Op-Ed: “The Unlikelihood of the Traveling Trinkets”

My Gucci bee ring buzzed off to Italy in late May – I’m told it’s on its way back now but who knows? My Gas Bijoux gem encrusted earrings likewise just made a beeline to France. Almost ten years ago I wrote an entire article on my John Hardy silver bangle bracelets’ summer vacay in Bali so you can tell that this is a recurring theme.

If you think that I got to accompany these pieces and travel to these places you’d be wrong – these are the choice spots that designer jewelry gets to go for “R& R” (that’s repair and rejuvenation) – back to their motherland while leaving me here in mine.

Forget about the “secret life of pets” – I’d like to know about the secret life of my accessories. Is it really more cost efficient to return these baubles across an ocean or several time zones than to have a repair center in the states? I can’t believe I’m actually jealous of an inanimate object but think about it – half of what makes travel a “no- go” for me would not be an issue for a gewgaw.

The TSA agent who eats nails for breakfast, the bare hoofing it on the nasty floor, the crisis which ensues over a long forgotten water bottle at the bottom of a bag, the crazy passengers melting down from too much Xanax, the long delays, the crying babies – none of these are a factor for the indomitable embellished piece of metal adornment.

There’s no question that traveling (especially these days) can test one’s mettle. Like Jeannie I want to cross my arms, blink, nod my head and be magically transported to a faraway place – with or without a bottle. Come to think of it, I wouldn’t mind the harem pants, amazing abs, and high blonde ponytail. (Even Barbie with all her “magical” powers still had to drive herself, albeit in a pink convertible, to the “real world” and who wants to go there?)

I’ll happily forgo the frequent flyer miles if I don’t have to think about packing or suitcase weight overage let alone the possibility of lost luggage leaving one stranded in airport traveling duds.

Speaking of “airport duds” there is some movement afoot to attempt to regulate an airport dress code. Of course, it’s not to the level which you may remember if you’re ancient like me. (Alright it was my mother who dressed me in my best party dress and patent leather Mary Janes to sit on a 3-hour flight to Florida). Of course it’s just one way in which the world is very different when most people look like they never bothered to change out of their PJ’s/run a comb through their hair let alone bathe.

If you want to be upgraded its advised to dress business casual (no leggings, no flip flops, no sweatpants, no tees with obnoxious or controversial writing or preferably no tees at all, and replace the college sweatshirt with a blazer or cardigan, please). Fellow passengers (aka snitches lol) have apparently suggested that those who look the most slovenly are also those most likely to be involved in the recent spate of assorted mid-air fracas.

You know — the ones that get the aircraft sent back to the gate or worse yet, force an emergency landing followed by an “escort to assist in deplaning” followed by a police record. According to the USA Today article, a psychologist is quoted basically saying that If you dress better, perhaps you’ll behave better – which may have been part of my mother’s reasoning all along.

Recently an as yet unnamed American Airlines pilot’s “TED talk” from the cockpit went viral on social media as he cited every transgression he’s experienced from passengers lately. Some have accused him of being a scold by pointing out the obvious niceties that should be second nature involved in sharing tight spaces.

Unfortunately, many of these “golden rule” type of courtesies have been, ahem, jettisoned. My favorite: “Don’t pass out on other people or drool on them, unless you’ve talked about it and they have a weather-resistant jacket.”

Back to the fashion angle, I don’t know if you can really put the “genie back in the bottle”— would there be actual “fashion police” issuing citations or preventing a perpetrator of this sartorial crime from getting on a flight? Yes, it would be nice if “airport style” wasn’t an oxymoron like jumbo shrimp. Maybe if the airlines didn’t herd us in like cattle people wouldn’t feel the need to dress like they were going to shovel shit.

Meanwhile I wish my possessions a bon voyage — may they have the summer vacation that I dream of. Luckily there’s no Instagram account (at least that I know of) chronicling the highlights of their journey to give me FOMO. Instead, I’m just an acronym you can’t say in an airport: BOMB (Bitter Over My Baubles).

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Laurel Marcus

OG journo major who thought Strunk & White's "The Elements of Style" was a fashion guide. Desktop comedienne -- the world of fashion gives me no shortage of material.

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