Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Life and Times of Patricia, the Cheap Old Bag Part I

I bought Patricia last year for sixty dollars, which I recouped when Lufthansa poked a hole in her on her virgin voyage. Some folks would toss the bag and buy and sturdier, more stylish case; I taped that baby up and gloated to friends, “She might be ugly, but she’s paid for.”

She? Patricia . . . my suitcase. I name all my suitcases.

Last Christmas, when Patricia failed to arrive with me in Washington, I didn’t blink. She’d arrive a few hours later—I was sure of that.

Ten days later, when Patricia was finally on her way to Nashville, I was finally on my way back to Munich.

“I had to wash all the clothes in the suitcase,” my mother said on the phone from Nashville. “It looks like someone left the case out in the rain or the snow.”

The thought of Patricia alone for days on end in the snow was troubling, but then perhaps I was taking this cute personification too far. Still, I was angry at United Airlines for mistreating my case. She was pretty ugly and cheap. Maybe Patricia had been a victim of brandism. If she had been a Louis Vuitton would she have been so neglected? I don’t think so.

A month later I returned to Nashville, at which time I retrieved Pat, retaped her and filled her with the usual US goods I take back to Germany: family-size Listerine, family-size body lotion, family-size alcohol-free toner, etc. I do not have a family.

“Aren’t you worried that all that liquid will spill in that suitcase? It’s so flimsy,” my father said.

“Why is everyone dissing Patricia? She’s perfectly fine,” I said as I wrapped her in duct tape.

Stocked up on American-size products, I gently placed Pat in the back of the truck and we took off for the airport. This time I was flying US Air (not Lufthansa or United), so I just knew Pat would be in better hands.

Next week, I’ll wrap this tale up, but right now . . .

I must be off,