Rainbow flag

European Man Bag

My wife, the Captain is a great driver. She’s been driving a car for many years without an accident. Well, I don’t count busted mirrors, fender benders or door scratches. Those are quite common and happen to both of us… sometimes. Anyway, she’s an experienced, confident and very safe driver. However, keeping things organized in the car is definitely not her forte. There are always thousands of items laying on the floor, on the seats, anywhere and everywhere. Obviously she knows exactly where to find stuff, and yet to a by-standing observer the inside of her (now our) car appears as chaos. Even incidents like one that happened to her girlfriend last winter can’t seem to influence her at all. In January, we went sledding together with our close friends and their kids. While we were enjoying the fast melting snow some thugs used a curbstone to get to our friends car and steal a handbag that was left on the passenger seat. I believe there was also one other car that got robbed that day, for some reason ours was left untouched. Good fortune, I guess – even though the passenger seat happens to be also my wife’s favorite place for her usually large, bright colors, very feminine and visible bags.  She was very moved by such invasion on her fiends privacy and promised to be much more organized and careful about leaving stuff on display in the car. And she was. For about a week…

Today was the last day before departure. Our flight leaves Rochester tomorrow afternoon. Most of the day we were both frantically packing the remainder of our belongings. The house is empty now. Our four bedrooms worth of junk is squeezed in a 8′ by 11′ storage unit. How’s that possible? It wasn’t easy – the trick was to use as many as possible boxes of the same or at least similar shape. Put those larger and heavier ones on bottom and make you way to the ceiling using ever smaller and lighter boxes. At last stuck individual items in any visible holes that threaten the structure stability and you’ll conserve a lot of space! It took me several trips back and forth to transfer all our stuff. Those extra empty water bottles, coffee mugs,  lipsticks, mascara and other non-identified cosmetics items on the floor weren’t exactly helpful, but they didn’t disturb me either. What got my attention was the fact that one of the tires showed less then half of the required air pressure. It only had 15 PSI, which forced me to make an emergency stop at local gas station. When I watched closer, I found a piece of glass pressed into the tread and heard a quiet whistle of escaping air. I watched the pressure reading on the on-board computer display. In couple of hours I lost 5 PSI. There was still stuff at the house that needed to be moved to the storage in the morning. Since I don’t have a compressor, I decided it will be safer to transport whatever can be transported tonight and then leave the car at the local service garage. They can fix it first thing in the morning and we will be back in business before breakfast.

I parked the car at the service garage, wrote a two post-it’s long letter to the owner and was ready to drop the keys into the drop-off box, when I looked at the passenger seat. There it was… To my horror this one was large, bright yellow with a huge embroidered flower. It’s a very safe town, but I didn’t think that leaving my wife’s purse with all her credit cards and ID in the car overnight would be a smart idea. I had no choice, but to take it back home.

During a brisk, 15 minutes walk with a fashionable “European man bag” on my shoulder, I got couple of “Hello’s” from stranger men. The Sheriff also slowed down, but decided to let me have my evening stroll undisturbed. I guess, he wasn’t in mood to learn if I like men in uniform…