I have a terrible secret.
I did not want this particular bag to win. I had another lover, one much more sophisticated and deep (you know, to carry more stuff). But my devotion to you, my dearest readers, gave me the strength and courage to look for love in the new bag. I had to try to forget my former love. I had to finish this bag for you.
The Bag Phantom knew my secret and was angry. He disguised himself as an accented man wearing two different shoes so he could stalk me as I shopped at Valley Thrift (where the coat was purchased). I stood defenseless amongst the Louis Vuitton knockoffs, praying that the heavily breathing man blocking my way to the exit would not grab me by my wrist and drag me to his car. I was lucky that day, for the Bag Phantom only meant to creep me out. He merely asked me to “walk through the store with him as I shopped.” (I am not kidding, this really happened!)
I went back, several weeks later, to the same Valley Thrift after an extensive search for leather at other thrift stores left me purchaseless. I scanned the purses, fearing that the same man with two different shoes would appear. Luckily, he did not. But the Phantom was smart, and had other evil deeds planned.
The coat was suddenly too small for the large rectangular piece that I had originally intended for the construction of my bag. The Phantom had magically shrunken it from a size Large to a size Medium (or I could have not paid attention when I bought it). I had to cut several rectangles to piece together to make it work. Irritation bubbled inside me like Alka Seltzer and I cursed the evil Bag Phantom.
I began the process of construction. The leather bag that seemed so perfect at the time (that I purchased for $1.00), turned out to be a tremendous disappointment. It seemed so soft. It seemed so pliable. It seemed so thin. But it was all a lie. A terrible lie. One agonizing stitch, followed by an irritating seam rip, and ending with a torturous sewing machine malfunction caused me to curse like a banshee. I ripped the leather apart with my bare hands while shouting words that would make Charles Manson blush. My poor, defenseless boyfriend tried to comfort me with sweet kisses and kind words, but I rejected and shocked him. It was static shock, but he was still shocked.
I fought this bag. I fought the terrible Phantom. I ripped and sliced and jabbed with a strength that I never knew existed within. Sacrifices were made, as is true of all battles. My bag is far from perfect, but I did it. I won. I defeated the evil Bag Phantom. And I have lived to tell the tale.
I realize it isn’t exactly like the bag you chose. Actually it is terrible and I can do better.
I hope you aren’t too disappointed and will still come back to vote for the next project. Please come back! Don’t let the Phantom scare you away!