Even if you’re not a Sex and the City fan, you probably remember the intro: Carrie, clad in a tutu, is walking along a Manhattan street when she’s sprayed by puddle water by a bus with her own photo emblazoned on the side. I wasn’t wearing a tutu and the bus didn’t bear my image, but the same thing happened to me and my Mansur Gavriel Bucket Bag a couple of weeks ago.

Getting sprayed by a bus is a New York City rite of passage that I had somehow managed to avoid for more than three years, but when it came for me, it did not miss. Usually, bus sprayings happen during or directly after rain, which means that the water, although not what anyone might describe as “clean,” has at least not been sitting around in the summer sun, becoming fetid for days on end.

Well.

Suffice it to say that it hadn’t rained recently when I got hit with the stuff of brown puddle nightmares, but thankfully, I was only a block from the office and could run back to clean myself up. As you can see from the photo above (on the left – on the right, you can see my bag in better days), my Mansur Gavriel bucket took the brunt of the assault, by virtue of hanging off the shoulder than was facing the street.

Despite my well-documented penchant for destroying everything in my wake, I had never before had one of those awful handbag emergencies that generally occur when a colored liquid and an expensive piece of leather collide. Absent any better ideas and in a bit of a time crunch, I wiped the bag down with a damp cloth (and later, an antibacterial wipe), which thankfully took care of most of the surface evidence that you can see above.

The bag still looked a little dingy, though, and I thought about retiring it for good until last week, when I was caught in a downpour without an umbrella while trying to sprint from the subway to a friend’s birthday dinner. (Side note: it’s hard to sprint in wet Birkenstocks.) Although I had assumed that after that soaking, the bag was truly done, it dried and looked just like it had before the bus splash. The poor little bag just keeps chugging along, against all odds.

I know that more of a few of you will be able to commiserate with watching your favorite bag be struck down, if only temporarily. Share your tales of handbag destruction (and hopefully, redemption) in the comments below.

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