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Ms. Green Jeans

It was pretty empty in Target at 8:30 on Monday morning.  Two cashiers were standing together in the checkout aisle.  I admit to eavesdropping for just a moment on their Girl Talk: One had just gotten highlights and the other was admiring them, asking for the name of the salon where she’d had them done. “I did them myself,” she said proudly.  I was so impressed that I couldn’t hold back, and I complimented her work.  That’s when she replied, “Great bag! Did you make it?”
Now I am used to women remarking about my bag.  No, I didn’t make it–I wish I had that kind of skill.  I don’t even own a sewing machine.  But the bag was Made with Heart in the USA, according to a label stitched by hand to the inside lining.  I bought it at a consignment shop, so I reckon that this pair of Levi’s is on its third life.  I call it my “green jeans” purse, as I like to tell its admirers who stop me in stores and parking lots on a regular basis. So the early morning conversation at Target was not particularly notable.

The one a few weeks ago at Panera, however, was astonishing.  I was picking up a sandwich for my daughter and set my purse down on the counter.  Two young men– in their early twenties I would guess– said in unison: “Cool bag!” Then one added, “What a clever idea.” I was so surprised that I almost dropped the sandwich.  Within days, several other men had commented on the purse, one or two even asking me if I had created it and admiring the handiwork of the seamstress, who had expertly attached the leather strap and glittery belt buckle.

I regret that I was close-minded, thinking that only women would notice my purse.  I should have realized that excellent craftsmanship and artistic recycling efforts can be admired by all.  Doesn’t everyone love to see a pair of Levi’s with a purpose?!

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