19 July 2010

Packing List

I was in the ladies' line behind a girl of maybe seventeen and we were getting our bags scanned for the umpteenth time. I had my backpack, a stroller, a carseat, and a very cute miniature human being with me. The girl of seventeen had one purse that looked like a stuffed dog. It was a real bag, with a strap and and space to put stuff inside. But it looked like a stuffed dog. She lightly lifted her purse to the scanner belt and I heaved mine up after hers. When the stuffed-dog-purse came out the security lady pulled it aside and started looking inside. I could tell that she had seen something that looked suspicious on the scanner. The first thing she pulled out of the stuffed-dog-purse was a stuffed rabbit. A well-loved, good-sized stuffed rabbit. I tried to downsize my reaction to the stuffed bunny coming out of the stuffed-dog-purse.

The second thing to come out was a stapler. A stapler.


Now it was harder to downsize my reaction. But I tried. I tried hard (and I think I succeeded, although sometimes my face does things without my permission).

Anyway this was no travel stapler that one might pack for paperwork that may need to be done on an airplane leaving Africa in the middle of the night. (?)

It was a heavy-duty, full sized metal stapler. With some gold bangle bracelets caught all up in it.

Um, yeah. Confiscated. That didn't make it on the plane.

So here we have...

Seventeen year old girls packing list:
1. stuffed-dog-purse
2. stuffed rabbit
3. gold bangle bracelets
4. heavy-duty stapler

check, check, check and check.

And now that I think about it, I think I envy her a bit. She obviously doesn't require much. All she required to be ready to travel was to stuff her favorite lovie in her favorite purse.

She didn't have to pack a million diapers, two million wipes, pacifiers, a magazine, lotion in case the plane air felt too dry, four changes of clothes in case a child becomes sick and pukes on the whole family (true story), sippie cups, iPod, camera, toddler activities, more toddler activities in case toddler doesn't like the first activities, snacks, more snacks in case the toddler doesn't like the first snacks, sweatshirts for the whole family in case the air on the plane felt too cold, etc.

She didn't pack any of that.

She required so little. And although I have NEVER in my life required THAT little when traveling... (Except the one time I was surprised with a plane trip and didn't have a chance to pack anything!) ...I liked that she required that little.

Maybe she had never flown and didn't know that the air on an airplane can be dry or cold. And maybe she didn't care if she had anything to read or listen to if she were bored and couldn't sleep. And maybe she didn't expect that she may get hungry.

She was just getting on an airplane. And all she needed was her stuffed bunny.

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