by Melinda Gallo

Three days without luggage

Even though I've been visiting Memphis a bit, I had to do some shopping for clothes and other necessities because my luggage didn't arrive with me on Sunday. When I got to Memphis, the man said that it would arrive the next day on the same flight that I took, but it didn't.

I tried to be patient and understanding, but on Tuesday morning when I finally called the 800 number they gave me, the recording said that they had no new information and that talking to a representative would be pretty much useless. I disregarded the message and decided to speak to a representative anyway.

The guy told me that my luggage would arrive on Tuesday and that both were found in Paris. He said one was going through Chicago and the other through Atlanta before arriving in Memphis.

On Tuesday, I called and called but the number was busy. He said that they'd arrive at around 7PM and then they'd be delivered later in the evening.

I didn't bet on them arriving later, so I bought a few things to wear to my conference that started today.

It wasn't until about 3PM today that the bellhop finally called me to tell me that my luggage had arrived. All the staff downstairs remembered me by name because I would ask them a few times a day if my bags had arrived.

One of the unexpected benefits of losing my luggage was how helpful, kind, and generous people have been. One person loaned me a shirt, many others offered to let me pick through their wardrobes, a few girls gave me some make-up, and a hair dresser that I just met in the mall across town loaned me two hair brushes that she's going to pick up from the hotel this weekend.

I hadn't expected such generosity and must say that even though it was a huge inconvenience, I am happy to know that people truly are kind. I must admit that I ripped open my luggage to make sure everything was in there. I was stressed out because I had put all my Italian citizenship papers in my luggage instead of carrying it on because I didn't want to carry too much on. I was so happy to see all my stuff that I wanted to cry.

It would've been tragic to lose everything, but after not having my luggage for three days, I now see that only a few things are truly important to me like gifts that were given to me and pictures that I can't reprint. All the paperwork for my Italian citizenship is replaceable, but it would've been just another setback for me. So, I'm happy to have them all now and I won't be packing them in my luggage again.

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