You Can’t Fool Me, Mindy Kaling

Last week I was catching up on my stories, by which I mean going through the shows in my Hulu queue and watching them. One of those stories shows is “The Mindy Project”, starring the fabulously funny Mindy Kaling. I was the one person in America who did not watch “The Office” (TV is supposed to be an escape from reality and “The Office” was never that for me), but I liked her. I may be biased because my cousin Susie* looks like her. So much like Mindy, in fact, that people have called her Mindy on the street and had their picture taken with her and asked for her autograph. I could be making that last part up. But I think she told me that once. In any event it’s a good story. (Update: Susie confirms this has actually happened on several occasions.)

Back to my point. I was watching Episode 2, titled “Hiring and Firing.” It starts with Mindy riding the New York subway with her colleague. She’s carrying a beautiful blue handbag, which in and of itself wouldn’t have been a problem if I hadn’t known what kind of bag it was.

It was a Hermes Birkin bag.

Some of you savvy fashionista types will not need to read the next two paragraphs, because you know all about this handbag. For those of you who are unaware of the value or significance of this bag, please continue.

Now I’ve only seen a Birkin once before in the wild, and it was a long time ago. (Oddly enough, it’s been almost exactly 7 years.) You don’t see these bags on the arm of just anyone, mind you. That’s because they are expensive. And when I say expensive, I mean you could buy a 2012 Honda Civic LX with a few nice options for just about the same price. I know this because I just went on Honda’s website and priced a 2012 Honda Civic Coupe LX.

Honda, Civic, car
The car I could buy for the same price as Mindy Kaling’s handbag. Nice, isn’t it?

The same bag Mindy’s carrying on the show is sold here for $19,999.00.

I’ll give you a minute to pick up your jaw, which should have dropped at least twice by now. The fashionistas can keep sipping their lattes while they wait for us to catch up.

The character Mindy plays on the show is a OB/GYN. And she’s based in New York. Okay, based on those two facts alone, it’s conceivable that the character could afford a Birkin. Or that she’d have a gang of wealthy friends who all chipped in to buy her a Birkin once she graduated from med school. It’s possible.

But where my disbelief refused to be suspended, and where the title of this blog post comes from, is the fact that she is carrying a $20,000 handbag on the subway.


This, my friends, is a Hermes Birkin bag. Photo courtesy Hermes Purse Forum and

Sorry, Mindy. You can’t fool me into thinking this character is willing to carry her Birkin on the subway. Not just because of the possibility of theft. But also because someone might breathe on it, or touch it without wearing cotton gloves. That is how I would be if I had a Birkin. Maybe I’m weird like that.

Because I have nothing else to do except avoid deadlines, I presented this inconsistency to Giles and Ms. Chick for their feedback. Giles was understanding but does not have the Expensive Handbag gene which tells you taxis are the only way to travel if you are carrying a handbag that could be traded for a kidney on the black market. Ms. Chick was unaware of the Hermes Birkin’s significance, but once I educated her, she was just as horrified as I was.

Since I figure I can’t get access to Mindy Kaling to question her on the handbag choice for her character on “The Mindy Project”, I called my cousin Susie, the one who looks like Mindy Kaling, to ask her what she had to say about all of this.

“I would definitely not take it on the subway,” said Susie. “She may have not even known what it was, as the character.”

“Oh, I think she knows,” I said.

“I could see her character thinking ‘Oh it’s so cool!’ but not have any idea how much the purse is. So she just carries it everywhere. I do that. One time I got a Coach purse as a gift and I was blown away at how much it cost,” said Susie.

“Did they get it from the Coach Outlet?” I asked.

“I have no idea.”

“Okay, well, the point is, you wouldn’t take a $20,000 bag on the subway,” I said.

“Right. Love you!” she said, and hung up. Susie is a very busy woman and does not have time for long rambling phone interviews with bloggers who only blog when they are avoiding deadlines.

So Mindy, you can’t fool me and you can’t fool your doppelganger, either. We are on to your Birkin-loving ways.

*Name changed to protect her identity, though if you see a woman who looks a LOT like Mindy Kaling it’s either Mindy or my cousin.


4 Replies to “You Can’t Fool Me, Mindy Kaling”

    1. (Once again, I have fallen down on the job of checking comments. I need to figure out how to make WordPress tell me when there’s a new comment by someone who was approved long ago.)

      Barbara, I think it’s all about exclusivity, and needing to feel special. Personally I feel pretty damn special with my Coach wristlet which cost all of $20 at the Coach outlet, but that’s just me, I guess.

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