The Silver Clutch

I’m not sure if you’re up for it because you must be relieved we have all moved on from Arabella’s formal(s), but there’s just one thing that’s been lingering on and that is the story of the silver clutch purse.

Arabella and I scoured the shops looking for a suitable clutch purse and we did find it in Oroton.  But even though it was reduced from $600 to $300, it needed another zero knocked off it to fit in with my budget.  So we battled on but found nothing.  The problem is, we were looking for something that didn’t exist.  We were looking for a summer clutch in the middle of winter.

A silver clutch

Things became desperate and while we were shopping I remembered a shoe shop that sold accessories.  However I was quite hesitant to go in there because once I’d been needing shoes for an event and I went in and found the owner to be an old, cranky and fed-up woman who heaved and sighed and rolled her eyes a lot.  I asked to try on a pair of shoes and she brought them out but they were too wide and the next pair didn’t have the right heel and the next was the wrong colour and the next were too big and then too ageing and too flashy and too casual and so it went on until I was buried in a sea of shoes with the woman losing patience and becoming more and more savage.

I hadn’t done it deliberately.

Anyway, Arabella and I went in and she was looking all stern and sour but we ignored her and started looking at clutch purses.  Can you believe we found one in light silver that was just what she wanted.  The woman showed Arabella how to open it.  ‘You have to push down on the bauble and then it opens.  Right?’

The next day was the formal and as Arabella was leaving she grabbed the clutch, pushed down on the bauble and snap.  The mechanism broke so it couldn’t open or close.  With near-tears she had to leave without it.

The next day I returned it to the shop and the woman said Arabella had pushed the bauble sideways and that’s how it broke.  I said, ‘No, that’s not the case.  You showed her how to open it and it just broke’.  But she went on and on about how Arabella had been rough with it but reluctantly she exchanged it for another bag but letting me know how much money she was losing by doing so.

Then came formal number two.  Just as Arabella was leaving she pushed down on the bauble and the same thing happened  I told her to take the bag and just hold it closed which she had to do all night.

A few days later I took the bag back and  the woman again accused Arabella of breaking the bag and she said, ‘We’ve sold hundreds of these bags and we’ve never had a problem.  I’m not exchanging it because I lost money on the last one so I’ll send this back to be repaired.  She’s broken it.  That’s what she’s done.  She didn’t push it down like I told her to’.

I left it with her.

Today she phoned.  She said, ‘The purse cannot be repaired because your daughter has pushed it so it’s snapped off so it’s beyond repair so I’m not giving you another one because she’ll just go and do the same thing’.

I said, ‘You need to stop saying that because you have no evidence of what she did or didn’t do with that purse.  I’m telling you she opened it in the correct way.  She’s not an idiot.  She knows how to open a clutch purse.’

She said, ‘Alright, alright.  I’ll give you a different bag.  It’s still silver but it doesn’t have a bauble she can snap off.  It just has a little clasp you can lift.  I’ve sold hundreds of these and your daughter is the first person to break one.  I’m losing money on this’.

So this afternoon I went and collected the bag.  Arabella doesn’t like it.  ‘I don’t like the handle mum’.

‘Arabella, this woman is not going to refund my money.  It’s take this bag or kiss the money goodbye.  Do you like the bag a little more now?  Is it growing on you?’

‘I’ll put it in my wardrobe’.

But something did happen to brighten Arabella’s day.  She received flowers.  I saw them at the front door and foolishly thought they were for me but no, Arabella’s name was on the card.  Remember the rock musician from America?  They’re from him but I’m not allowed to tell you that.  It’s because he’s famous, (never heard of him) so I’m not allowed to mention him on my blog.  So I’m not going to say anything except that he’s on tour at the moment and he sent some flowers saying, ‘Thinking of you’ (but you didn’t hear that) and the flowers are so lovely I asked Arabella if she would like them in her room or could we put them somewhere more public.

Flowers delivered to the house

And recovering swiftly from the clutch she doesn’t like, she let me display them above the fireplace in the dining room.

We’re both happy.

Want to keep in touch?  Join the fun on the Hotly Spiced Facebook page! 


  1. Jo Baby says:

    Love the clutch, love the flowers, love your blog!

  2. love2dine says:

    Nice colour. i love to have that .

  3. Now I really want to know who this American musician is!!

    Ugh grouchy old ladies. Seems to me like the only reason she had summer bags in the middle of winter was because they were all defective and she couldn’t sell them in summer!

  4. OrgasmicChef says:

    You go Arabella!! Just between you and me, don’t trust Americans who send flowers. (My mother-in-law says ALL Americans chew gum and carry guns. She wouldn’t meet me for a year because of the yank issue. We’re sort of okay now – after 17 years.)

    Are there any plans for the new clutch? Maybe it could sit next to the flowers in the dining room?

  5. Oh dear! I must’ve missed/forgotten hearing about the rock musician previously! Link please… If you’re allowed. 😉

  6. bestfoodies says:

    I just found your site through Maureen and can’t wait to catch up on all the stories I have missed. Her post about you made me immediately follow you and need to know all about formals and kids and your humor!

  7. Minnesota Prairie Roots says:

    I am a Minnesotan (as in from the U.S.A.) and I neither chew gum nor carry a gun. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way…

    About that rock musician…I am wondering, too. And how does one meet a rock musician?

    As for the shoe store and purse experience, that woman really ought not to be in business. Hasn’t she heard the phrase, “The customer is always right.”

