BAG ENVY-A Sign of the Times



“Is that a Kate Spade?” she abruptly asked me while interrupting the teacher who was speaking in the front of the classroom. Startled and somewhat unsure of the answer, I peaked in my bag and answered, “Ummm, it’s Henri Bendel.”

“I would have said Kate Spade” she countered.

“No- he’s good too”, I replied.

Immediately she hung her head down as everyone around us looked away. She wasn’t embarrassed about what she asked, just embarrassed that no one cared, and that she got a different response than what she expected. I decided to end the conversation and show how I felt about it with my silence. The habit of people asking someone “who” they are wearing is becoming all too common these days. If you are not a friend or close acquaintance the question can be very off putting. I definitely understand why some consider it to be in bad taste, and why the really wealthy don’t talk about money out loud at all. It’s just not any ones’ business.

It’s funny, the same conversation that annoyed me would have made my day a few years back. AWWW, YES! You’ve acknowledged that I am carrying a somewhat expensive bag. No, it’s not Chanel, nonetheless it also isn’t from a bargain department store. But even back then I never cared about what someone else wore, and after a while I would become a little uncomfortable with the attention if I could sense there was some shade behind the consistent “shout-outs” about what I was wearing. My mindset was simply, if I could get the best, I would. And I still see nothing wrong with that.

The exchange caused me to reflect on a decision I made over the weekend. Do I splurge and buy a bag I really love or do I get two I really like and need (in my opinion)? I hesitantly chose the latter. Afterwards I wasn’t that confident about my smart choice and tucked them away in our back room. The next day I pulled them out and discovered that I truly loved them. I was proud I decided to do something different. Because I’ve grown to care about more things than accessories, I am slightly removed from all the feelings of infatuation an expensive bag can bring. I now notice that some people just want to know what bag you have so they can attempt to imitate your style, the status they think you have, and either discredit or give credit to the individual wearing it. Like many, I too enjoy a good conversation about fashion, but discussing it just to keep score I can do without. It is unfortunate people don’t as quickly want to mimic kindness. I guess that cost too much?

Hermès, Tiffany, Louis Vuitton and Bulgari bags are up for auction in New York


I’ve been the young girl who couldn’t afford to shop in the retail store where she worked and settled for knock offs. I’ve been the young lady that couldn’t wait to make expensive purchases on “real” things. I have nothing against “high end” or “low end”. I love all bags. But, I am careful not to confuse the bag with the person. Contrary to what the latest songs tell you, a woman with the latest bag and “mean shoe game” does not qualify them to be a part of any special group of people. We  are already qualified, and shouldn’t need a bag to convince ourselves of that or anyone else.

A person wearing a big ticket item and having other tangible goods does not make them a better person or a bad person. And by all means please don’t take it as a badge of honor declaring how much money you think they have, often times it is quite the opposite. 


Rachel Bryant Lundy


The Unleashing of the HOLIDAY SPIRIT

red christmas spirit image


So, it’s a couple of weeks until we celebrate Thanksgiving with Christmas being around the corner. I can honestly say this is the most I have ever been excited about either one of them. I have decided to truly experience both holidays, instead of just managing to get through it with gifts bought and received. As a child I had some that were great, and some that sucked. We never fed into the myth of Santa Clause, my parents certainly weren’t going to let someone else get the credit for what they bought myself and my brothers. I remember my mother being completely exhausted from all the cooking she did on both days, with little time to appreciate the importance of appropriate table setting and tree decorating my father was trying to instill in me. It’s safe to say that the romanticism of it all may have gotten lost in translation.

The change in my attitude about the holidays could be attributed to me realizing how much of ourselves that we tend to give to our jobs and even our dreams, so time spent on things and with people that make us happier become even more important. With that in mind, I am determined to stretch out the months of November and December. This year they won’t just be a blur until the day of, with me confirming that I’ve gotten what I requested, and figuring out whose house will I end up at for dinner. I am going to go out of my way to really observe these traditions, and the best way I can do this is by remembering the details. It’s in the music playing, it’s in drinking hot chocolate, it’s in putting up cheesy decorations that would typically make you turn your nose up, and most importantly being grateful for what I already have. In addition I have decided to leave the conspiracy theories about these occasions out of the picture. It’s safe to say we are not idiots, and we celebrate these holidays not because of the historical or date accuracy, but because we want to. As a society at times it can seem that we don’t have much to come together about, let’s not take away these things too.

We should not allow the “powers that be” dictate when we start getting into the holiday spirit. Do we really need our malls to let us know it’s that time of the year to be of good cheer? When will we decide to meet each other with great expectation and joy on our own? When will we go out of the way to make others happy because we want to see them smile? Should we only be like this towards the end of the year? Absolutely not. While we do have birth days, Valentine’s Day, and anniversaries, they are truly not enough.

Let’s find more reasons to enjoy our lives and our families throughout the year, and make the most out of what we have without needing permission to do so.




I am slowly turning into a person I never thought I  would become……a sentimentalist. Yuck!

Rachel Bryant Lundy

If You’re a Bad Mutha’, then SHUT YOUR MOUTH!



The biblical story of Joseph has always resonated with me, and does so even more the older I become. It asks the questions, how do you gracefully handle being at level c knowing you are meant for level z? How do you protect a gift that you are eager to share and use to help others, when it seems others want to use it against you? How do you bounce back from setbacks that make you feel like you are starting from the beginning over and over again? How do you deal with your mere presence being a problem, and you’ve done nothing wrong? How do you handle favor that you didn’t even ask for?

Joseph was very different than the people around him, but in my opinion his difference was not the problem. His first issue began because his words were misunderstood. This is why as much as you want to share your thoughts, dreams, and plans with others, in a lot of instances you can’t. It will only frustrate you in the long run. You will end up trying to figure out why your dreams bother so many, even if they have their own, and have been given the same opportunities. While watching television Sunday morning I heard a Pastor say, “Sometimes when you win, people think they lose.” And knowing your dreams, may only give them the ammunition they need to throw you in a pit.

Like Joseph, I too am learning how to handle my gift. At times it can seem I am constantly discovering areas I need to improve in, and that I am never going to get better. But then I remind myself, as painful as it is to address areas of weakness, it is much better to face them head on and begin to make some changes than to ignore them. However, the challenge that I have most in common with Joseph is learning how and when to be quiet. Even though I am already selective with my words, because I am a natural conversationalist, I may have to go above and beyond in this area. And, when it feels like there is no human connection when I would like to have it, if the opportunity presents itself, to not be so eager to pursue it.

Most importantly, what I have discovered in this process is just because I happen to perceive something as small, doesn’t mean it is perceived the same way by others. It should not be disregarded, and may have a much larger significance in the future. Getting a grip on this behavior could make all the difference in my journey to the palace or level z a pleasant one, or an extremely bumpy ride.


Rachel Bryant Lundy