Wednesday, May 19, 2010

On Birthdays and Handbags and Tragedies

I was going to save this one for my birthday in August, but when I was emptying some pictures out of the camera tonight I came across this picture from the weekend.

And it reminded me of how the bf was very kind to me in my sickness on Saturday; encouraging me to get out of the house for just a little while to clear my head of sickville.  And then I got to staring at the Alexander Wang handbag he got me for my birthday this past year.  The Coco Duffel.

Pretty little thing, isn't it?  And it builds a mean arm muscle too.  Those studs are not for the faint at heart.

Whenever I carry the bag, see it in its little dust bag in my closet, or notice someone else carrying one it brings back this memory:

That's one of my cats - Sister Lil; I just call her Lil or the Liller :)  Look at her with her crazy cast and her little pain patch that was supposed to stay on for 2 days, but got chewed off in 20 minutes. 

When I moved to my second place in LA I was pretty much dying of loneliness, hating my job, and wishing for a pet....then I found my cats living under the house.  From my mouth to God's ears!!  They had been abandoned and were feral cats, but I was determined to tame them.  So I fed them every day and soon they would wander into the house and sit for awhile. Eventually I got to pet the big one (Monkey Boy), but Lil just wasn't ready yet.

Cut to present:  These cats have lived with me for 7 years and they are great, loyal companions.  Until last year I let them come and go as they please.  Until my birthday.

The Chef planned a great, low-key day.  He made an awesome breakfast, we went to the spa, we wandered around afterward, we had a great dinner - the whole 9 yards.  But he was disappointed because the "main gift" hadn't shown up yet.  No biggie.  It's on the way, I said.  That night we talked about how we should celebrate my birthday all year because it was such a relaxing day.

The next day we were heading out to separate appointments.  Lil was under my bed (not uncommon).  When I ran back into my bedroom to grab something I saw her leaning up against the wall unable to stand and clearly badly injured.  Hence the photo of her in the cast.  Picture it:  semi-wild cat on death's doorstep, but clearly wanting me to know so I could help her.   

She scooted under the bed.

I panicked.  I called one vet.  And another vet.  And a pet ambulance.  You know people are not that helpful if you're cat's not entirely tame.

Finally a vet from another cat rescue we had done (found a kitten on the center median of the 110 Freeway that had been thrown out of a moving car in rush hour traffic - now THERE'S another story for you)...well, the rescue vet agreed to do a housecall.  They got Lil into a carrier; and x-rays and tests and screens and hours later we found out she had been hit by a car, had a torn ACL at least, and would need major surgery.  I was just glad she was alive.  Poor thing got the surgery a few days later - again, see the above picture - and was decked out in the season's latest neon for 2 weeks.  It was crazy because she had to live in that crate for 6 WEEKS.  Can you say drama??

I think I lost 10 lbs.

The night she got her surgery I was a tore up wreck.  The Chef came into my room as I was getting ready for bed and handed me a box.  I was completely confused and short-fused.  I had forgotten about my birthday.  When I opened the box there she was:  Coco.

I was speechless - which is a rarity.  Seriously.  I brought new meaning to the term "loss for words" because I was utterly stunned.  I mean I have few nice handbags, but nothing of that caliber.  And  I never expected a fat gift like THAT.  And I didn't recall even mentioning the bag more than once except to say something along the lines of I can't believe the likes of Kristen Cavallari is carrying that bag and does nothing while I work my a** off and the closest I'll ever get to it is staring at it through some glass. 

Receiving this gift is a moment I will never forget. So every time I see the bag I am filled with memories of everything - both good and tragic - that was happening around the time it was given to me.  Makes carrying it quite interesting!

Here's a final close up.  Thanks for listening to my story...x

ps - how about those shoes??  Damn that Mike & Chris for losing control of the company!!


Sarah said...

Awww, what a sweet story! Must have been the best birthday surprise EVER! I love this bag so much!! xxx

LUU H. said...

ah, you lucky girl who can walk around with a wang bag <3

this free bird said...

Sarah! It was kind of a long post, but definitely straight from the heart. I'm glad you enjoyed! That was a tough birthday (and weeks after!)...the bag was and is unbelievable! Still can't believe I own it! Coco is out there....someday she will make her way to you! xx

Thank you for the kind note.

And Luu...pass the pancakes please!! LOVE

Marcie said...

Love it! That bag is amazing. It looks great with those shoes too!

:) Marcie

cindy said...

Love the bag, the memories of what you went through...not so much. :(

But those shoes!! What a distraction!

Anastasia and Duck said...

OMG what an amazing story behind a handbag! AND what an amazing "Chef" haha


Mary Ann said...

love the classic style of the purse and the shoes caught my eye too, beautiful! have a great day! verbena cottage

Alicia said...

amazing awang bag!!! i am in love with it and want it in grey.

this free bird said... have the most organized closet I've ever seen. Got organizer? If so, send that person my way seeing as I've now taken over 3 closets and am next going into the garage.

Mary Ann...I still wanna live in that backyard!!

Alicia - mmmmkay girlfriend - cheetah is SO the new black!! (she says while staring at the cheetah lining of her sorial handbag while typing) thx for stopping in! i firmly believe you and coco or rocco in grey will find your way to each other one day. x

Veronica Falco said...

JELOUS OF YOUR BAG!!cute blog!
I opened a new fashion blog too, I hope u'll be one of my followers:-)

//,IT'S EASY. said...

i like your blog, folow me :)

mel said...

amazing! i love your bag:) and shoes!! such a cute cat too

Viv said...

aww great post!

i have that bag too, isn't it great!!!

Rachel said...

You look fabulous! Love the bag!

Laura said...

OMG I love this Wang's bag...Beautiful post... and bloglovin

this free bird said...

Viv - yes!! i do LOVE the bag...i mean what's not to love, right??

Rachel - thanks so much for the compliment!

My @ tha Hotness said...

I need this bag in my life. :)

Anonymous said...

thank you so much for sharing this. we became kindred spirits when I read the line about K Cavalleri and looking at it through glass. Because I'm the same way. But to see people (bloggers, celebs, otherwise) carrying bags and assuming they just got it on a whim is depressing, but yours has a real story. And every time I see you carrying it in a picture, I won't be jealous, I'll be happy because you totally SHOULD have it. Like, what's the reverse of empathy? paying happiness forward? i don't have it, but I'm happy enough you do. cat people are weird like that.

Valerie said...

Oh Carrie! This story is amazing. Your poor cat! And to deal with this all on your birthday. But what a happy ending! That bag is a precious gem. The chef really knows how to give a gift, doesn't he! I think he's a gem as well after that bag (and all the cooking).


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