Friday, December 14, 2007

The Purse Caper

By Kevin Duling

Certain things in life have to be done, regardless of a man’s will or needs. One of the things a man has to do is keep his woman happy. We’ve all heard the equation that a happy wife means a happy life.

A short time ago, my fiancée found an opportunity to purchase some blingy purses from a wholesale dealership. My fiancée has one of these blingy purses and she always receives many compliments and inquiries about it. To her, it made sense to introduce these purses to north-central Oregon.

What better place to start selling purses than the county fair. She was the first in the vendor line to purchase the perfect booth where everyone attending the fair would have to walk by her large, shiny display of women’s accessories.

Not expecting much of a sales impact right away, I was pleased to hear she had sold 25% of her inventory the first day. She was correct in her assessment; north-central Oregon was ready for the world of blingy purses.

Friday morning of the fair, my day started with the normal phone call from my fiancée to check in and plan the day.

“Kevin, I guess I have to ride my horse in the rodeo tonight, so there won’t be anyone able to sit in the booth. Also, tomorrow from 9 a.m. till about 2 or 3 pm, my mom and I will both be gone, so I really don’t know what to do with my purses. You aren’t busy, would you mind sitting in for me during those times?”

Long pause.

“So, you are saying that you want me to go and sell your purses for you?”

“I know it’s a lot to ask, but it’s your slow time and there is no way I can make it and I have about twenty ladies who are really close to buying purses. Please?”


“Oh, thanks Kevin! I will owe you for this and don’t worry; mornings have been really slow so you probably won’t even see anybody.”

After the first ten minutes of sitting in the purse booth, I realized it takes a big man to sit in front of thirty blingy purses. At least that is what I told myself to make me feel better. On Friday night, I only had to look tough a few times as people walked by glancing at the man and his purses.

As the door opened on Saturday morning, I was met with fifteen women wanting to finalize the deal on their purses. Some of the ladies had questions. My fiancée had warned me to keep my mouth shut if someone asked me an apparel question.

One brave lady asked if her purse went with her blouse. I told her she should probably find someone a little more knowledgeable than me for the answer. I tried to just sit in my lawn chair and focus on my book about staying alive in avalanche country.

As the morning moved on, the people just kept coming. The people I knew would always stop and laugh at me with statements like, “What happened Kevin, did the wheat market fall apart so you have to sell purses now?” It takes a big man to sell purses.

With record purse sales at hand, I began to understand what the women were looking for in a purse. I found myself rearranging the display, in hopes of having a better curb appeal. I thought it would be better to have the pink and green purses intertwined with the brown and black ones, creating a broader, brighter display.

As my fiancée arrived back at the booth, she was shocked to find record sales and a rearranged display.

“Did my mother come in and do all this?” she asked.

“No, I just thought it would look better this way.”

“I have good news. I got accepted for a booth next weekend at an even larger rodeo!” she gleamed.

“Great! What time do we leave?”

Kevin Duling is a wheat farmer from Maupin, Ore. His stories will be posted on the Capital Press blog every Friday. Comments are welcomed at

Copyright, September 2007, Kevin Duling

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1 comment:

threecollie said...

The only thing this very funny post lacks to reach perfection is a photo!

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