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The Ketchup Incident

October 7, 2010

Prior to getting married I knew nothing about fashion.  Zero.  As in I thought fashion was wearing jeans with zippers on the bottom, together with penny loafers.  Penny loafers that had real pennies in them. 

And you thought I was kidding about being fashion-challenged.

Anyway, I no longer wear penny loafers or scrunchies or mini-backpacks in lieu of purses, thanks to my mother-in-law.  It is only via her tutelage that I now understand why velvet backpacks should be reserved for another time called “never.”

My MIL bought me this beautiful white bag for my birthday earlier this year and since I carefully took the gift out of the safety of it’s box, I have made it my full-time job to keep the bag from getting dirty.

This is no easy feat when your kid uses you as her personal paper towel!  But my purse somehow made it 8 months without so much as a fingerprint on it.  Until last week that is, when Maya opened one of those little packets of ketchup and ….

It hurts too much to talk about it.   

Call me shallow.  Call me materialistic.  I am both of those things and more.  I can handle the name calling!  What I can’t handle is a white bag with ketchup stains on it.

They say grief is a process and right now I am in the depths of mourning.  But I’m well on my way to the next stage – anger.

I am currently writing a list of reasons not to give my child away.  It’s a short list.  A very short list.

81 Comments leave one →
  1. October 7, 2010 12:54 am

    wahahahhaa!!! Your tag killed me. Cracked me up!!!

    That bag is gorgeous. I think I would surely have gone ballistic if anyone hurt it.

  2. October 7, 2010 2:56 am

    AHHHh! I would die! There is nothing I hate more than someone ruining an expensive piece of clothing or an accessory!

  3. October 7, 2010 3:15 am

    Oh my God! This is both heartbreaking and (somewhat) funny…;) – that bag is so beautiful. Remember, it could be worse right?…

    Maybe right? 😉 I opened a jar of jam last night and it went everywhere – as in on the ceiling, me the floor, everywhere…it was late, I was full and pissed – I wanted to just turn off the light and forget about it…doesn’t work that way unfortunately…

  4. October 7, 2010 3:41 am


  5. theemptynutjar permalink
    October 7, 2010 3:43 am

    This is one of my favorite posts from you. I love it. Genuine good humor and writing.

  6. October 7, 2010 3:48 am

    Oh Ameena…. I feel your pain!!!!!! I remember that post when your MIL bought you that gorgeous bag. I would have the same reaction.

  7. October 7, 2010 4:05 am

    nooooooooooooooooooo. this is why i never buy anything white. i just can’t handle getting it dirty! hope maya makes it though the day without being given away or sold 😉

  8. October 7, 2010 4:18 am

    When I was in middle school I was part of a flute ensemble through my teacher’s studio. We were at a music competition about an hour away from home, all wearing the standard bright white blouse and black skirt “uniform,” when someone had the bright idea to suggest lunch at the Taco Bell across the street. One of the girls opened a little packet of hot sauce for her burrito….

    My teacher was not happy. She was so not happy that she had her husband drive me to the nearest shopping center for a new blouse before performing. Fortunately, shirts for 12-year-olds are a lot less precious than your gorgeous purse. And you can bleach them.

    RIP, pretty white bag.

  9. October 7, 2010 4:20 am

    Oh nooooo! I’ve actually stopped buying white clothes and accessories because I know I’m the person who splatters ketchup. Miss Maya and I are so similar. Except she’s little and cute. And I’m well, tired and LV-bagless. Do you think you can get it professionally cleaned? I have no idea about these things but I would think that sort of service exists? If not, I claim dibs on that business idea.

  10. October 7, 2010 4:24 am

    ooohhh… sorry about the bag. It’s like the time I spent so much money on my new table and literally just one week later someone had stayed the night and there was a straightening iron burn on it. Ugh.

  11. October 7, 2010 4:25 am

    Too funny! I’m an active member of both the fashion-challenged and accident-prone clubs. I was given a gorgeous coach bag 2 years ago and it’s still never been outside the house for fear that I’ll destroy it. So I just gaze at it fondly in the closet now and again. And that’s good enough for now.

