Believe me when I tell you, I will NEVER lend another suitcase to anyone as long as I live.
.........now that that's out of the way.
The saga begins 11 years ago when I'd first moved to the US. The summer of 2002 was fraught with anticipation as after 20 years living in Trinidad, I was moving away. That anticipation was tempered a bit when I'd started packing bags. I'm not entirely sure who to blame for this, perhaps bwee baggage handlers, but let's just say that after years of travelling, my hand-me-down suitcases had long since seen their better days.
Putting it lightly, I boldly set foot in the US brandishing a pair of suitcases that looked like they'd survived Vietnam.....barely. Needless to say, I tossed the offensive things the instant I got settled in. Fast forward to the summer of 2004, armed with my first real pay cheque, I purchased a matching 5-piece set of Ricardo Beverly Hills suitcases and travel bags.
No more ugly suitcases, no more rolling behemoths, never again would I be the one at the carousel too embarrassed to acknowledge his own bags.............but I got maybe one good trip in before the dotishness started.
In 2007 my parents came to visit but before I continue, let me explain something. There is this pervasive thought among trinidadians that nothing either made in Trinidad or available for purchase in Trinidad, is of any worth and as such every effort must be made to buy things in the US when possible.
I'm sure you've seen this with visiting relatives when they come to visit; what do they spend their entire trip doing? SHOPPING.......and they shop like there's no tomorrow. And not regular shopping either, they buy everything: Pringles, Snickers, Chex Mix, Planters peanuts, etc. Then they zone out on appliances, stoves, microwaves, refrigerators, etc. You know what else trinbagonians seem to like go crazy for? Underwear. I swear more Hanes leave this country in the bags of islanders than most would care to admit.
So yes, summer of 2007, my parents came to visit and by the end of their trip, had amassed a volume of shopping bags the size of a small hill. Now let's do the math, two adult airline travelers, two checked bags a piece is 4 checked bags; bags that were already filled to capacity when their trip began. So what exactly was the plan for getting all the junk back home?
Precisely........ one my sexy, brand spanking new, Ricardo Beverly Hills suitcases.
The promise to speedily return my beloved traveling bag didn't do much to assuage my concerns but I figured heck, it's my parents right, how bad could it get? They returned it alright, or rather they returned with it the following year on a subsequent trip, and packed it right back up and took it back home with them a second time. By the following year I was beginning to hear "what suitcase?" and was then forced to borrow an ugly, beat up suitcase the next time I traveled. I never saw my beloved traveling bag ever again. I almost lost another bag that a sibling managed to misplace for two years before randomly running into it somewhere.
So guess what, going forward, anyone needing to borrow a suitcase from me, tough shit, I'm not lending any out, find a Walmart.