I’m paraphrasing Anne Shirley a little with this title. I’ve come to realise many of my orchids didn’t start out as orchids at all. Like this bag, for example, which started out as a desire to have a little taste of luxury at a reasonable price but is now a treasured orchid. Sometimes what’s an impulse buy or purchase out of necessity grows into an orchid.
While schlepping home in the rain, muttering to myself about how autumn has arrived with a bang and wondering whether the Converse shoes which had been an orchid but pinched my feet all afternoon would get more comfortable once they’re back in heavy rotation, I realised my rain jacket has become an orchid.
I bought it on a whim four summers ago, when a sunny July afternoon suddenly turned into unseasonal heavy rain. I happened to be outside the Patagonia shop, ran in and bought a bright pink lightweight raincoat that I thought was a little on the pricey side, but probably worth it.
Like the bag, I go through phases of wondering if I should trade it in for something newer. I wouldn’t choose a bright pink raincoat now as I’ve nothing else pink in my wardrobe and it clashes with a bright red bag I use regularly for work. However, on days like this it’s an orchid I’ll keep. The hood and long sleeves mean I’ve two hands free and, unlike Anne Shirley, I won’t curse my umbrella for turning inside out and launching me into a relationship with a dark, brooding and dull but rich man.