Stop me if you've seen this one before

by Andrea Mulder-Slater

There was a major crisis at our house this morning. We’re all okay, but are still reeling from the impact.

I’ve since had a chance to regroup and am now able to talk openly about the ordeal.

Here’s what happened…

I couldn’t find my carry-on luggage. My bag was missing. Gone. For an entire hour and a half.

I accused everyone in the house of stealing it.

And then, I found it.

The thing is, we’re about to embark on a trip that we’ve been planning for almost a year. And as a result, I’ve been impossible to live with. You know, more than usual.

Full disclosure. I’m a terrible traveler. Mostly because I’m a wee teensy bit anxious.

Case is point: This is me, in the car, at the beginning of a journey…

“Did we lock the door?” 
“Do I have my wallet?” 
“Is there a roll of paper towels in the car?” 
“Who has the house keys?” 
“Did someone grab that red container I set by the door?” 
“Is it sitting upright in the back?” 

And that’s just a 20 minute trip to the grocery store.

See, I’m a little unclear on the concept of "the voyage". The problem is, instead of “getting away from it all”, I prefer to “take it all with me.”

As a result, packing often involves me digging through my closet and exhuming any and all items I never, ever wear but will inevitably take along because, you know, this is a holiday and nothing says holiday like baby blue corduroy jeans, black velour maternity pants that are really, really comfy and shirts with tiny wooden beads that go click click every time I reach for a coffee.

This is my luggage.

Still, I usually forget to bring underwear.

This past weekend, I was well on my way to filling my checked bag to absolute capacity, when we decided to go to a multi-family yard sale. Because, why wouldn’t we?

Wandering around, I spotted the usual flea market fare: stuffed toys, plastic placemats, yoga tapes and such. Also, three cards from a Busytown Mysteries game, an itchy scarf and a ceramic dish with a picture of a cat hugging a monkey. Which, incidentally, is now inside my daughter’s suitcase.

She’s about as efficient as I am when it comes to packing.

Now, the thing about taking a 4 year old to a yard sale is this. People tend to give kids the crap that’s not selling. And kids love crap. Which is how we ended up with a set of tweezers, a scale model of a New England town and the box from a game of Old Maid.

As I shuffled around, trying to avoid people, I recalled a yard sale we had held prior to our move two years ago. At the time, I was relentless and parted with an absolute abundance of stuff. Some of which I regretted selling.

That’s when I saw it.

A sweater - my sweater – was sitting there, minding its own, for the low, low price of $2.00. It was just $1.75 more than what I had sold it for all those years ago. Mostly because the sweater is pink. And I only ever wear black.

My precious. How I've missed you so.

No sooner had I bought my sweater back than Jan walked up to share with me her $1.00 purchase.

It was a purse. A black purse. The same black purse I had sold 2 years earlier for 25 cents.

I know, right?
We were totally winning the yard sale. (Did I mention our motto is buy high, sell low, buy high again?)

It was then that we decided to quit while we were ahead, but not before someone gave my daughter an unauthorized Miley Cyrus biography.

Apparently, it's what all the 4 year olds are reading.
In keeping with my pattern of lugging completely impractical junk with me on any trip I take, I’m planning to throw it in my purse, to read on the plane. Unless someone stops me. Please, someone stop me?

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got a pink sweater to stuff into my suitcase.

No, really.


All images are mine unless otherwise noted.
Luggage image: DuBose


Whaddya think?