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Old June 5th, 2018, 11:47 PM
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RIP Kate Spade

Way back in 2000, I was an overwhelmed, frumpy feeling mom of two young kids in a new town. I remember that I was, fresh out of the med school poverty years, wearing ill-fitting, too big and probably 8 years out of style jeans and it was so, so hot. I was in a waiting room with fidgety DD, waiting for DS to finish his speech therapy session, sweaty and trying to placate 4yo DD who always was difficult when her brother got "attention" from the pretty therapists. And in waltzed one of the popular people I had been introduced to.

She was a banker's wife. Her kids (oldest same age as DS, youngest a year younger than DD) were dressed head to toe in pristine Tommy Hilfiger while my DD was at the age where she fought me over clothes and had some mismatched, probably dirty, outfit on. I tried to make eye contact and speak with her - her husband was trying to woo my doctor husband's business and I thought she might acknowledge me - but I got the look-down-nose-side-eye. She obviously didn't recognize me, one of the Invisibles.

There she sat, somehow as cool as a cucumber while I sweltered, reading a magazine and ignoring her kids, with her perfect makeup, Lilly Pulitzer sundress and the cutest little Kate Spade clutch. Parenting was easy for her, you see. Only I was struggling. In that moment, I hated myself and what I had become in this adventure called mothering.

I got home and cried to DH. He, of course, didn't understand and told me there was no reason I couldn't be wearing a Lilly Pulitzer dress and carrying a Kate Spade clutch. So I got online and ordered the biggest, most expensive damn Kate Spade purse I could find.

It came and I started carrying it, but I wasn't comfortable. I felt so guilty for spending the money, for wanting to be judged on the purse I carried. I called it my "revenge purse" and I was ashamed. Then... women would tell me they loved my purse and I'd abashedly confess why I bought it. That endeared me to them somehow, and I started making really quality friends.

One of the straps broke, and my friends gasped and suggested that I send it back to be repaired, but somehow it just seemed very appropriate to me to be carrying a gorgeous purse with a broken strap. It made me comfortable again.

Eventually that purse went the way of the donation pile, but from that moment Kate Spade entered my life as a close friend. I have Kate Spade glasses, Kate Spade shoes, Kate Spade purses (other ones), Kate Spade pajamas. She has always seemed to "get me."

She will be missed. RIP Kate Spade. Thank you for the joy you have given me.
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