Two weeks ago, I would have thought you all were crazy, but now... 13 days ago, I saw a woman in the NYC subway with a really cool brown bag. Really cool. I asked her who the designer is and said she didn't know but that she got it on e-bay. 12 days ago, I went to e-bay to look for the bag. After an hour or two, I found it, and the world of Balenciaga was opened to me. 10 days ago I still couldn't get that bag out of my head, and spent about 5 hours doing bag research. I went to all the sites (found this one), learned about all the bags and decided to get a fake, but a good fake. Started negotiations with several sellers, looking to spend about $250. 7 days ago I was walking down the street, and passed a woman carrying a small bag just as she stepped into a shaft of sunlight. Her bag started GLOWING on her arm. It was GORGEOUS. It was a dark olive color, and it clearly was the real deal. I was so stunned by its beauty, I was tongue-tied and didn't think to ask her about it. 5 days ago, after tons more research (I'd say 10 hours), including looking at all the photos on this fabulous site, I narrowed it down to what I thought was the right bag in the right color - the '05 dark olive First. So sophisticated! So gorgeous! 3 days ago, I was back in negotiations with the "mirror replica" seller. This person kept sending me pictures of bags. They looked okay, but the color wasn't right. More pictures, more back and forth. I wanted exact measurements -- they weren't quite right either. 2 days ago I begrudgingly decided to buy an "olive First" from this seller. But I was also cooking for Thanksgiving (I was hosting my family this year!) and decided to put off the purchase until today. This morning I received an e-mail from the seller plus a final picture. I was ready to buy. But a little voice inside me said "Girlfriend (that's how my inner voice talks to me), you live just two miles from one of the best Balenciaga stores in the country. There are girls out there who are buying these bags who would kill to be able to hop on a subway and be in the store in 20 minutes. GO TO THE STORE AND LOOK AT THE COLORS!" So I listened to my little inner voice and, with a sink still full of dirty dishes from yesterday's feast, off I went... And this evening, as of 6:15pm, I became the proud and happy owner of my first real Balenciaga bag. IT'S GORGEOUS!!!! It's a lovely little First in Marron. It's beautiful, so beautiful. It was agonizing choosing a color. Kim was the person who helped me. I loved the Oxblood, but it seemed a little conservative for me. I was debating the Cement, too, which was great, but I think I'll get more wear out of the Marron. It's supposed to be an olive brown, but in certain lights it's kind of purpley. I'm in love. I'd post a picture but I don't have a digital camera. It's a work of art, it really is. Faux? I can't believe I was even considering it! Shame on me!!!!! But, honestly, I didn't know what this was all about until I went to the store. While I was tere, Kim brought me out an 05 Hobo in the Dark Olive, so now it's confirmed, and I'll be looking for a pre-loved 05 First in Dark Olive now. And I think a Blueberry City eventually will round out my b-bag options.