I’m feeling slightly more human today. I coughed my way through four phone meetings and one face-to-face meeting this week, and a couple of classes, but I sound a little better, and expect to live.

Instead of paying a doctor to tell me that I was sick and should rest and drink fluids, I bought Kindle novels with reckless abandon, and have read a whole bunch of light murder mysteries. I’m currently reading Purses and Poison, by Dorothy Howell. I read the first in this series, Handbags and Homicide, when I was visiting in L.A. last year. You will have noticed that murder mysteries now have to have not just a Belgian detective or a detective in a wheel chair, but  must have some huge irrelevant marketing hook. The one for this series is handbags.

It’s hard for me to take handbags as a raison d’etre at all seriously, but I guess it’s not much stranger than the ones focused on knitting or cooking. I read the entire first book without paying much attention to the handbag motif, but this time it is just weird enough to make me think about it more.

I actually own a bunch of purses. Like more than I can mentally count real fast, in a one- two -many kind of counting. I know that last year, my husband felt moved to speak to me about the number of purses I had. I had, I think, just bought a black pleated purse. I think it was about the fifth one I had bought,and I had also made a couple, so I had kind of a whole bunch even then. Now, I think that I bought the two in the picture here without even mentioning it in my xanga.

I promise you, I almost never buy anything without mentioning it here. For me, buying things is an event. And yet, I may have gotten so jaded about buying bags that I didn’t even need to record the fact.

The one on the left is a briefcase. The one I bought back when I returned to teaching in 2008 is a briefcase/laptop case, and too big for comfortable toting around. Also, this one has pleats, and I am for some reason very drawn to pleated bags. The one on the right is a purse. It’s like my grandfather’s satchel, which I have always admired to an unreasonable degree.

I don’t think I’m as bad as the heroine of the novel, but I had to wonder about buying purses at the rate of two or three a year. It may be because you don’t have to go to a store and try them on, but can order them online. Or perhaps because it practically seems like a business expense — I mean, I have to carry papers and files. That doesn’t really mean that I need two briefcases, I realize, but it doesn’t seem all that frivolous.

My grandmother used to have shoes and purses to match her outfits. I bet she wouldn’t have thought I had too many bags.