Saturday, 28 March 2009
No pockets in a shroud
In other words, you can't take it with you when you die. Sorry to keep sounding a morbid note in this blog, which I originally wanted to be all upbeat and cheerful! However, I do want everyone to know that although I obviously set great store on my personal possessions - just look at the Flickr shots - I fully realise that on my deathbed they will all be utterly meaningless.
So why would, say, a Prada handbag be so important to me just now? Answer: such things go to establish and reinforce the persona known as Lucy, and distinguish her, and her life, from the person that used to be, and his life. The ridiculous cost of the Prada bag shouts aloud how much I enjoy being Lucy, how essential she is, and how much I want to kit her out with nice things. It's evidence that I am deeply serious about my journey, not just playing around. Let's face it, the money spent on this bag would pay for many things, and I may come to rue the fact that these funds have gone forever. But there are huge psychological benefits.
And lets not overlook this, it IS an essential accessory. Women's clothes have no pockets, or none you'd use. You absolutely need a bag to carry everything. All right, I had several other bags already. But none of them were quite right as receptacles, whether it was a question of insufficient size, uncomfortable straps or handles, poor zips, or awkward access to the interior. And although they might all have been canny sale bargains, well spotted and adroitly bought, they were nevertheless cheap and unlovable. They didn't inspire pride. The Prada bag most certainly does, having immense style and presence. It makes me feel great. It makes me want to get dressed up and go into town, straight away and again and again. And it most definitely facilitates girl-to-girl conversation.
For instance, I plonked the bag on the counter at The Body Shop in Brighton the other morning and the charming and attractive young female assistant said 'What a lovely bag!'. This opened up an enjoyable dialogue in which we discussed how intimidating the Soane Street shops can be. I explained how, nevertheless, once through Prada's doors, I spent a pleasant hour choosing the right bag, how I got the girl there to model them for me, and all about the protracted ritual of actually paying for the one I selected (it took twenty minutes and involved a drink, and a discussion of the best places to visit in Venice). Gripping stuff. We overlooked the obvious reality that I was just a garrulous tranny; it was a relaxing, soothing experience. I even ended up with a prized trophy: a Body Shop discount card in the name of 'Lucy Melford', the very first plastic card to bear that name. I left the shop with a lighter step. And I think I have made my point.
I believe my Prada bag sends out very strong and positive signals about who I am and how I want to be treated. It's an entry pass to a world I want to be in. Yes, put me down if you will as a fashion-conscious tranny with too much ready cash. And maybe you could say that bags to die for are completely wasted on nerdish, middle-aged ex-blokes. But just touch the bag. The leather and brass are not like ordinary leather and brass. The bag feels soft and sensual and luxurious. Take it out for a sunny walk, smile at the world, and you will understand what a gorgeous bag can do.