This is what I wrote to some friends last year after I returned from this conference:
When Your Baggage Is Held Hostage...
...or at least when it seems like it. I'm back from New York City, but my luggage isn't. It apparently ran away from me while I was in the Big Apple, because when the United plane touched down, my luggage wasn't on it.
Yes, my big momma of a luggage bag decided to take a side trip to North Carolina where a passenger picked it up at the baggage claim, took it home, opened it up and said, "This isn't my luggage!" when he saw my panties, stockings, wedgies, and bras. You'd think he'd check before he left the airport, but no!
Anyhow his wife called me 9 p.m., and asked if I had her husband's luggage. I don't.
I've talked to United, but I keep getting the same guy who cannot speak English nor can he seem to get my luggage back to Chicago. Is there someone in public relations I can talk to at United? When I call Man with My Luggage, he hangs up on me. Is he holding my suitcase hostage because he doesn't have his?
So I called the cops in this guy's town. Now I'm waiting for a call back from a police officer....which probably means I won't be getting my luggage back today. Sigh. I'm not sure when I'll see my Bebe platforms, BCBG wedgies and Victoria's Secret undies again, but I really want my make up and other personal hygiene stuff so I don't look scary when I walk outside.
My friends were quite interested in my plight. No one wanted to know about the great place I went to in New York for my French manicure. Just what happened to me my stuff.
This is what I said:
I called the King., N.C. police. Since this wasn't exactly a 911 call in their eyes (don't they know how important it is to have your foundation? I played up the missing meds angle...even though it's only topical ointment for my zits...but that still didn't get their attention.) So seemingly hours later a nice lady, Robin, called me back. I told her my sob story, made it sound like I might die Very Soon without my prescriptions. "Can't you call your doctor and get another prescription?" she asked. "Aah...I could," I told her. I gave her the contact information for the Man With My Luggage. Since he had a foreign last name, she asked how his English was. Not very good, considering he hung up on me last time I called! But then again even people with perfect accents can accidentally end telephone conversation with a touch of a certain button.
So Robin calls me back a little while later to give me the bad news: your luggage will not be coming home tonight (That was Tuesday). The good news? United would be picking it up tomorrow (Wednesday).
So United called me first thing Tuesday to let me know that my darling suitcase would be home sometime that day. I gave them my home number, my cell phone, and I would have given them a homing pigeon but that didn't seem necessary. I didn't want to venture far yesterday because who knew when My Stuff would return? The day seemed long as I watched the clock on my computer, 1, 2, 3, 4 p.m. the day couldn't go fast enough. When, oh, when would United call? I figured I'd make some short quick trips. I went to my mother's for dinner...and wouldn't you know it United called during my return? (good things always happen when my stomach is full) I didn't catch the call quick enough on my cell, but the first words out of my mouth when they answered the phone was, "This is Mary Beth. When are you coming by with my luggage?" It seemed like a half-hour before I was transferred to another Nice Woman who told me that I would see my rollie bag in two hours. I was ready to dance on the top of the car. I didn't exactly speed home at that point though. Long story super short, United buzzed while I was updating my blog. A slightly pudgy guy lugged my 35-pound case up two flight of stairs. I was sooo thrilled to see my luggage, I tipped the guy $2! I shouldn't be tipping the air carrier that let my undies, make-up and other things to another part of the Planet for two entire days without me! But I did.
Wouldn't you know it but the two ribbons - one blue, the other white - tied onto the handle were missing? I'm calling United now.
End of story. I What I didn't mention in my missive was that the above skirt was in that piece of luggage. So it's been to some parts of the continent that I haven't even touched. At least I have it back. I don't wear it a whole lot because it is fitted. It starts as a small at the bottom, blossoms mid-way to accommodate my hip then tapers for the waist. I feel quite self-conscious in it because it accentuates my bottom (perhaps smarter?) half.
Anyhow, this year the skirt stays home. And the luggage? No more ribbons. I'm painting that baby with nail polish, so no man in his wrong mind would bring it home with him. What do you do keep your personal belongings from running astray while you're traveling?