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the everyman memoirs

The official blog of author Tali Nay.

People Suck

At least the ones who steal your carry-on suitcase directly from the overhead bin. I know what you’re thinking. It was a mix-up, right? But just take a look at this butterfly-and-flower-riddled bag pictured above and tell me if it’s even possible to accidentally mistake it for your own crappy black one. The answer you’re looking for is no.

It’s true. I was robbed. Of some very precious things, I might add. But I don’t want to focus on that. It’s depressing. I’d rather focus on the rather unexpected things that happen when you fly to New York City for a work trip and end up with no possessions.

There’s a rather clarifying sensation that settles in once you stop crying over your loss, and that is the ability to deduce what it is that you actually NEED while on this trip. And I can tell you the answer to that question is underwear. It’s really the ONLY answer, which is why instead of spend your first evening catching up with a friend at a favorite Harlem eatery (yes, I said favorite Harlem eatery), you'll schlepp it from the hotel to the nearest Victoria’s Secret. Learning this, that underwear is really the bedrock of existence, will feel somewhat revelatory.

The CMO of your company, and probably the fanciest lady you know, might invite you to her hotel room when you and your lack of luggage arrive. Her Manolos will be lined up in a row, and she’ll tell you to pick a pair to wear the following day at the tradeshow you’re working. (Remember, you have no shoes.) It’ll be the first time you’ve ever worn Manolos, and you’ll enjoy learning—even for one day—what that feels like. For the record, it feels like pain, but that won’t matter. And you won’t even begrudge her when she asks for them back the next day due to her outfit being perfectly tailored to Those Shoes. You might learn you’re pretty happy just being a regular person.

While trying on the clothes of a co-worker and complaining about them all feeling tight, she’ll point out that you’ve been hiding your cute little body in clothes that are too big. You’ll feel real slutty in leopard print tops and vampy red skirts that hug your curves and restrict both your breath and your step, but remember, short of spending a bunch of money on new clothes that you really can’t afford and that you can’t transport home anyway because you no longer have a suitcase, you don’t have a choice. And so you get to experience the week while wearing the clothes of this other person. You won’t feel like yourself, and how odd that is, to exist as not you, but at the end of it all, you’ll find yourself wanting to go out and buy a tight skirt.

A friend will subway it from 145th Street, in the rain, and bring dresses wrapped in plastic for you to try on for the gala you need to attend. People will tell you at said gala that they’d have had no idea the dress wasn’t yours. And the willingness of people to help, to step up, to comfort, and to tell you how nice you look in your slutty red skirt or baffling gaucho pants will remind you that not everyone is a thief. Not everyone does horrible things just because they can. Not everyone sucks. It won’t bring back your precious things, but in the grand scheme of things, I’d say that’s a win.

 

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