It’s Plastic

Egyptian bagLate one Saturday afternoon many years ago, I came home from a shopping trip excited about my big purchase. This excitement lasted one minute.

In the first year of living together with my partner, he a farm boy and me a city girl, time was spent adjusting to each other’s ways of viewing the world. It never occurred to me that my partner would think differently from me.

With pride and the thrill of getting such a good deal on my shopping adventure I presented my amazing purchase; it was a camel colored, squarish, long strapped purse.

 “Look what I bought. It was such a good deal, 70% off the original price!”

My partner held my purse with both hands, studied it, paused and said “it’s plastic.”

In a nanosecond I went from excitement to fire in my belly. I was insulted for days. He just didn’t get it.

I came from a lower middle class family in North Edmonton where waste was not an option. My mother made our clothes. We ate from the farm as well as our garden and occasionally from my dad’s hunting quests. I remember going to a restaurant only once as an entire family.

Purchasing quality was not in our purview back then.  For the most part my parents either made what we consumed or we did without.

Come to think of it, my partner came from a poor farm family where survival was not an after thought.

I no longer buy plastic purses or plastic shoes or plastic furniture. Whatever I buy has to feel nice in my hands and be pleasant to look at. Some of my purchases will be passed on to our children, like good jewelry, an oak desk and even a well made leather purse. Hopefully they will cherish these articles and perhaps recall fond memories of their time together with me.

I finally got it.


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