Upon my return from my last jaunt to sunny Florida I noticed signs of wear on my suitcase, which has served me for twenty or more years. Mine is a small soft sided tote from Land’s End. It’s of the size most people would call an overnight bag though it has served me for weeks or even months at a time without issue. It is showing signs of wear and fraying and it will not last through many more trips. I do have a backup – a huge, modern rolling shipping container of a case by American Tourister. That one will almost hold everything I own but it is so large and unwieldy that I rarely if ever use it (see below). I travel light therefore I like smaller bags.
Whilst I perused the Nordstrom website for bargain suits I decided to glance at their luggage selection. I was aghast at what I found. Every single one of their dozens of suitcases has wheels. All of them. (I also noticed many, many “men’s” handbags and purses…….ahem…). I despise wheeled luggage, especially for use by men. One sees them everywhere nowadays. Hoards of poorly dressed, overweight saps lumber through our airports pulling these ugly contraptions. Hotel lobbies are clogged with them. Not only are all of these models ugly, they are huge. Even school children roll their backpacks around on wheels (defeats the point of a backpack). They’ve invaded malls, interstate rest areas, and the workplace. People even roll duffel bags into the gym in acts of self-defeating laziness.
I sought refuge at the Samsonite webpage. There my worst fears were realized. The industry apparently no longer make traditional non-wheeled suitcases! Even the “carry on” bags have wheels and they have “carry” in their name!
I have this crazy theory that if it is so heavy that it needs to be rolled, then one probably could do without it. It’s a suitcase not a box off a cargo ship. No forklift should be required to move it. No man should ever have to roll his suitcase. A woman, perhaps, but not a man. A man should pick his case up by the handle and carry it – like a man. If they happen to travel together the man will invariably carry his bag in one hand while rolling the woman’s with the other.
You know the drill. A man carries his one suitcase on a trip – regardless of destination or duration. A woman carries (has the man carry) her suitcase, another suitcase, a third suitcase, a garment bag, a makeup bag, a cooler, a tote, a backpack (always open), her purse, a backup purse, several loose plastic grocery bags full of unidentifiable material, some trendy novel, and umbrella, a pack of cookies, a teddy bear, two pillows, and a quilt. Frequently, upon packing the car with all that feminine stuff, a man discovers there is no room left inside the car for him.
The luggage industry, like so many others, seems now to cater to a 100% clientele of women, children, and metrosexuals/gays. There’s nothing wrong with that per se, except that we men are left outside the bag check stand entirely. I don’t want and will not use an Ironman elementary school backpack nor a 400 pound pink box mounted on tractor tires. My dad, rest his soul, carried (picked up off the ground by the damn handle) a manly man’s suitcase. It was hard sided, bland, simple, and functional. That’s what I want.
My parents had a Samsonite set like this in the 1970s. Dad’s was the big one. No wheels anywhere.
This thing needs a “wide load” escort truck with flashing lights and flags.
Now my problem is compounded. I need a new suitcase in a world where there are none left from which to choose. Must I search Craigslist, second-hand shops, or yard sales for ancient relics of the lost luggage age? Looks like it. That, or use duct tape on my old Land’s End bag.
As the years roll by and as society crumbles I notice problems like this are growing. In stores like Nordstrom it is getting difficult to find clothes that are not the uniforms of rappers, hipsters, walruses, or little boys. I’d like a plain blue t-shirt – nothing about NASCAR, thug life, or Batman (cool as his is). It’s becoming harder to smoke a cigar outdoors – or even in a cigar shop. Many “cigar” stores are merely discount cigarette outlets or hookah lounges for tattooed, low-rent felons. Have you seen a modern automobile?
My SUV, a gift from my divorce, is getting on in age. It runs fine and serves me well but I have slowly began to plan for its replacement. This experience has been worse than the luggage debacle. Every single car, truck or SUV made by all manufactures all look exactly alike and have the exact same features. They are (with the unaffordable exceptions of the exotic supercars) small, ugly, under-powered, “safety” riddled, and filled with beeping, flashing, talking electronic garbage from a bad sci-fi nightmare. I do not require a backup camera, lane watch mechanisms, auto steering, radar cruise control, crash avoidance, heated seats, a bitchy voice telling me to buckle up, self-parking modes, tracking systems, a black box, Facebook, Bluetooth, chirping birds, or even airbags. Just give me a cup holder and a helluva lot of horsepower, please.
It looks like I will be settling for a 1975 F250 Ranger Hi-boy 4×4 with a carbureted 460. That, or a reconditioned AM General M939. Either of these will have the torque to pull any modern,wheeled suitcase monstrosity. One solution solves another.