But i'm in NYC right now for only two days (nobody except my SO and my mom know- had to drop in to say hi to her again since i'm here) and of course i went to Hermes to visit Claude to ask him ONCE AND FOR ALL---IS MY BAG REAL LIKE I BELIEVE IT IS?? i was so anxious to get it over with that i can't recall the conversation word for word, but basically i just went ahead and dared ask the most taboo of Hermes questions to a master craftsman. I started off with a long introduction...he was smart and interuppted with a smile and said, 'you want to know if it's real?" and i said "OH GOD YES" and he touched it and looked at it for maybe three seconds and, still smiling, said, "YES, IT'S REAL" i said, "really, are you sure!? open it up, take everything out- do whatever you want! go ahead- inspect, inspect" he shook his head saying he only needs a moment to tell and dismissed the idea of it being anything other than authentic. he then went on to tell me, "enjoy it!", to which i smiled in glee and hugged my bag in Hermes and thanked him profusely and went on my merry way. we chatted a bit more but that's the jist. i didn't even bother looking around in the store because i was so happy to finally get a straight answer from Claude. then i went and bought a pair of Marc Jacobs boots but that's for another thread. Jamie, you should put me on payroll for my tried and true testing of your H bags. Short of suddenly having tarnishing hardware or cardboard suddenly coming out of the bag when the leather starts to wear, i think im finally at peace.