  12. October 7, 2010 4:40 am

    Daaaaaaahling, take it to the best and most expensive dry cleaners you can find. Maybe something can be done. Also you might want to contact LV customer service. There might be something they can do…
    I am jealous that your MIL buys you so such lovely goodies. My MIL expects me to give HER goodies, which sucks.
    *kisses* HH

  13. October 7, 2010 4:42 am

    Ok, deep breaths. Punch a pillow. Take a hot shower. Then since none of that works, pour a big one of something really, really alcoholic. Killing your kid never works; my mom tried and I’m still here. Plus, you’re pretty so if you go to jail; well, let’s not go there.

    When I was about Sophie and Maya’s age, my brother and I went in my mom’s bathroom and “cooked” with her perfumes and powders. We had just immigrated to the U.S. from France a couple of years prior and all her perfumes and powders were the real deal and the last of them she knew she’d ever own since she was now a pastor’s wife.

    Every kid does this to something precious. This was yours. Make sure to remind Maya of it when she’s an adult so she knows it’ll happen to her. And when you’re a grandparent and it looks like it won’t; do it yourself.

    • October 7, 2010 7:00 pm

      Thank you MC for making me feel better – Maya has been trying my patience lately! I think I need a bit more than a stiff drink – maybe a Valium or two would do the trick! PS – your mom must be a saint.

  14. October 7, 2010 4:43 am

    Oh my god! Are you serious?
    It pains me to think about it. You must be livid.

  15. October 7, 2010 5:23 am

    The great news is that now you really have an original bag!

  16. October 7, 2010 5:58 am

    I grew up watching Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen videos, and one of the first music videos they made was called “Brother for Sale.” I think you would have good results making a “Daughter for Sale” video. If nothing else, it would be entertaining. Just a thought.

    In regards to your bag, I’d be a bit upset. But also know that you had the white purse for eight months. If I had a white purse, I’d be shocked if it lasted eight weeks. So really I’m jealous that it lasted so long. (That’s me trying to find a bright side.)

  17. October 7, 2010 6:15 am

    Eeek, that is painful :/ Are you sure it can’t be cleaned somehow??

  18. October 7, 2010 6:18 am

    Wow, that really is painful. Like, seriously, I cringed when I saw the white bag (a beautiful bag, by the way) because I knew where this post was going. Hopefully you got right to work on the stain. Dabbed and did not scrub (my Dad taught me that-and it works). Luckily purses are meant for some wear and tear so you should be able to salvage it!

  19. October 7, 2010 6:27 am

    That purse is GORGEOUS! I want I want. But I want sans ketchup please 😉

    Maybe you can just add some mustard and make it look purposeful =P

  20. October 7, 2010 6:30 am

    I reallllly want to see the ketchup picture. MAYA. grrrr. I’m mad at her for you!! The MIL will be none to pleased either.

  21. October 7, 2010 6:50 am

    i would sell my child immediately.. LOL oh man.. i would just DIE!!! that is such a beautiful purse.. but maybe its time to hint at the MIL that you need a black one instead.. and retire that one for a while.
    is the stain on the outside? the only way to salvage that is to buy a scarf and pull a “legally blonde” where Elle attaches a fancy scarf to her purse.. it might seem silly, but at least it will cover it up!

    • October 9, 2010 9:29 am

      Amy – The “Elle” look is totally cute – thanks for the suggestion! I was able to get most of the ketchup off so I think I’m safe for now. But ketchup is strictly forbidden at this point. I’m just adding it to a long list of other things Maya can’t do/eat.

  22. October 7, 2010 6:53 am

    I still use backpacks as purses.


    now I feel dumb. HAHAHA
    and I am wearing that yellow cabled sweater that I spent 3 months making

    reading this makes me want to go take it off, but it’s all I have unless I want to wear my workout shirt all day.

    that’s worse than the back pack!

    try a “magic eraser” it’s supposed to be “multi surface” and sure to chemically peel your skin off.

    HEY, it worked for the crayon incident??? right???

    sigh. I feel your pain Mama.

    If I ever had a real purse I would probably never use it. My FAMILY uses me as a paper towel.


    • October 8, 2010 12:41 pm

      If your cabled sweater is anything like the scarf you made me I would wear it too! I wish I could knit so I could make my own sweaters!

  23. October 7, 2010 7:25 am

    OH NO!!!!!! Ameena, that’s not even my bag and I’m already feeling the pain. I shattered the face on my iphone this weekend and have been whining about it like a little baby all week. i don’t know if this makes sense, but at least you can blame your child? i have no one to blame but myself (although i did think about blaming K haahaa, yup, mother of the year right here). maybe you can try taking it to a professional cleaner? the only other solution I can think of is getting another bag out of Maya’s allowance (like i said, mother of the year :-D). Good luck with getting the stain out, dear.

