The good thing about having a chunk of your suitcase go missing at Pearson International Airport is that it gets replaced in a matter of minutes at this little spot on Dundas Street off the 427. You get a choice: same size, lower quality or small size, excellent quality.
I am now the proud owner of a tiny Swiss carry-on that looks like it belongs in Star Wars. And for luggage of the same size, I replaced it with a Samsonite beauty. I want to keep these suitcases for a long long long while and so I am plotting ways to protect them from the wear and tear of travel.
I was thinking of getting those clear protectors you would put on the bottom of your chair or table to protect the floor and placing them all over. Or getting a version of the Italian/West-Indian mother couch in a plastic cover sort of thing (that make your legs sweat and it makes crinkly noises), made expressly for suitcases.
I tell this to my friend who shakes her head.
But suitcases are meant to protect your things. Why do you want to protect your suitcase?
Well because I want them to last.
No, more like 15.
She shakes her head again. It's a suitcase! You can get a new one in 5 years. They are meant to get scratched.
A few years ago, I might have agreed with her. But I find myself more and more resisting the maddening and addictive consumption culture (carry my own coffee mug, still use my cracked phone, love thrift stores). I've also learned the value of holding on to things from my love. I cannot believe that François still has a necklace with a bite mark from when he was a baby. He keeps things forever. Yes like - Outkast - forever ever.
This is not so good when it comes to his horrible oversized overcoat that would make Columbo's look fashion forward. Not that I haven't thought about it, but I know he'd kill me if, let's say, I "misplaced" it. By accident. Like in a bag. Left purely by chance at the Red Cross.
But I can see that taking care and holding on dearly to what is precious is a good trait in a husband. I like to think it means he is not likely to upgrade me for the latest model when I begin to show some wears and tears.
In 15 years, we will both be shaped and scratched up a bit by life. But hopefully not our suitcases (affectionately named Brown Sugar and Geyser Söze) . Even though they will join us on the journey, my hope is that they will hold up well, as protected as can be, and well-loved.