Not Everything Lasts Forever: Chatting About Luggage

Zen-Den travels for work, flying all over the place, using luggage that he’s had for over a decade.

Said luggage, an example of which you see in the photo below, is now held together, much to my amazement, with some lovely medium green patterned duct tape that coordinates with the darker green luggage fabric.

I’ll give it to him, the boy has style.  He did this himself.

Lovely, huh?

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I’ve mentioned to him, as has his assistant, that it’s time to get some new luggage, with snazzy little twirly wheels and lots of outside pockets, but he’ll have nothing to do with that crazy idea.

He prefers, instead, to ignore the fact that time has marched on.

I can’t figure if this is an example of him being practical.  Or of him being ornery.  It could be either.

Or both, I suppose.

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I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but last week 3,000 bags were stranded in the Phoenix Airport after there was a TSA computer glitch.  [Story here.]

Now as fate would have it Zen-Den was in Phoenix, where the piece of luggage featured in the above photos was going through the system.  But did the TSA and/or United Airlines manage to lose his ratty old bag?

HELL NO!

Zen-Den’s bag made it through the system without a problem.

Which only adds credence to his stubborn belief that there’s nothing wrong with his dilapidated, scuffed-up luggage– that according to him, clearly has good travel karma.

As evidenced by the fact that his bag, when the opportunity presented itself, didn’t get lost in the system.

Dagnabbit.

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Creative. Humorous. Adaptable. Happy enough. Looking for the crumb of truth in the cookie of life.

45 thoughts on “Not Everything Lasts Forever: Chatting About Luggage”

  1. It’s a guy thing. I rarely travel these days but even when I did, I upgraded my luggage every couple of years. I went from the hand carry stuff to the wheels with a strap, wheels with a pull out handle to the swirly wheels. My husband has upgraded once in 20 years to the swirly wheels.

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    1. Kate, I think you’re right. There must be some sort of reverse prestige associated with having the most worn out luggage around. Perhaps they get extra points on their Man Card for keeping the old stuff? I dunno. 0.o

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  2. I’m sure the tape makes it easier to find his bag, like the masculine version of colorful ribbon. (This is all I can say about it, really.)

    I bought some luggage in 2007 and it looks brand new, having only taken 5 trips. But! I do still have my very first suitcase, brown leather Invicta, think it’s from the 70’s. It only ever travels by car.

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    1. joey, I think you’re right, the tape is an identifying feature. If your luggage is in good shape, then it doesn’t matter how old it is, imho. And your brown leather suitcase sounds wonderful, retro. How cool.

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  3. Don’t argue with success and tempt fate. More tape! Get crafty…and make it easier to spot your bag (Less likely to get stolen as obviously not belonging to a fancy rich person?)
    We were given hand-me-down set of expensive at the time suede leather luggage by father-in-law, but it’s so darn heavy we’ve never used it. And it’s expensive so it sits in the closet. I’m beginning to think that’s why we ended up with it as father-in-law didn’t know what to do with it either. Is it fated to become a family relic that goes through generations – each afraid to get rid of it, but wondering why it’s still here? Or maybe it the revenge curse by some cow for all steaks eaten.
    It takes up so much room. It’s gorgeous. It’s still here.

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    1. philmouse, you make a good case for hanging onto the luggage we have already. Heaven knows no one could sneak off unnoticed with Z-D’s current luggage! Suede luggage would be much too cumbersome to use. I can see why it’s in the closet. Perhaps this particular luggage set is a collectors’ item and someday it’ll be worth a mint! You can only hope.

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  4. It’s kind of hard to argue with logic like that. Good travel karma isn’t something that should be messed with indiscriminately.

    Unfortunately, I can relate to this. Husband has a travel bag that he’s been using for upwards of 35 years. It kills me every time he drags it out. I would gift him a new one for his birthday, or Christmas, or whatever …. if only I could find something that I suspect would meet his (undefined) standards.

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    1. joanne, I admit that there’s lots of goodness in Z-D’s current luggage, but at some point that tape isn’t going to hold. And then what?! I wish you luck with your husband’s 35 year old travel bag. Don’t know how you’re going to get him to move on after a relationship that long & rewarding.

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      1. What happens when the tape doesn’t hold? MORE TAPE, of course. But hey, new luggage will be fine – and I look forward to the post talking about how THAT search went.

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    1. Gulara, that’s funny. I’m guessing that as your son grows older he’ll develop a fondness for damaged luggage, following in the footsteps of seemingly all adult males. So weird, huh?

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    1. nrhatch, yes his luggage is unique and apparently knows how to weave its way through an airport to return to him. I like it, of course– but how much longer is that tape going to hold it together? That’s the question!

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  5. I covet those swirly twirly wheeled suitcases. I’d get rid of a perfectly good bag to get one of those. One nice thing about ZDs bag is that it’s easy to spot at baggage pick up. It stands out. I may go buy some patterned duct tape for my luggage.

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    1. J, I’d like to have some of those twirly-wheeled pieces of luggage, too. But I travel infrequently, so I make do with what I’ve got. The duct tape isn’t all bad, especially color-coordinated like this. If you snazzy-up your luggage with duct tape, let me know how it goes!

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  6. Luggage is ridiculously expensive. I’m with ZD; keep it until it falls apart. I’ve had the same small black carryon for ages. I’ve “enhanced” mine with cow-patterned stick-on fabric so that I can always spot it if I ever have to check it.

    Around here, we have the headquarters of Manco Duck Tape (as it is now known), and every year they sponsor a contest for highschool kids to create their prom fashions out of duct tape. It’s incredible how they make entire gowns and tuxes out of the stuff.

    I think ZD should keep adding tape until his entire suitcase is merely that–just duct tape! That will be one tough carryon.

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    1. nance, you said it about the price of luggage. What he has now is from LL Bean and it’s held up very, very well. You’re onto something with the idea of adding duct tape to what he’s got until it’s a whole new bag.

      I bet that the high school kids make some amazing things with duct tape. What fun to have that going on around you.

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  7. That’s like me and my dishwasher. I can’t replace it until it breaks down for good, but somehow or another the hubby keeps managing to repair it. Sigh…

    While I certainly hate to sound as if I am siding with ZD on this, on the positive side that snazzy tape does make it so much easier to identify the bag as it comes around the baggage claim belt. If I had it, I might put it on the bag even if the bag was still in good condition.

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    1. Allie P, I can understand Z-D’s logic about his luggage: why replace something that is fixable? [Rather like your dishwasher scenario.] But one of these days that duct tape is going to give way, and his clothes are going to end up everywhere in the airport. Of course, maybe more duct tape would fix the problem…

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  8. Well, at least I did not use classic silver duct tape – THAT would have been muy macho. And funny, I think, that most guys would consider me “girly” for having used the pretty tape instead.

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    1. Z-D, yes, your use of the patterned tape shows a stylishness that might be considered “girly” by the lesser evolved of your gender. I, however, am pleased that you were creative, and didn’t use that ugly silver duct tape. That would be awful.

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  9. My grandparents (prolific world travellers) decorated their suitcases with these giant daisy decal-stickers. Ugly as heck — but that luggage never got lost or picked up by someone else by accident!

    They’d heartily approve of Zen-Den’s duct tape, on purely pragmatic grounds.

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    1. Barbed Words, I suspect that is what’s going to happen with Zen-Den’s luggage. He’s fond of it, and has no fear of losing his unmentionables in an airport. *sigh*

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