By the time I got down to the Farmers Market yesterday, it was already in the 90s. I bought half a peck of peaches first, and trundled around the square carrying them, adding bitter melon, cucumber, and green beans. The salad line was way too long again, and the peaches were too heavy, so I quit after that and went back to my car.

I got up with the sun this morning to turn some of those peaches into peach butter and pie before it gets too hot, but I have to drink my tea first.

So, with a trunk full of fresh produce, I went to buy a handbag for #2 daughter’s birthday.

I went first to Target, because I had to go to the pharmacy anyway, and get a top-up card for #2 son’s phone. After that, I went to the mall. The mall is only a medium-sized aversion for me, but this is still an extremely rare event, one that could only be undertaken for the sake of my kids.

I know the exact size of this aversion, because in the Overcoming Agoraphobia program, one of the first things you do is make a list of your top ten aversions, in order of dreadfulness. Mine range from making phone calls, which is just slightly worse than normal dislike, and merely something I put off for a few days before I force myself to do it(admittedly, it used to be a few weeks or months, but I have improved), to driving on scary roads, which is of course a nightmarish experience. The mall is not frightening to me, but I do find that I am soon seized with a feeling that I absolutely have to get out of there. I ignore it, of course, since I have Overcome Agoraphobia, but I tend to become disoriented and confused after a bit. I didn’t buy anything there, but I did look at a lot of handbags.

My specifications for this handbag were not that complicated. It had to be good leather with good construction, naturally. I wanted a reputable maker, but without any vulgar designer advertising on the outside. It needed to be stylish and a bit dramatic, but classic enough to be carried for a long time. And it couldn’t be black. After I read that in the book I wrote about earlier in the week, #1 daughter confirmed it. Carrying a black bag with everything is Simply Not Done any more.

So the first hour of my handbag shopping involved looking at row after row of purses, all of which were made of poor-quality materials and badly constructed. Most of them were festooned with excessive embellishments, which seemed to me to make them look cheap even if they were made in acceptable materials.

I left the mall and went to a smaller, more familiar shop, where I found better choices.

At this store I ran into a friend and asked her about my choices. She said she thought I needed something smaller and softer. Something, she said, like this one — and she grabbed my own bag, an olive suede number with a rounded shape and chocolate brown leather trim.

I realized that she was looking at a shorter, curvier woman with a casual style, while I was buying a bag for a taller, more dramatic girl, and felt confirmed in my choices.

I am proud to say that I steeled myself after this and went and did the grocery shopping. I was not, however, able to force myself also to go buy purple thread, so I did not do any sewing on my last summer top. I am halfway through the first Jasmine sleeve, however.

Okay, those peaches are calling my name.