Recently on my way home from New York, I was cursing myself for oversleeping and getting a late start to the airport. I'm a procrastinator and hate mornings- a bad combination for early departures. When I arrived at the airport, I raced down the walkway, rolling my suitcase, and landed in the skycap line out of breath.
"You're overweight" said the skycap.
"Jesus. Well, good morning to you, too," I said, shrugged my shoulders, and mouthed a "What the fu-?" to the guy behind me.
"Ma'am," the skycap continued "you've got excess baggage."
"Seriously?" I asked. "Is it that obvious I'm marginally, or maybe somewhat f*cked up just from looking at me? You can eyeball me in an instant and know I've got issues without any knowledge of my parents' divorce, my test anxiety, a bullying ex-husband, and my I've-just-about-had-enough-of-happily-married-couples? Are my fears and resentments really that palpable?"
"Lady, you have multiple bags and they each need to weigh less than 50 pounds. This first bag is tipping the scale at 102 pounds."
"Oh," I responded, "Yeah, that one is filled with resentments. It's actually lightened up quite a bit in the last year, but I've got a way to go."
Whatever, lady, your baggage is clearly over the limit. You wanna take a moment and remove some of the excess?"
"Oh, I see. So let me get this right," I said. "On this cold, windy morning, you want me to get down on my knees on the rough ground in my brand new $27 Donna Karan tights, bend over, despite a line of nine businessmen behind me, unzip my suitcass, reveal my unconventional packing methods to the world, risk the possibility of my unmentionables catching a gust of wind, at which time I would have to chase my Hanky Panky stretch lace panties into oncoming traffic where I'd likely be hit by a bus full of South Koreans fresh off the plane for a great exchange rate vacation in America. Yeah... No, I don't think so."
"Ma'am," he said, "you've got too much baggage. You've got to deal with it."
"Right here and now, on the curb at LaGuardia, you want me to deal with my excess baggage? Really? And just how do you suggest I magically deal with it? Do you have a leather couch beyond that conveyor belt? Can you just deduct years of emotional abuse from my Sky Miles account? I've made a lot of progress post-divorce, but 45 years of baggage, that's gonna more time than a layover in Detroit."
"Ma'am, we try to keep this drop area a drama-free zone, see the sign over there? You look resourceful, I'm sure you can find a way to reduce your excess baggage."
I continued my rant, "I've got an entire bag filled with resentments. Another is cholk-full of divorce lawyer and therapy bills. You think I can just stuff the excess baggage into another bag to lug around? Or, worse, convince a sweet, lonely man to take these things off my hands for a while?"
"Um," piped up the guy behind me in line, "I don't mean to be rude, but I can't take on her excess baggage. I'm on my second mortgage, third wife and my son was expelled from another school last week. I've hit capacity."
"I guess you're stuck with it" said the skycap. "I'm gonna have to charge you $135."
"I'm good with that," I said, "Those carry-on types are total bores. You see, that fourth bag is my bucket list. I'm headed to all kinds of unknown destinations on the next leg of my journey. I can't wait to see what happens next as I continue to get stronger, more confident and adept at leaving the past behind."