Downing Tote, $168.00

Dear Dave is a series in which I address poor reviews of consumer goods in the advice column tradition of Dear Abby or Dear Sugar. Aren’t most online reviews a cry for help, anyway?


Dear Dave,

I read over the description of this tote several times and didn’t realize there was no inside pocket. I was disappointed because the leather is so soft and the flat bottom makes this tote useful. There is an attached wallet but that is just too inconvenient for cellphones, etc. The strap length is good — can be easily put over shoulder but also comfy to carry with the handles over the arm. The quality is good. Just one pocket inside would make it perfect.

Love the leather

Louisiana, USA

Dear Love the Leather,

Guess what? Totes, (a strange word for boyfriends, but curiously accurate in many cases), do not always come as advertised. I know you love that so-soft leather. (We usually refer to that as skin.) Flat bottoms are nice, too. (You said “useful” but I’ll leave the utility of a flat bottom to the reader’s imagination.) You may be a little too interested in that attached wallet, however. Chasing the money is not always a good idea. Why do you want to keep your cellphone in his wallet anyway? You certainly have no problem with imagination, Love the Leather, and that’s why I chose your letter out of the thousands I receive. Imagination can be good. Or, not so good. Sometimes we need a mini-vacation from our daily lives in which imagination plays a vital role. I fully support those daily flights of fancy that rejuvenate a tired soul. Maybe a walk in the woods or some quiet time just sitting and daydreaming. Maybe even a little reverie in which our loved ones are our handbags. A little consumerish, maybe, but it’s your fantasy! So, your boyfriend is of good quality and easy to haul around but he won’t hold your cellphone, etc.? I suggest next time he’s draped on your arm to go shopping or see some vapid Rom-Com, you consider his imagination. He may be thinking of something supple with a good bottom as well. And, I guarantee you, strap length is not that important to him. My suggestion: direct your imagination to who he is and away from what he can carry. Oh, and men are not beach bags either. Or clutches. Before you go there.



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