I rarely click on any of those millions of ads that show up unbidden on the Web, but this morning I really couldn’t help myself. It was a Cole Haan ad featuring a big, beautiful bright red hobo-style handbag, the kind I’ve been dreaming of for months. So I clicked. Such an innocent, easy thing to do over morning coffee — shop.
The click didn’t take me directly to the purse of my dreams. Nope, it took me to a page full of black handbags (when they’re Cole Haan, you don’t call them purses). Okay, fine, have it your way. Make me hunt for the red one.
Then I noticed the fine print under the first black one: $2,450! I almost spewed coffee all over my keyboard. I’ve gotten used to my preferred style of handbag creeping up to $300 plus, well beyond what I have any business spending, but $2,450 is ridiculous.
I really wanted to know what could possibly make a handbag worth that much, so I clicked for details. Aha! It seems that precious purse is made of genuine python (and it’s not black, it’s “Deep Forest Python”). I really really dislike snakes, but python (skin? leather?) is beautiful once it’s off the python. So beautiful that I once bought a pair of python cowboy boots (discussed heatedly in subsequent divorce proceedings, but that’s another story). Python can be rather high maintenance; the edges of the bigger scales are delicate and easily damaged. But hey, if you spend $2,450 on a piece of python, you’re going to lock it in a glass display case anyway, aren’t you?