I realized I was different from my peers during my freshman year of college when I made my laptop background a photo of a Marc Jacobs Stam bag, a total it-bag at the time. My suitemates saw it and mocked me endlessly, and I knew then that my purse obsession was not the norm. It was around that time that I joined the PurseForum, and thank goodness I did, because I really needed my purse tribe to validate my obsessive behavior (which has been validated in spades, in case you were wondering). Although the PurseForum is a place where we admittedly enable the heck out of each other, we also support each other’s obsessions and fears over our beloved bags. We have an unspoken bond that doesn’t need explaining, we just get each other, it’s a spectacularly supportive community.

I spend a lot of time mulling over potential handbag purchases, but I also spend a lot of time obsessing over the items I’ve already acquired. I’m not one to baby my bags, but I definitely like to take care of them. When I’m not using a bag, it sits in its dust bag in its very own cubby within the confines of my closet, and I never let my bag touch the ground. I like to think of their cubbies as my bag’s safe space, and I always store them there for peace of mind. However, for the most part, I’m pretty low maintenance when I’m out and about with one of the purses in my collection (at least I think I am?).

A few weeks ago I woke up from a literal nightmare… gasping for air, drenched in sweat, the whole nine yards. It sounds super dramatic (okay, it kind of was), but I had a dream that my Louis Vuitton bag bumped into someone smoking a cigarette on a crowded city street, and the result was a hole burned straight through the canvas. It’s not unusual for me to see people smoking on the streets of the city, and I always make it a point to weave my way around them to avoid getting too close, with a deep-seated fear that my bag will end up a casualty of a cigarette stub. But in my nightmare, a huge, gaping, ashy hole made its way right through the center of my Louis Vuitton monogram canvas. I literally shudder at the thought. If you’re not an LV shopper, it’s important to note that monogram canvas cannot be repaired and that this type of hole would cause irrevocable damage (and burn a permanent hole into my heart).

As an active member of the PurseForum, I read a lot of horror stories of the bad things that have happened to member’s bags. One that stuck with me recently was a member who carried her Céline bag to get her nails done at the salon. A normal thing to do, right? Unfortunately, handbag tragedy struck when the acetone nail polish remover splashed onto the member’s handbag, forever damaging the leather. I tend to avoid nail salons with my designer bags in general—it’s just too much of a perfect storm. Acetone, nail polish, greasy lotion…the potential for disaster is too great to make it worth it. I’ve also read horror stories where children take permanent markers to pristine leather, oily marinara sauces stain fresh vachetta leather, or when an entire purse collection was stolen by a member’s landlord. I can’t imagine the anguish a purse owner feels when something bad happens to the bag that they love and cherish, and I would be devastated if any of those things happened to my beauties.

They say you should do something every day that scares you, and mine just so happens to be leaving the house with my designer bags. I know bags are meant to be used, but I do get nervous about all that could potentially happen to them in the wild. At the end of the day they are material items and I will continue to enjoy them, but that doesn’t mean I don’t run the other way when I see an oblivious smoker walking towards me. What about you? What’s your biggest handbag fear? Have any of your bags met a tragic fate?

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