  24. October 7, 2010 7:50 am

    LOL at your tags…totally hilarious but at the same time I feel your pain! Just imagining that white purse with ketchup stain just….URGH! Is that a real LV?!!

    Btw for removing the ketchup stain, have you tried using baking soda paste? Hope it helps!

  25. October 7, 2010 8:06 am

    I can imagine ketchup on white purse. It is really bad. Some times accidents happen, this opened a way to get new one.

  26. October 7, 2010 8:08 am

    EEEeek! That sucks. It is such a beautiful white purse. I hope you can find someone who can get it out for you.

  27. October 7, 2010 8:38 am

    I’ve gotten a white bag stained before and the dry cleaners removed the stain, so there might be hope for your LV. Hopefully, Maya learned her lesson. Kids sometimes don’t have the faintest clue, hehe.

    I must say your MIL is awesome though (mashallah), I don’t think I would be seeing those kinds of gifts from here, haha. Have to get them myself or thru my husbo! 🙂

  28. October 7, 2010 8:38 am

    Oh boy! Or…oh girl since Maya was the culprit. I feel your frustration. I’m not huge on purses, but M once got a huge grease stain on a favorite pair of jeans. Jeans are the ONE thing I don’t skimp on so they were nice ones. It still hurts to think about.

  29. October 7, 2010 8:38 am

    I hate spilling and/ or messing up anything new!! Gahhhh!

    I will take Maya for a while 😉 I will show her the reality of college. Heheh

  30. October 7, 2010 8:45 am

    Oh Gosh!!! that’s a gorgeous LV bag! say no to ketchup! lol 🙂

  31. October 7, 2010 8:57 am

    i think this would be a good lesson to teach maya on how to get stains out or how to earn your keep when you ruin moms purse 😉

    so is the stain in the front or on the inside? depending on the location maya might live to see another year.

    • October 7, 2010 1:05 pm

      The stain is on the front and the bottom – I only wish it were inside!

  32. October 7, 2010 9:27 am

    I don’t dare own a fancy handbag or anything – ANYTHING – white, but I truly feel for you. If you can’t convince anyone local to take Maya, try selling her to the gypsies – that was always my mom’s threat with me. Although I am still around bugging her, so perhaps it isn’t so effective.

  33. October 7, 2010 9:46 am

    In Maya’s defense – that think looks like a ketchup magnet. Around here it would be. Or maybe a mustard magnet.

  34. October 7, 2010 10:31 am

    Oh no! i totally feel your pain.

  35. October 7, 2010 11:25 am

    Aaahh! I saw that gorgeous white purse and read ketchup in the title and instantly knew what must have been the inevitable!

  36. Leah @ Why Derprive? permalink
    October 7, 2010 11:54 am

    I would be absolutely devastated! I nearly killed my boyfriend just for tracking leaves onto my carpet.

  37. highonhealthy permalink
    October 7, 2010 12:01 pm

    Well.. uh.. at least you can go get a new purse? I know what you’re going through right now but shopping for something new always makes things a little easier to handle. And you know, you could always bring out your inner child and accidentally squirt ketchup on something of Mayas.

    Okay, that’s kind of mean. It’s probably a good thing I don’t have kids right now.

  38. October 7, 2010 12:12 pm

    oh that bag. im crying for you too. can they clean it for you at the LV store?? might cost you a little but way less than a new louis! dangg motherhood is hard =/

  39. Leslie permalink
    October 7, 2010 12:19 pm

    I know the PERFECT place to take it. They repair & rejuvenate v v expensive shoes & bags. I’ve been going to them for over a decade. Trust me on this one – I bet they’ll have it looking better than new! Let me know if you want their name.

  40. October 7, 2010 2:08 pm

    I saw the title and felt your pain. After you go through the 7 stages of grief (after right, not before); send the bag off to a really, really good dry cleaner – there is a tiny chance they can completely remove the stain.
    I don’t know what goes in Ketchup but I’m pretty sure its an ingredient in weapons of great destruction, that stuff splattered onto white fabric never recovers!

