7.01.2005

My baggage

Say hello, everyone. This is my new suitcase. Only mine is blue. I haven't decided on a name, yet.

I had to put a lot of thought into this, since it involves money. That automatically makes it a life-or-death decision that must be researched fully and experts should be brought in and maybe I'd better just not spend any money at all. I'm the same way when it comes to buying a 50-cent candy bar at the check-out stand. The other reason why it's such a momentous decision is that I'm packing it for England, so there are serious questions to ask here.


1. Will it be big enough for all my stuff?

2. Will it be cool enough for the kind of first impression I want to make over in the Land of Colin Firth?

Although, really, considering what I'll probably look like after 18 hours of travel, this suitcase may be the only halfway presentable thing about me.

One thing I learned during my suitcase searches was this new concept of "expandable" luggage. Now they're making these zippered partitions in your suitcase that magically create 2" of space that you didn't even have before. And when I first heard about it, I thought, "So . . . are they exceeding the airline requirements or something? I mean, how did they get permission for these extra two inches? Won't the people who check your luggage notice that your bag is now too big to be carried on or checked?"

I'm pretty sure that's not how it works, though. It looks like they just make a bag that is within the size requirements, and then create this expansion that makes the bag bigger but keeps it within those parameters. This leaves me to wonder why they couldn't have just built a bigger bag in the first place. Since there's no one to whom I can ask these questions, I had an imaginary conversation on my way back from Costco. Yes, I do that. And no, it's not weird.

Me: So what's the deal with the expandable bags?

Luggage Guy: Well, they're pretty much the best thing in the world, and I'm a genius for thinking of them.

Me: Really.

LG: Oh yes. The traveler can create up to 15% more space in her luggage! It is like magic!

Me: Is this space in addition to what the airlines allow? Would she be sticking it to the Man in any way?

LG: Oh no, this is completely within airline regulations.

Me: Uh huh. So . . . if it's within airline regulation size, couldn't you have just made the bag with more space to begin with?

LG: Well you see, with our magical system, the customer can choose to keep her luggage at the traditional size or she can choose to expand based on her varied travel needs.

Me: But why would anyone choose to have 15% less space in her suitcase?

LG: That's why our system is so great! You can choose to have more!

Me: No, that's why your system is a stupid pile of crap. What woman in this world would deliberately choose to limit her packing capabilities? If you can make the bag bigger, why not just do it instead of making it smaller and then congratulating yourself for giving people space that they should have had in the first place?

LG: But if you take a look at these customer satisfaction polls . . .

Me: You know what? Just shut your smug face up. And go stand in that corner before I slap you.

That's why I went with the Samsonite. I did all the math and the measurements, and it's just as big, if not bigger, than anything those expandable people have to offer. Plus, they didn't try to patronize me. They just made a freaking huge bag. And I bought it.

4 comments:

Miss Hass said... [reply]

And it is the dang sexiest bag I've ever seen. Perfect for your arrival in the UK.

daltongirl said... [reply]

I love your new blue bag, and I predict Colin Firth will love it as well. He will probably ask you out the minute he sees it.

Here are the names I suggest (not that you asked for recommendations):

Maxie
Delilah
Phyllis (those last two are a nod to Samson and his luggage, of course)
LowBrow
Velma

Let me know if these don't suffice. I've got more.

Cicada said... [reply]

So basically by the end of my mission, my luggage was trash. Who knew that Air Canada's luggage wasn't built to be able to be hauled two miles uphill in the sweltering Italian summer (okay, so maybe the heat didn't do anything to the luggage, but to the luggage carrier! Ugh!) and on and off trains, busses and boats every 6 to 12 weeks? When it was time to travel home, there was no way that my luggage was going to be able to make it. So I had two options: mail the stuff back home (I'd trust the Italian airlines more than Posta Italia) or buy new luggage. I found this large, incredible expandable piece for 26 euros. Then I got a smaller expandable piece for about 15. The trouble is that once both were expanded, both exceeded the weight restriction. Anyway, I'm sure you're concerned about how I possibly was able to get my stuff back. The tricks were juggling items of various weights between my several bags, making my carry-on borderline-unbearably heavy, and a litte (teeny, tiny) bit of flirtation. I'm not going to say whether it was right or not for me to be flirting as a missionary, but I'll state for the record that it also got me bumped up to first class. You make the judgment call.

Good luck with the luggage thing. And remember that as a non-missionary, you have no flirtation restrictions.

**The large piece of luggage is already completely trashed. It made the trip home and didn't last much longer than that. But it was still cheaper and safer than mailing my stuff home to me.

Streets of Belfast said... [reply]

I bought the same piece of luggage for Ireland--only I didn't do any of the research. I just showed up at Costco and looked around and picked. I love it though. When I got home I called my family over to let them see how easily it handles. I hadn't thought of naming it, though. Now my name quest begins.

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