Liz followed in the grand tradition of Poppy with the whole-media maven thing, and Project: Purse and Boots is going to be featured in one of the Memphis news outlets! Details and links to follow. And here is what my imagination decided happened to Liz and her adorable daughter (who’s only barely bigger than the purse!)
“Mama, I want to carry this purse,” said Kate, pulling a sequined, zebra-striped monstrosity out of the depths of her mother’s closet.
“It’s too big for you,” laughed Liz.
“But it’s sparkly!”
Yes, thought Liz wryly, it is that.
Her daughter’s eyes widened like a Disney cartoon character’s and Liz decided that giving in quickly would get them out of the house on time.
Liz, her daughter, and a purse roughly the size of Rhode Island and class factor of the Real Housewives of New Jersey strolled down Beale Street, talking about this and that, appreciating the color of street signs and the comfort of busy markets.
A particularly exuberant giggle made Liz look down at her daughter. “What so funny, girl?”
“That man over there!” replied Kate, pointing into one of the restaurants.
Liz peered through the window and saw only a few tired-looking men wolfing down thickly-stuffed sandwiches.
“Which man?” asked Liz, confused.
Kate stretched her head up again to look into the restaurant, then frowned. “He’s gone.”
Liz tugged gently on Kate’s hand to resume their stroll. Kate shifted the purse around her body and squinted as the sequins bounced light into her eyes. “What was funny about him?” asked Liz.
“He matched the purse!” Kate said happily.
“Matched the purse, how?”
“He was sparkly like the purse!”
Liz had visions of the cast of a burlesque show on their lunch break. Or maybe teenaged vampires.
“Okay…” she said, tentatively.
They walked further on, in no hurry to reach their lunch destination. They stopped at Silky O’Sullivans so the goats could appreciated the bespangled wonder that was Kate’s choice of handbag. A goat nibbled gingerly on one sequined corner then snorted and stepped away to find tastier offerings.
As they walked away from the goats, Kate yanked on Liz’s arm. “There he is! There’s the funny man that matches the purse!”
Liz turned quickly to look where Kate was pointing, but she saw only a crowd of people and nary a glimmer of sparkle caught her eye.
“Honey, I don’t see him.”
“But he was right there!” Kate was clearly distressed that her mom had not shared the vision of the glittery man.
“I’m sorry, sweetheart, I just don’t see him.”
“But he smiled at me. He was nice!”
Liz shifted quickly from confused to alarmed.
“Kate, if you see the man again, I want you to tell me right away. Do you understand?”
Kate nodded, pulling the purse close to her and frowning at the ground.
They walked another block or two, nearing the restaurant where they’d be meeting friends for lunch, when Kate shouted excitedly, “There he is, Mama!”
Liz looked, seeing nothing but buildings and empty sidewalks.
“What? Kate, there’s no one there!”
“There, Mama, there! That’s his picture.”
Liz’s gaze shifted upwards, to a billboard that covered the majority of a dark red wall on the side of a building.
He did, indeed, match the purse.
“That’s the man you saw, honey?” she asked.
Kate nodded happily.
“And he smiled at you?”
Kate nodded again. “And he danced a little.”
Liz smiled. “Did he, now?”
Kate pulled the zebra-striped sequined bag to her chest and Liz scooped her up into her arms.
“I’m not in trouble, am I?”
“Nope. Not a bit. This is Memphis, what did I expect?”
“Nothing, honey. Let’s go have lunch.”
Liz walked with her daughter in arms toward the restaurant. And Kate, face pressed against the blunted edges of the sequins, waved good-bye to the man who matched the purse.