My mother picked through my carryon bag for something to wear. We were on a family trip to Orlando, and United Airlines had lost my parents’ checked bags.
My brother and I had packed all our clothes in our carryon luggage. My parents could have done that too, of course, but they checked in two suitcases because they felt compelled to bring a week’s supply of food with them. Restaurants are expensive, you know.
My father couldn’t fit into my 12-year-old brother’s clothes, so he took to washing his underpants in the motel room sink every night. In case you’re wondering why my parents didn’t just buy themselves some new clothes, it’s because they’re Asian.
I don’t blame the airlines for sucking at luggage. They have a tough job. And their employees are unionized.
My 50-year-old mother refused to wear any of the halter tops that I brought for the trip. I didn’t see why it was such a big deal. She was already wearing my clean underwear and we were well past the point of propriety.
Finally, she pulled out a t-shirt that I had intended to use as a sleep shirt.
“I’ll wear this one,” she said.
It was a red shirt with the words “Ok, but wash it first” printed across the front. I had made it in my college screenprinting class.
“What does it mean?” she asked. My mother’s English isn’t very good.
“Ah, it’s a warning about eating raw fruit and vegetables,” I explained. “You know, because there was a salmonella outbreak and stuff.”
Then we all went to Walt Disney World. The airline found my parents’ bags just in time for us to pick them up at the airport on our flight back.
Don’t give your bags to an airline employee. Use Peer-to-Peer Postal.