About a week and a half ago, my co-editor, Jason, proposed that I write an article about what a girl wants, to print four days before Valentine’s Day. I politely smiled, nodded my head and might even have uttered the words, “no problem.” Most likely, he asked me this at 3 a.m. on a production night, when he knew that I would probably have agreed to write a piece on the diversity of lard if his request were properly worded.
I thought about the topic for a week and even tried to do some research in the field. I watched Mel Gibson’s film “What Women Want,” only to be thoroughly dissapointed by the copout ending in which Mel simply states that women all want different things.
I turned to Freud, but all he seemed to say was that women wanted to date their fathers. I was thoroughly disturbed for the rest of the week, when I noticed that both my boyfriend and my dad liked pizza. But this is a 600-word article, and I could not narrow down the desires of every woman to a simple column.
So, I turned to the nearest source – myself. I mean, I am a girl, right? Some might even say a woman – so what if it is usually from my father and there is a “young” preceding it? Although, I don’t know much about makeup – I swear, there was a special makeup school some girls went to – and I can only wear high heels for about an hour before I change in to flip-flops, I still felt the urge to find the answer to one of life’s most enigmatic questions.
I was pondering my predicament the other day as I was walking through the department store Cohoes. Scanning the merchandise, I came upon the bag section. My eye was immediatly drawn to a silver, shimmery masterpiece – I have quite a weakness for anything that sparkles. I essentially turn into a four-year-old when I see something that is sparkle-adorned and pounce up on it.
The bag was beautiful. It was one of those bags that induces people to grab it out of your hands without even saying hello to you because they are so obsessed with it.
I didn’t need a bag, though. I had just gotten the perfect bag in New York City over break, and that was in addition to the 15 purses I already owned. I would say that only about eight of them are in rotation right now, but I figure I use them all at least once during the course of the year.
I already had a great going-out bag, but it was only big enough to fit my phone, makeup and money. However, with this bag, I could bring a small board game to a party, and if there was a lull, I could ask “Who is up for a game of UNO?” I could be responsible for saving what could have been an awful party – I mean, what is hotter than UNO?
I stood there, in the middle of this department store with my Venti Starbucks cup in one hand and the glittery miracle in the other and wondered how I had come to be this person. I have a bag obsession, and it is becoming a problem.
I wasn’t always like this. Not even in my teen years did I insist on having a cool bag. Then, suddenly, I turned 20 and became this machine that was only capable of smiling when I was carrying something pretty in my hand.
The brilliant Carrie on “Sex and the City” once compared women’s handbags to men’s balls. “It’s just a little bag, but we feel naked in public without it,” she said.
I go into department stores just to look at bags that I know I have no intention of buying. What is that? And don’t even get me started on shoes. Ballet flats, which are so posh this season, are not only absolutely adorable but also fulfill my secret fantasy of being a ballerina. These flats provide neither warmth nor traction and are really quite pointless – and potentially dangerous – but I will sit on the computer for hours looking for the perfect pair. When did I become this girl?
I don’t think I am alone in the bag and shoe obsession world, though I suppose every girl’s obsession varies a little. What I am trying to convey in so many words is that every girl has her little quirks – her little obsessions that she needs to feed, and if you can find a person who respects that and indulges you in that, then that might be close to what women want.
I think all girls like to have something pretty in their hands, whether it is a hand bag, Ashton Kutcher or a centipede. I actually had one as a pet once – a centipede named Bernie.
Now, who wants to be my Valentine?
Lepore can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.