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 pack more conservatively. But I have not. And so when I was packing my bag for my 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, I can take it. 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 12 pounds over the luggage weight limit.
"You'll have to take some clothes out of the suitcase," he said.
"And put them where," I asked, wondering how many articles of clothing I could wear and still fit into my airplane seat.
"Any other options?" I said.
"The weight limit in first class is 72 pounds," he told me. "You could upgrade."
I raised my eyebrows. "And how much is it to upgrade to first class?"
"$750 … one way."
I choked on my latte.
"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.
"You can pay a $50 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.
"Which is your bag?" my husband asked 6 hours later when I met him at the baggage claim.
"That one," I said, pointing to the black and pink behemoth moving toward us.
He reached down and grabbed the handle, but was forced to follow the moving suitcase for a good 10 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."
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