I’ve just come back from Oakland, California, and am sad because I think I must retire my beloved skull suitcase. I first got this piece of luggage as part of a set for my golden birthday from my friend Susan. She gave me two pieces of top-of-the-line luggage in anticipation of my trip to France.
I traveled to France with my younger sister Karla and assigned her the smaller bag, so I could have the larger bag to fill with all my souvenirs. Karla is a packrat extraordinaire, easily surpassing her sisters with the ability to pack an amazing amount of crap into a small space. While in France, she bought a ton of French books to help her with her language skills, and when we got back to New York and unpacked, she was pulling Stephen King paperbacks from secret places that I did not know existed in the bag. Unfortunately, the suitcase handle got bent during that trip, and it is very tricky to open and close since then.
The small suitcase has become my bag of choice when traveling anywhere for a week-long or shorter stay. Unfortunately, it is small and black with roller wheels, and the bag of choice for many. Everybody distinguishes their black bags nowadays with curling ribbon, and to be a little different, my sister Kristi tied a piece of zebra-striped fabric to the handle of my suitcase so we could more easily identify it. We could find the bag just fine on the luggage conveyer belt, but people would still pick it up anyway, thinking it was theirs. This annoyed me–I am very possessive of my things and don’t like anybody touching them.
Kristi solved this problem by stenciling a skull on the front and back of my bag. I love it. Whenever the suitcase plops down onto the luggage wheel, I can spot it from a mile away. The kids love it, too–they’ll see it come down the line and point it out, saying, “Look, Dad, a skull!” The parents avert their eyes, not wanting to acknowledge the bag, and nobody ever, ever touches my luggage now.
This last trip to California, I fully extended the handle so I could more easily manipulate the bag while playing frogger through traffic in Oakland. Since then, I cannot get the handle to fold all the way down. My friend Sarah, a Ms. Fix-It like Kristi, tried and tried to repair the handle, but alas, she could not.
I have not given up all hope, but the future does not look bright for my skull bag.