ll just say ‘thank you’
After 12 amazing years at the New Castle News, it is finally time for me to say goodbye. I walked through the doors of this building believing that I had found the place I would live out the rest of my days, content in the chaos of deadlines and bylines, inky fingers and editorials.
Lisa Madras: Is this goodbye for us? That’s a great question
So we’re down to two now. Two blog to go. So close to the end, yet so much left to say. (It feels so much like the end of a relationship!) No more questions. I’ve asked enough of those.
Lisa Madras: Somewhere between ‘showing up’ and ‘giving up,’ there is hope
What do you do when you feel like giving up? I've been writing for a long time. Longer even than my time with this newspaper, but I do have to say that this has been my favorite writing stint of all time, and I'm going to miss it.
Lisa Madras: ‘Somewhere’ there’s a place for me — sorry it’s just not here
Where else would you like to live? Why? I'm sure that my answer to this question is going to tick off a lot of people: I want to live somewhere else. I don't know where yet, but somewhere else.
Lisa Madras: Sometimes, a subtle sign can restore my ‘Roar’
Do you believe in signs? I'll never forget the first time I heard the Katy Perry song, "Roar," on my car stereo. It was about a year ago, and I was sitting at the red light at the intersection of Ellwood Road and 376 — probably headed to Kmart or somewhere like that.
Lisa Madras: Choose pain from your hurts over the pain of regret
In your lifetime, what have you done that hurt someone else? I just came back from my twice-yearly dental appointment. My dental hygienist and I have great conversations that we try to squeeze into these short appointments.
Lisa Madras: Have I learned from my failures? Lord knows I’ve tried
Which is worse, failing or never trying?You'll have to excuse me if I've asked this question before. I honestly can't remember. Getting older hasn't been kind to my brain — which is the reason why I constantly question my decision to go back to school and completely switch careers.
Lisa Madras: Ten thoughts to help my Son shine brightly
If you could send a message to anyone in the world, right now, who would you send it to and what would it be? The whole #YesAllWomen phenomenon on Twitter (a response to the California rampage) has me thinking quite a lot about the lessons we teach our sons.
Lisa Madras: Thankful that Voice of soldiers is what makes America beautiful
In last week's blog, I asked the question, "What makes someone a hero?" In hindsight, I realized I probably should have saved that question for this week.
Lisa Madras: We can all add a little extra to our ordinary
What makes someone a hero? It can be difficult to put a hard-and-fast definition on what makes someone a hero. One of the problems we have (in our society, at least) is that the term "hero" is used loosely to describe anyone we happen to look up to.
- More Lisa Madras Headlines
- Lisa Madras: I struggle with goodbyes, so I’ll just say ‘thank you’