It's now been a bit over a month since I fulfilled a dream of almost 20 years, and walked into a Louis Vuitton store, and bought a bag.
Those moments after the big purchase, strolling down the avenue - swinging my huge bright orange carrier bag - were some of the happiest of my life.
Look, I'm well aware that LV is probably one of the more naff designer brands. Most times when you see someone carrying a Louis bag you can pretty safely assume that it came from a beach in Bali. But for whatever reason, I've always loved the brand. I love their moody advertisements, I love the couture - especially when Marc Jacobs was at the helm, and I have always loved their bags.
I'm a bag person (a bag lady, you might say...). Some people get very silly over shoes, for me it's bags.
I have been known to carry my handbag from room to room around the house with me. I never realised it was odd until someone pointed it out to me. When I read that the restaurant Le Meurice Alain Ducasse in Paris provides a stool for one's handbag so that it doesn't have to languish on the floor, well, that only made sense to me. I remember watching the infamous Newlyweds with Jessica Simpson where she took her Louis Vuitton bag on a camping trip. I for one could not see the issue. Of course the bag should come camping.
Over the years, I've been given the bad fake which doesn't even resemble a genuine design, and a few years ago my dad did buy me a (genuine) Speedy 25 when he went overseas.
But I still had this bee in my bonnet about walking into the store myself, choosing and purchasing the bag myself. I had to have the whole experience myself. I told anyone who'd listen. Some people got the story more than once. Sorry you guys...
So, anyway, when I went to Auckland in March was going to be the big day. I'd rung the store to be sure, and yes, madam, they are always in stock.
I knew exactly which bag I wanted: the Neverfull MM in Damier Azur.
The first attempt was aborted when there was a queue to get in the store! Listen, I sincerely love LV but not enough to line up to get inside. We agreed to come back the next day.
And back we did go, shortly after opening, and in we strolled. I told the very lovely man what I wanted, and he brought it out. It was very nice. It was the one I knew I wanted. I had looked at it online about two dozen times.
But then, for some cosmic unknowable reason he also brought out the Damier Ebene, which had a pale pink lining.
That was it. The thunderbolt. That was the bag.
Transaction done, huge orange carrier bag toted around Auckland CBD, then back on the plane to little old New Plymouth. We're so happy together, you guys. It's roomy and practical, and (so I tell myself) makes me look a bit less scruffy even when tooling around the supermarket in track pants.
*Oh and if you're wondering, the answer is, LV is not very sustainable at all. Unfortunately.