  41. October 7, 2010 2:25 pm

    haha, oooohhhh, I have so much to look forward to! And I’m having a BOY! If he’s anything like his daddy, he’s gonna have all kinds of messes for me to clean up!! 😉

  42. October 7, 2010 2:30 pm

    If you take it to Louis Vuitton they will send it to the cleaners for you … how do I know this? My mom may or may not have let me use one of her evening bags and I may or may not have pulled a Maya on her :/

    • October 9, 2010 6:52 pm

      Thank you Caroline for telling me that LV can help me! If your mom let you live than I guess I have an obligation to spare Maya’s life as well. 🙂

  43. October 7, 2010 2:54 pm

    Man. I’m so sorry. Have you tried meditating? I recently returned from a long course and it suggests not being attached to things which meditation helps with. This is not to say that it works all the time. It takes practice….years of it! Try a good cleaners or perhaps it’s time to get another one? Perhaps the MIL will indulge again.

  44. October 7, 2010 3:58 pm

    I’m seriously fashion challenged…and getting married hasn’t helped my situation much. I’m so sorry about your bag though…because it really is quite beautiful! I’ve had a few mishaps with ketchup packets in my days…so don’t be to mad at Maya…it happens to the best of us!

  45. October 7, 2010 5:30 pm

    Rock the penny loafers if you want lady – we do not hate on leather goods.

    My heart just hurts for that purse of yours! I know it’s just an object (I’m SUCH a purse girl it’s just unreal) and Maya is too cute for words, but how could cosmic synergy go so, so wrong?

  46. October 7, 2010 7:26 pm

    lol this made me laugh. i think us, women have something in our closet that means a lot to us and we can go preeety far to protect it. 😉

    My mother-in-law is desi and i grew up here, so wearing tshirts and pajamas at home for comfort ended when i got married. according to her, i should always doll up and wear jewelry in the house. “oh crap” was my reply inside my head

    anyway, that is a very elegant purse, and sorry your kid got ketchup on it. =(

    • October 9, 2010 9:02 am

      You MIL would freak out if she saw what I wear at home – I have mismatched stuff from Target and Old Navy. And I’ve worn it in front of my in-laws too if you can believe it! I can barely put jewelry on when I leave the house, nevermind in it. 🙂

  47. October 7, 2010 8:25 pm

    You know grandparents usually have a big forgiving heart when it comes to their grandchildren’s mistakes – right? May be you can “kindly” mention it to your MIL about the ketchup stain – and say how sad and sorry you feel because you like her present so so much and it’s a shame that you cannot use it anymore. “Kindly” mention a few times that Maya did not mean it and how you dare not blame her sweet little grandchild. Then sigh a few times. Then let’s wait and see what happens……

  48. October 7, 2010 8:40 pm

    My sincere condolescences. That was a great purse.
    However, since when did jeans with zippers on the bottoms not become fashionable?
    Again, so sorry for your loss…

  49. October 7, 2010 9:52 pm

    And this is why I never like wearing white. I hate the ketchup is red! its so suggestive!

  50. October 7, 2010 10:04 pm

    The bag is SO beautiful, I could not keep it clean for so long though. I’m a messy person and white is NOT my colour. You did a wonderful job keeping it clean for so long, think positive 🙂

  51. October 8, 2010 3:49 am

    I remember…when I was young…I would get up from my dining chair..walk to my mom and wipe my fingers on her dress…then walk back to my chair…sit down..and finish eating. Sorry from my “old self” and I hope your MIL buys you a new bag.

  52. October 8, 2010 6:20 am

    Oh yes, the dreaded stains! 🙂

  53. October 8, 2010 7:06 am

    oh no!! And such a gorgeous bag, too 😦
    Several years ago I had a party at my house and it got REALLY out of hand with a bunch of strangers showing up. Finally, the cops came and after they left I went to my room. I found some extremely drunk underage kid there and he had PEED ON MY SALMON COLORED SUEDE COACH PURSE. I had stashed it between my bed and desk for safekeeping 😦
    I was soooo mad, it ruined my entire night!

  54. October 8, 2010 7:33 am

    oh ameena you had me at the penny loafers, but you’e killing me with the tags for this post!

    sorry about the bag. i winced for you.

  55. October 8, 2010 7:49 am

    OH NO! I am a purse person so I would have cried and then died, without a doubt. That is what I hate. I try to avoid white for that reason, but once I did buy a gorgeous bag at the hotel lobby store where I stayed in Beijing and it was amazing with hot pink floral embroidery. It lasted quite some time too before the white just couldn’t do it any more. So sorry for your loss (LOL).

