Lost: Luggage & Memory, last seen in Aspen

suitcaseOur stuff did not want to come home with us.

We were halfway to the Aspen airport (which is only 15 minutes out of town, so don’t feel too sorry for us) when Siig realized he had left his and Kaiden’s swim shorts drying by the pool. Siig only remembered this because I asked him if he had his wallet. For those of you unfamiliar with Siig, let’s just say he does not have the best memory (and no, he did not inhale on this trip), so I often try to remember things for him, but my over-taxed memory can only handle so much. We had the taxi turn around and go back to the hotel. After retrieving the forgotten goods, no sooner had Siig climbed back into the taxi and we pulled away from the curb then he shouted: “Stop. Go back.”

Without a word, he climbed back out of the taxi, walked back into the hotel, and came out with the kids’ floaties. “Yeah, that’s right, I forgot that I had forgotten these,” and gave me a look as if to say, “Please spare me the usual sarcastic remark.”

So I bit my tongue. What I was planning on saying was something like, “Did you leave your brain by the pool, too?” but I think he’s heard that one before. Instead, I just grinned and said, “That’s OK, honey. You’re on vacation.”

So a half-hour and $20 extra dollars later we were at the Aspen airport, unloaded all our stuff and got in line to check-in at the counter when I realized we were missing something.

“Siig, where’s the hat box?” I asked, referring to the brand-new, $300 Stetson cowboy hat I had just bought him for a belated birthday present.

“Ummm, that would be still in the taxi,” he said.

Fortunately, we had the taxi driver’s business card so I put in a call and 5 minutes later the driver was back at the airport with the hat box AND Kaiden’s backpack full of priceless toys that we had both totally forgotten about as well. The taxi driver looked at us like, “Man, you people are crazy,” and I thought he was going to ask for his card back, but he didn’t.

Siig looked at me with this look of fear on his face because he always gets concerned when I start forgetting things because he knows that if I lose my memory too our whole family is doomed. The kids won’t go to school, their lunches won’t get packed, no birthday parties will be thrown, no bills paid on time, because my memory functions as the entire memory for the family so if that goes, so goes our future. He tries not to think about the months following the births of each of our children because I had major baby brain and could barely find the car keys let alone remember to pay our mortgage.

“Take a deep breath,” I tell him. “It will all be OK.”

But still, our luggage did not want to come home. It wanted to stay on vacation. Can you blame it, really?

Our flight out of Aspen was delayed so when we landed in Denver we only had about 20 minutes to catch our next flight. Since we landed in Terminal A, and our next flight was out of Terminal B, we had a major sprint ahead of us. I have never seen Siig run so fast or maneuver the stroller so deftly through crowds of people, some of whom got out of his way like the Red Sea must have parted for Moses. Panting and sweating, the kids yelling for MORE, we arrived just in the nick of time at our gate.

Our bags, on the other hand, did not.

This really wouldn’t matter so much if I hadn’t packed my bottle of Ambien, or should I call it Desperately Needed Sleep Assurance, in my suitcase. The airlines officials promised us our luggage would be delivered to our house by 1 a.m. Just in time for my middle-of-the-night wake up, I thought to myself, I should be fine.

I didn’t wake up at 1 a.m. I woke up at 3 a.m. By 4 a.m., I couldn’t take it any longer and ran upstairs to the front door and looked outside. No luggage. Fuck. I’m totally fucked. I try my old stand-by, Melatonin, but that’s a lot like expecting to get buzzed from a can of Bud Light after your used to drinking straight Vodka. In other words, no go.

Still awake when Siig got up at 5:30 a.m. I asked him to please, please bring the suitcase down if it was there. Ten minutes later, I couldn’t believe it, I heard him coming down the stairs with the bag thudding behind him. Rejoice! There is a God! I threw open my bag, practically hug my bottle of Ambien, pop a quarter of a pill, and was in a blissful asleep before 6 am.

It’s obvious our brains and our luggage wanted to stay in Aspen. I only wish my sleeping habits felt the same.

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