My travel went smoothly. I got to keep my knitting and wasn’t singled out for any special attention, I didn’t get lost, and — as I had anticipated — the air is vertical to the part of my brain that is in charge of stupid phobic reactions, so I enjoyed flying.
One little thing happened. As I boarded the plane with my carry on bag, it was taken away from me and put on a “valet” shelf. A cart like a restaurant cart with the word “valet” on it. This was done in the chute (they always make me think of the chutes at slaughter houses) from the airport to the plane. When I arrived in Dallas, I asked whether I needed to get my bag and was assured that it would go on to my destination.
It didn’t. It is in Dallas. I am not.
I don’t really care. I’m near L.A., and not only are they well supplied with toothbrushes here, my hostess even knows of a good lingerie shop, and we now have an excuse to go shopping there. She loaned me a T-shirt to sleep in, and the carry on bag really only contained clothing and make up. I was also carrying a lap top bag in which I have #2 son’s laptop, my Kindle, my Blackberry, my billfold, my knitting, and my organizer.
At the airport, though, after we spent half an hour waiting for my bag to come around on the carousel, there was a difference of opinion over whose fault this mishap was.
“How did you think they were going to send the bag on?” the first person I asked said, with a clear implication that I was stupid.
“They looked at my ticket and put something on the bag,” I explained pleasantly, and the first person sent me on to another.
He also thought I was stupid, and gave me an 800 number to call. The special 800 number, I think, for stupid people. The woman on the other end of that number listened to my story and asked whether I had put a label on my bag.
“No,” I answered, confirming her in her believe that I was stupid. “I wasn’t expecting to have it taken away from me.”
She then asked me for a description, and what was in it.
“Clothing,” I began, and she broke in.
“Ma’am, everybody packs clothing.”
I wish I could express the degree of weariness in her voice.
Fortunately, I had also packed a not-yet-published book. They found my bag while I was still on the phone with this woman.
“They found it,” she said with no discernible enthusiasm. “Pink tennis shoes?”
I allowed as how it did contain pink tennis shoes. She said they’d send it on to where I’m staying, and accepted my thanks.
The moral of the story, it seems to me, is that you should always pack unusual things in your carry on bag, just in case.
“Or,” said my hostess when I expressed this view, “put your name on it.”