  56. October 8, 2010 1:59 pm

    OH NO! I was almost afraid to read this just from the title. I agree with HH, a very good dry cleaner may be able to help 😦

  57. actorsdiet permalink
    October 8, 2010 7:50 pm

    so sorry about the ketchup fingers! made for an entertaining blog post, at least.

  58. October 8, 2010 9:34 pm

    speaking of being fashion-challenged, my husband told me the other day i dress like i’m homeless. true story.

    i don’t know if this is a dumb question, but can you dry clean bags? that might be an option….

    • October 9, 2010 6:42 pm

      Wow, your husband is harsh! Even if I did dress like a homeless person my husband wouldn’t notice so in a way at least it’s good that your husband notices what you wear?? As far as I know leather can’t be dry cleaned but I think I’ve managed to rescue most of the bag with Method surface cleaner if you can believe it…

  59. October 8, 2010 11:11 pm

    That bag is BEAUTIFUL… I would’ve gotten really upset too. 😦 If/when I ever have kids, I’m going to drape myself and the entire house in black until the last one’s on his way to college. Not kidding. Poor Maya too though… bet she felt really bad, huh?

    • October 9, 2010 7:17 pm

      Maya didn’t feel bad at all! She just kept dipping her chicken nuggets in her ketchup, all the while watching me frantically wiping my bag. The kid has a heart of steel! I feel like draping my house in black too – you might be on to something Bonnie!

  60. October 8, 2010 11:30 pm


  61. October 9, 2010 3:37 am

    When I saw this on twitter, I knew I was in for a good post. And I was right.

    I’m so sorry about the bag! I think I’m going to have to forbid anything that can elicit stains from ever entering my presence when I have children. They are going to be taught that ketchup is actually made out of dog poop. really.

  62. October 9, 2010 5:45 am

    OUCH!!! Aww I’m sorry! That’s one beauty of a purse! That’s really crappy that that happened…sorry girl!

  63. October 9, 2010 8:29 am

    LOL…I probably would have reacted the same way. One of the many reasons why I don’t really buy anything white or expensive because I know I or someone else will do something to it. So I guess counting to 10 won’t help in this matter? 🙂

    Geez, your tag is hilarious.

  64. October 9, 2010 8:56 am

    Funny that you say you weren’t fashion-savvy. I always think you have great fashion when I see pictures!

    I used to be like that too, in college I LIVED in jeans, running shoes, and a sweatshirt (or just wore sweatpants to class). Actually my sisters still make fun of what I wear most the time, but it has greatly improved….and I blame it on how I am broke. 😉

  65. October 9, 2010 3:11 pm

    It’s been said before, but your tags continue to bring snippets of joy into my life. Please let us know if anyone ever searches for those phrases specifically and is directed to your blog 🙂
    I have a ketchup phobia. I cannot touch the stuff, and will gag should the maliferous odors pass before my nose. When I waitressed, I would pay my comrades to fill up the bottles at the end of my shift. It’s evil, smelly, purse-destroying shite.

  66. October 10, 2010 9:10 am

    If she has to have a condiment addiction, couldn’t it have been relish? That’s what I do with your posts.
    And you’ll get her back when you are 80 and you’ll smear chutney on her jimmy choos.

  67. October 10, 2010 9:48 am

    Oh dear oh dear.

    That is a tragedy indeed.

  68. Anjum permalink
    October 10, 2010 7:13 pm

    LOL! Your fault for taking it out of that damn box. That’s where it should have stayed until she turned 12 and refused to go anywhere with you because to be seen with a parent would be highly embarassing.

  69. Kath (Eating for Living) permalink
    October 11, 2010 12:54 pm

    This is so terrible and funny at the same time!

  70. December 9, 2010 9:13 am

    “It is only via her tutelage that I now understand why velvet backpacks should be reserved for another time called “never.””

    Very funny. Ameena, you’re a clever writer.

  71. Tandra permalink
    August 25, 2011 2:44 pm

    You are so good with your words Ameena, you crack me up…I have been reading your blog for quite sometime without leaving a comment, but this post, this one, tops off everything else and I just could not leave quietly after reading this…Humor should be your middle name 🙂

    • August 25, 2011 8:15 pm

      Thank you Tandra for your very kind compliment and for making my crappy day 1000% better. I appreciate it. 🙂


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