Once upon a time luggage had no wheels—and that time was not so long ago. In fact, during my entire modeling career spanning the mid 1970’s through the 1980’s, luggage of any sort came without wheels. It seems impossible now, thinking back, that wheels on luggage hadn’t been invented yet; It’s such a simple idea, especially since, if I recall correctly, the invention of the wheel dates back to prehistoric times.
I’m sure many of you from my generation and beyond remember all too well arriving at an airport and hailing a ski-cap to assist with your luggage. It was a wonderful service; he took your luggage, put it on his cart and whisked it away to the check-in line, all for a dollar a bag! So easy. But then you were on your own, no ski-cap, no rentable luggage cart, and no wheels on your luggage, just a slow, laborious move up the check-in line, followed by a long, tortuous walk through the airport lugging your carry-on bag filled with all of your sacred belongings. For me, that included every beauty product on the planet, full size, none of these 3 0z travel size bottles.
Trains were different, especially in Europe. Rarely would anyone be around ready to assist with your luggage, and even worse, escalators and elevators were almost non-existent. It was a do-it-yourself society. Picture a young woman taking a train from Zurich to London with a boat connection at 4am in Northern France to cross the English Channel. That was me in 1978, and I remember clearly lifting two super-sized heavy suitcases up and down stairs, carrying them down the track and onto the train. When the train arrived in Northern France, we had to disembark, go through customs and get onto a boat. A guardian angel was looking after me and it was in the form a strong sturdy Irish man. If it were not for his insistence on carrying my bags, I would surely have missed the boat. I was a weakling, a scrawny eighteen-year old woman with barely a muscle in her body.
That was then, this is now. Rarely does one see anyone dragging luggage. Carry-ons come in all sorts of spiffy designs with high tech spinning wheels to boot! I covet every piece I own. And I paid a lot for them. My Lite-Shock set of Samsonite is by far one of my most treasured possessions. No more aching back or pulled shoulder blades for me. So, imagine my horror when I picked up my daughter at the airport, a thin young woman much like I was, and she emerged from behind the custom barrier lugging what appeared to be a 30-pound carry-on bag over her shoulder. My face fell in disbelief. “Why aren’t you using a roller bag?” I asked, my mouth wide open. “What your carrying looks like it weighs a hundred pounds!”
Her reply? “No problem mom, it’s the style.”