A D.C. bagman attacks my new Ariat purse

I have not been one with my new purse. At Cheyenne Frontier Days in late July, I searched through every booth and shop, looking for a replacement for the tooled leather number I'd picked up a few years before at the National Western Stock Show -- a bag now held together with safety pins. And although I clearly found the very best purse in all of Cheyenne, an Ariat drawstring model with the admirable name "Up in Flames" (and a half-off price-tag at Just Dandy's, where the rodeo queens shop), and had it vetted by actual fashion mavens who know that I am style-impaired, once I got it home, things just weren't working.

I liked it that I could fit my laptop in the purse. But I didn't like it that when I emptied the purse down to just my keys and wallet, I had trouble finding either. No, I was not one with my new purse.

Until it came under attack -- by an inside-the-Beltway type.

We were standing outside the Cowboy Lounge at 1941 Market Street on night two of the Democratic National Convention, wondering why we'd want to stand in line to get into a crowded party -- in this case, one hosted by Lifetime -- with few celebrities and fewer drink servers, when there were so many good bars nearby.

That's when a Washington, D.C. lobbyist came up and started advising us on how to move to the head of the line. "You," he said, pointing to me. "You're a blonde. So you have to put your hair back." On the other hand, my colleague, who is a brunette, was supposed to pull her hair in front. Our shoes passed muster -- but my purse!

"That purse just will not do," he said. "You need to get a Coach bag."

Yeah, buddy, and you need to get yourself a new town. People don't live in Denver in order to buy expensive, establishment bags so that they can get into dull parties.

We headed into the nearest bar, and suddenly, I had no problem finding my wallet to pay for my drinks. Under attack, I'd suddenly bonded with my new bag. We are one. -- Patricia Calhoun

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