  8. Glamorous Glutton says:

    How very annoying about the clutch and I bet it never comes out of the wardrobe, that is until it becomes ‘vintage’. But flowers – now that’s a great thing for a girl to get. How wonderful. GG

  9. I can relate to that story with the perfect clutch. I’ve had those days too. Now, due to budgeting limits, I must restrain myself from going into the ‘luxury’ stores because I know I will find that ‘perfect’ thing and not be able to stop thinking about it.
    I’m dying to know who the American musician is. Can we guess?

  10. Jeno@ Weeknite Meals says:

    Oh how I love your blog postings! Seems like there’s always something going on, and you seem to handle it in the most humorous way. I will have to take on that attitude when my little girl becomes a teenager…

    A Rocker who sends flowers? I had a dream about Bret Michael and macarons last night, that’s kinda similar right?

  11. katherines corner says:

    I enjoyed my visit to your lovely blog. This was a terrific post,When reading your about me section I was nodding the whole time in agreement. I had a similar rejection from a publisher. “loved it, great writing, but….” . I’m blogginf now instead too. I invite you to join me at tomorrows blog hop. xo

  12. Victoria at Flavors of the Sun says:

    I love your stories about the kids. Always entertaining and I feel like I am right there with you. You really capture the essence of each of your children. Lovely family. Lovely stories. And lovely flowers–good on the rocker!

  13. Sorry that Arabella doesn’t like this silver clutch..I actually find it quite elegant.
    Beautiful flowers.

  14. ChgoJohn says:

    A rock star sending flowers to a young lady? No wonder he wants it kept quiet. It might ruin his “hard edge” image. 🙂

  15. Juliana says:

    Oh Charlie…sorry about Arabella not liking the crutch…I personally find it quite nice…
    I can imagine how Arabella is feeling receiving flowers from a rock start 🙂
    Hope you are enjoying your week my dear!

  16. kitchenriffs says:

    Thoroughly enjoyable read. Really wonderful way you’ve captured the drama and tension of dealing with the shop person (and maybe those words are a bit too strong, but that’s really what was going on; something doesn’t have to be life or death for drama to be involved). Will we ever know the identity of the famous flower person? Probably not, but it’s fun to hope we will! Excellent stuff – thanks.

  17. Tell me at least that you like the replacement clutch? You should have quoted the Fair Trading Act to the shopowner. Never ever go back into that shop again, Charlie.. 😉

  18. Wow that shop keeper. We all deal with them but I love the way you write, I could feel myself falling into the post 😀
    True story 😉
    And a rock star musician sending flowers? Well, that is really something… 😀


    Choc Chip Uru

  19. I can’t imagine how some people even manage to stay in business with such grumpy attitudes, but they do! I can well imagine that the disappointment of a broken clutch or one she doesn’t care for at all would easily be assuaged with flowers from a “famous” rocker. That would be exciting at any age I think! 🙂

  20. Rocky Mountain Woman says:

    Flowers! From a musician! How romantic!

  21. Great storytelling. I love the bag in the photo but I am no longer a teenager, unfortunately. Or maybe fortunately – life is a lot more dramatic at that age and a little calm is good for the health.

  22. yummychunklet says:

    What a cute clutch and flowers!

  23. niasunset says:

    Wonderful flowers and cute clutch. Thank you dear Charlie, love, nia

  24. It’s just shocking how you get treated in shops these days.

    I bought a top a few weeks ago and on first wash all the colour came out. The woman told me it must have been my fault and I should be more careful next time!

    I’m glad you got to enjoy the flowers too.

  25. InTolerantChef says:

    Thats real customer service for you! How does this woman ever expect repeat business?
    My daughter follows all these famous musicians that I have never heard of either, but I’m sure they’re all wonderful 🙂 Lucky Arabella indeed, I’m glad the flowers cheered her up!

  26. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says:

    Ooh what intrigue! I’m dying to know who the musician is Charlie! 😉 And lol at the saleswoman. I’d imagine “we have sold hundreds of these without a problem” is what they all say when they’re sick of refunding people for faulty items 😉

  27. What a horrible woman. And badly designed clutch! Is the one in the picture one of the ones you ended up with? If it is, I like it even if it’s the one Arabella doesn’t like!
    Thank goodness for flowers to lift everyone’s spirits, even if they are a secret.

  28. Tammy McLeod says:
  29. Oh those flowers are so nice 🙂 I don’t like this shop lady…i hate bad service and how can she accuse Arabella sighhh but glad she got the flowers to brighten up her day 😀

  30. Grrr…that shopkeeper is a pain in the tush!!! Lucky Arabella, though, with the gorgeous flowers!

  31. gardencorrespondent says:

    I know that when my boys come to be teenagers I’m going to wonder why it’s not as much fun as you made it sound to ride the roller coaster of their lives with them!

  32. Cucina49 says:

    I love this story! Having worked retail, I know it’s a miserable job, but I have dealt with some seriously snotty salespeople in my time and no amount of niceness will work with them.
    Anyway, I’m so glad that Arabella received lovely flowers and that helped with the sting of not liking the clutch!

  33. Tina @ bitemeshowme says:

    What an unhelpful sales person. If the product is faulty the customer has rights to exchange it. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh sales people like that really bug me!

  34. Dont you just hate sales people like that! How annoying for you. I am ever so intrigued about the rock star – can you tell us a cryptic lyric and see if we guess – that wouldnt be telling then right? he he lucky Arabella. xx

  35. What a rude shop. I can spend my hard earned money where ever I want and it would not be there … So sorry you had to deal with all of that, Charlie.

  36. chicastic says:

    May be it a chance that the bag which Arabella was carrying did not have strong flaps so when she tried to open those they got break, but the trader should go in for the replace to maintain good trader-customer relationship.

Speak Your Mind