Wednesday, March 14, 2007

In which Betsy meets the giant TSA monster...

Once upon a time there was a little girl whose parents died. As might be expected, she was feeling a little stressed, sad, and distracted two days after her father died. She picked up a small bag containing coins (including the first silver dollar her father ever earned) and her mother's wedding ring, and turned to her carry-on bag. She was packing to go back to her house.

Fast-forward 36 hours. She unpacked her carry-on, which she later decided to tuck into a box because it would be more streamlined at the airport. Her small bag was nowhere to be found. Horrors! Every parental scolding she ever heard came stampeding back into her head. She was crushed, mortified and just plain felt like hell.

She contacted the TSA, the behemouth agency brought about by 9-11. The TSA agent swore that people who open bags MUST leave a note. And that she should take it up with the airline, because TSA wasn't responsible.

She called the airline baggage service. She talked to a person who took down her flight info, who went to the ramp lost and found, who filed a claim for her.

While she was on the phone, someone called on the other line. Since she actually had a real body who was attempting to help her, she stayed with the current call.

After ending her call, she checked her messages, and it was her niece, who had found the bag UNDER some laundry baskets.

Boys and girls, there are a few morals to this story-

1) Betsy can't aim for shit. No surprise it didn't make it into her luggage. She doesn't play soft-ball, darts, pool or golf, and is no longer responsible for an M-16, so the free world is safe.

2) I honestly thought my best bets on recovering these items were to a) work fast, b) check out Craiglist and ebay, and c) try to get to people on a personal level. I was not interested in being reimbursed by a claim, I wanted my stuff. All the women I spoke to on the phone did their best to help me. A teary woman calling to say she lost her mother's engagement ring strikes a chord.

3) I have little faith in the statement that the TSA is REQUIRED to leave a note if they access your luggage. On a good day, an honest person can be distracted, on a bad day, a thief won't leave a note.

4) Pay attention to this when you pack your luggage. Pay attention to this when you pack your luggage. Pay attention to this when you pack your luggage.

5) My friends offered to say prayers to Saint Anthony, Baby Jesus, and the Guy Upstairs. I have good friends.
Isn't Mom a cutie in that picture?? Those shoes are the business! In case you wonder, there's a part of my mom that I've already shown you. I have her hands.

Listening to: Guess Who's Share the Land, and marveling over Burton Cummings' voice.


CatBookMom said...

So glad the lost is found. That's a pretty cute Mom. Oh, and I like the shoes!

t said...

Yeah, Bets, those shoes are the business. And we have a very special picture of your mother's hands making a heart, don't we?

Grace Yaskovic said...

Your Mom is adorable and I am so happy you found your bag!! St. Anthony has always worked in this home too!

Suzann said...

Your Mom is a cutie. Love the shoes. When my dh aunt died she had boxes of clothes from the 40/50s Including those great shoes. Of course she wore something like a size 4. They threw all the clothes in the dump :-(
I am so glad you got all your things back and didn't have to throw yourself on the mercy of the TSA. Mercy being in short supply in government agencies these days

benne said...

Bets, your mother was lovely and it's a beautiful photograph. Those shoes were the first thing I noticed, tres chic. So glad to know you have the things that have so much meaning for you. Now, I sugggest you start playing trashcan basketball at every opportunity. ;-}

Les said...

Phew!! What a good ending to a very distressing story! And your mom sure was a cutie!

Trish - My Merino Mantra said...

I'm happy your bag is safe. Your mom was so beautiful. My mother also had similar shoes, which I used to try on regularly, and clop around the house in.

daryl said...

I'm so happy for you. Of course, if you had assumed it would turn up and hadn't called the airline you know it never would have shown up. I'm a firm believer in the theory if you call about a problem it usually resolves itself. Of course, that may be because I have carefully put so many things in irretreviable places. Thank goodness for your niece who found it in the laundry basket and called you right away.

Joan said...

Yay, lost & found! I could lose the side of a barn myself.

Years ago two of my dopey brothers, the younger then in high school, decided to have a party at my parents' house in their absence. One of their many "guests" rifled my parents' dressers and stole all of the old coins my father collected all his life, many given to him by his father. Plus all of Jean's jewelry. By the time the cops got there, they told us the stuff was likely already pawned or sold for drugs in the nearest big city.

Make some jewelry of your parents' stuff that you and/or sibs/nieces can wear all the time.

Jamie said...

Jr. Goddess, Your mom sparkles in that wonderful photo! Loved your tale--it makes a sad event into a story with such a happy ending!
Glad you have your bag with all its memories.

Having a Knit Fitt said...

Your mom - what a doll. And hurray for finding the treasures.

Anonymous said...

I was thrilled to hear that your keepsakes have turned up, regardless of how. All that matters is you have them forever now.

Those shoes are the business. And you have more than your mother's hands. bri

LibbyKnitKins said...

So glad that you found your treasures


smariek said...

Your mom is a beauty in that photo. Noticed the shoes too...

Glad the story had a happy ending and you found everything.

Marcia said...

Good thing you misplaced the bag before you left. That way the T&A guys had nothing good to take when they ransacked your bag, without leaving a note.

And that picture of your mom...just sweet.