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I bought this bag in 2010, in Périgueux. In France, they don’t have sale racks the way they do in the States; instead, everything goes on sale during the months of February and July. Huge signs are posted in every store window proclaiming, “SOLDES,” and you can find really great bargains if you know where to look (though my experience was that things that were too expensive before the sales started were still too expensive when they were marked down).

Anyway, my friend Janelle and I went bag shopping when we were in Périgueux for the FAVA program. There was a store on the main shopping drag that had simply piles of bags everywhere, and I saw a gorgeous black briefcase-type bag, imprinted with the name “Ludivine.” I was dying to have it, but it was still a bit pricy; I explained this to the saleswoman, who lowered the price by 10 euros and threw in another for half-price. I was sold.

That black bag, pictured above, lasted nearly three years. It carried music, clothes, character shoes, water bottles, and books. I took it to Paris, and then all over Europe; the zipper came off sometime in the fall of 2011, and I worried that I was going to get pickpocketed because my bag was wide open…but I never did.

Finally, I brought the bag home to Chicago, where it occurred to me to have it fixed. There was a major hole in the lining in addition to the broken zipper, into which my phone, keys and CTA pass kept disappearing. So I took it to the shoe repair guy down the street, who told me that what ailed my poor bag was, well, inoperable. He did not have the technology.

This all happened a few months ago, and yet, it took me until this morning to finally get rid of the bag, even though last week I scored a gorgeous Diane von Furstenburg bag in a similar style for $30. The Ludivine bag has been sitting in the middle of the floor of my apartment, collecting dust.

I’m not really sentimental about STUFF, really, I’m not. Last week I looked at my closet and said, “Something must go.” I ruthlessly sold off six dresses and four pairs of shoes that I never wore. But for some reason this bag was different. Was it because it accompanied me on all of my travels? Was it because it did its job so well, even bereft of its zipper? Was it just because I didn’t want to try to find a new bag to take its place?

I guess I’ll never know. But before I actually take the trash bag containing my beautiful, defunct Ludivine bag down to the dumpster, I just wanted to say a few words about it. And now I have, so…goodbye, bag!