I’m not a great packer. I start out with the best intentions and before I know it, I have packed for every possible occasion including being stranded on an iceberg and meeting the Queen. Since neither of these two things have ever happened, you would think I would have learned to back more conservatively. But I have not. And so when I was packing my bag for my anniversary vacation with my husband and I couldn’t even get the darn thing closed, I suspected I might have overpacked. The problem was, I needed to include clothes for two different temperate zones, four semi-dressy occasions and my husband’s hiking boots that he forgot to pack when he went ahead of me for business two days before.
However, I am nothing if not optimistic, and I figured, if I can zip it, it’s probably OK.
True, both of my kids and I all had to sit on the mammoth suitcase to zipper it closed.
And it did actually take all three of us to lift it off the bed and get it onto the floor.
And it did, in fact, leave a small dent in the wood floor when I lost my grip and dropped it down the stairs.
But I was still surprised when the check-in guy at the airport told me my bag was twelve pounds over the luggage weight limit.
“Are you telling me that you can’t board my sixty-two pound suitcase, but if I, myself, weighed two hundred and fifty pounds, that wouldn’t be a problem,” I asked him.
“If you can fit in the seat, you can ride on the plane,” he answered indifferently.
I glared at him.
“OK, fine. What can I do to fix this,” I asked.
“You can take some clothes out of the suitcase,” he said.
No, really? “And put them where,” I wondered.
“Any other options?”
“The weight limit in first class is seventy-two pounds,” he told me.
I raised my eyebrows. “And how much is it to upgrade to first class?”
“Seven hundred and fifty dollars… one way.”
My eyebrows went up to my hairline. “OK, that’s not going to happen. Anything else?” I looked behind me and saw the long check in line getting longer and the other passengers growing more impatient. I thought if I didn’t wrap this up soon, someone was going to throw ME on the luggage belt. Not that I would get that far because I’m sure I exceeded the weight limit.
“You can pay a $25 fee,” he added.
“Why didn’t you tell me that in the first place,” I asked him indignantly.
He shrugged. “You didn’t ask.”
I glared. He looked bored. Finally, I ponied up the money and dumped the bag back on the scale. At this point, I thought a better thing to do would be to accidentally drop my overweight bag on the guy’s foot, but I was pretty sure if I started up with him, my suitcase would somehow be re-routed to Bangladesh.
Once I got passed the luggage check-in, the rest of my traveling went without incident.
Still, when I arrived at my destination six hours, two snoring seat mates, and one lousy plane meal later, I breathed a sigh of relief to see my husband waiting for me at the baggage claim.
“Which is your bag?” he asked, perusing the conveyor belt.
“That one,” I said, pointing to the black behemoth moving toward us.
He reached down and grabbed the handle, but was forced to follow the moving suitcase for a good ten feet while he struggled to hoist it off the belt. Finally, with a grunt, he catapulted it onto the floor.
“Oh my god,” he exhaled. “Why is this so heavy?”
I shrugged. “Must be your hiking boots.”