Ed note: I pulled this from the archives while I was looking through old files. This was written before 50/50 was even an idea, before the guy with the pony broke up with me, before anything on this blog was even thought to exist. Which is endlessly fascinating to me. Anyway, this piece was strangely relevant to this blog, so…here it is.
Look, we’re almost thirty; in fact, some of our friends are over thirty. And look, we’re single. I mean, you and I are. Or maybe we’re not because we are definitely spending a lot of intimate time together and we used to just spend mildly close time together and before that I didn’t even know you existed. Either way, we’re two people, unmarried, and we’re almost thirty. And that means something: it means we have baggage.
You’ve got that rolly-suitcase with a nice handle that looks like it belongs on Battlestar Galactica for Commander Adama to tote about his personal affects. Tidy, trim, almost sleek and functional on the exterior; inside there are scarves and mismatched socks and boxers with holes in them and even Travel Scrabble but it’s missing all the vowels. Your name is neatly printed on the “If lost, please contact…” card in someone else’s handwriting because yours is a bit scraggly like textual aesthetics were lost on you after cursive stopped being required.
Me? I’m lugging about this carpet bag that reminds of Mary Poppins except there’s no magic measuring tape telling me that I’m “Pleasingly perfect in every way.” I can never find what I’m looking for in the damn thing, and half the time I don’t know why I stuck my hand inside in the first place. If only coatracks and lamps came tumbling out when I turned it upside down. Instead, everything stays nearly glued to the bottom, and struggling I’ll yank and twist and torque until pieces come out bit by bit.
Everyone we know is bogged down to some degree or another. It’s like we never learned to de-cumulate after college and we keep packing, unpacking, repacking with more. Naturally, baggage isn’t natural. So while we may have a strong connection and there is chemistry that would make science professions want to show us off as examples in their lectures, we have an amalgamation of items (some of which hate to be disturbed because they fit just-so) we are responsible for attempting to intertwine so it creates a braid and not just chaotic disarray.
But look. You can take your baggage and my baggage and try to smush them together and make sense of them. You can pick them apart and throw them at the wall praying it sticks like cooked spaghetti instead so you aren’t responsible for it anymore (and hey, it’s evolved from dry noodles at that point). You can drop kick the baggage across the airport because it’s irritating the hell out of you to always have to watch out for it (and damn it, security keeps stopping you at every layover).
We can ignore the baggage. Not in the bad way, but in the way you ignore a puppy that is being a little naughty or a child who is throwing a tantrum. We can go on about our merry way, be ourselves and laugh and tell stories and have a really good time and simply have the baggage meld into us, be ever present but not ever a nuisance.
Besides, I’d never want to get rid of my carpet bag completely.