Your Coach, Madam….

My approach to cars and purses is similar. If my car starts when I turn the key in the ignition, goes forward when I put it in drive, and stops when I press the brake, then I’m happy. Horsepower, sexy lines, leather seats with “bun warmers” are nice, but I don’t seek them out. I feel the same way about my purses. I like one that is small, holds my stuff in an organized manner, and will hold up to the abuse I give it. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Or expensive. And, I will admit, I don’t know what to look for in either an expensive car, or a designer purse. So I don’t buy (or sell….) either one.

While at a conference out of state last week, my (admittedly inexpensive) purse broke at the handle. So I trundled myself off to the nearest thrift store, and checked out the purse section. I found one that fit my needs precisely: small, well organized with neat little compartments which were easy to access, and which felt good on my shoulder. I paid the $2.99 and happily walked out of the store. (Well, after looking through all the other departments of course….).

Later, in my hotel room, I started the transfer: I emptied my old purse. I put my cards into the neat little slots of the new purse. I put the cash into the pocket. I put the checkbook into its slot, my driver’s license into the windowed compartment, the change into the velcroed pocket. I snapped closed the top flap…and my jaw dropped open. There on the front, embossed into the supple brown leather: Coach Leatherware.

Now, for those of you who are not fashionistas or eBay junkies, you may not know that Coach is a high-end maker of quality leather purses. It is also highly faked by rip-off artists and scammers, and those fakes are pawned off to unsuspecting buyers on sites like eBay.

Now I am conflicted. I love my organized little purse. I don’t like the thought of carrying a fake designer purse (the sales of which are often used to fund terrorism, illegal drug trade and other crimes), and haven’t the expertise to determine if it is authentic. And… having read the eBay discussion boards, I know that those who do will either admire and covet my expensive leather Coach purse, or snicker behind their hands at the obvious fake that I am carrying.

Ignorance truly…was….bliss…..