February 18, 2007

 can you wear panties right off the rack?

i'm in portland and the airline lost my luggage.

i initially had a good attitude about this, having heard the airline rep say that most baggage is found and delivered within 24 hours. in fact, chances were good, she said, that my bag would be on the next flight from chicago (where it was last scanned) and would be waiting for me at the hotel when i woke up.

so with that small sense of peace, my co-worker and i checked in to the hotel and then immediately headed out for a quick spin around our downtown neighborhood. we went to the river, just three blocks away. it was a beautiful day. i didn't even miss my coat, which i had smartly packed away in my suitcase. (i always do that at the airline check-in counter... take off my coat and stuff it in my bag so that i don't have to deal with it on the airplane. perhaps i'll think twice about that in the future.)

we visited voodoo doughnut, which -terrifyingly- is one block from our hotel. i'm going to need to force myself to stay away from there. we decided to top it off with a proper dinner, so we stopped at a food cart on the street and had some thai food. it was actually astoundingly delicious. we got a MOUND of food for $5 each. and "lady thai" was so smiley and sweet.

we headed back to the hotel to eat (because, frankly, the sun was starting to set and my good fortune of having warm weather was quickly ending). my co-worker loaned me one of his wool sweaters to help me warm up, and we pored over the map the hotel had given us (my personal map had -duh- been packed into my missing suitcase) and considered where to go next.

while eating, though, we suddenly realized how incredibly tired we both were. we had woken up at 3am to catch our flight, and neither of us had been able to sleep on the plane (even though we had been blessed with comfy first-class seats). our travels were finally catching up with us. the co-worker actually had a conference session the next day (from 9am-5pm) so he decided to hit the sack early -- though by local time it wasn't even 6pm yet. i agreed that an early evening in would be good, so i said goodnight to him and headed back to my room.

i callled the front desk and asked for a toothbrush and toothpaste. i found a wireless connection and surfed around a bit, checking out online maps of the area i was in. i started thinking more and more about "what if"... what if my luggage didn't arrive overnight? what was i going to wear tomorrow? i was meeting an old roommate of mine for a tour of the city the next day... i hadn't seen him in years, and i didn't want to impress him with my stinky clothes. also, i don't like to sleep nude, and i certainly didn't want to go to bed in the clothes i'd been travelling in. hrm...

so, spur-of-the-moment, i decided to go for a walk and see if i could find a clothing store. from my googling, i knew there was a shopping center called "pioneer place"... it would be a long walk, but i was driven by my desire for clean clothes. i headed out (with the wool sweater for warmth) and got all of 4 blocks before discovering a ross. hallelujah!

i walked out an hour later with a warm, weather-resistant jacket, a shirt, two pairs of underwear, a dress, and some cheap workout clothes that i could sleep in. $70. i got back to the hotel, got ready for bed, and collapsed without ever checking to see if my room gets free HBO.

i didn't sleep well, though. i kept waking up to see if there was a "message waiting" light on my phone, letting me know my bag had arrived from the airport. suffice to say, even when i got out of bed at 6:30am the light was not lit. i called the front desk to make sure my bag wasn't down there. it wasn't. i called the airline again; they still hadn't found my luggage. i sighed, and clad in my new workout clothes, i went down for the free hotel breakfast. on the way, i asked about the nearest drug store. i now know the location, and as soon as i post this i'm going to walk there to buy some deodorant, makeup, and a few other things i can't live without.

i'm very glad my part of the conference does not begin until monday. (well, there's an opening reception tonight. for which i have a dress.) so i have basically another full day to figure things out. i think there's a coin laundry of the second floor of the hotel... at the very least i can keep washing the dress, my travel clothes, my dress, the travel clothes, each day until my suitcase arrives.

the question about the panties bothers me, though. i try not to wear plain ol' clothes right off the rack -- i like to wash them first to get the ick off from countless tryers-on before i wear them myself. i can live without that step in this instance, but the underwear is another thing. i'm pretty sure no one has tried them on prior to me buying them, but they've been handled by lord-knows-how-many people before i purchased them. i don't have time to wash them before wearing them today. for me, this might be the most difficult part of this whole adventure.

Posted by xta at February 18, 2007 10:32 AM | TrackBack

i am back from the drug store. i spent more on bathroom crap today than i did on clothes yesterday.

i wonder if i can get the airline to reimburse me?

Posted by: xta at February 18, 2007 1:47 PM

Iron or steam (or microwave??) the panties to kill the cooties.
good luck with the luggage.
miss ya

Aarlene in LA

Posted by: Aarlene at February 18, 2007 4:06 PM

Hey Christa, too funny, when I emailed you the other day, I thought about telling you if you ever made it over to the great Pacific Northwest, to give me a shout if you needed anything (Boeing tour, boat ride, shampoo, clean undies); and here you are! Well, admittedly I am a three hour drive from Portland, but in the grand scheme of things, pretty close. And it is Sunday after all, geeze, at the very least I could have driven down to Portland with a bottle of Washington wine to get your mind off the new unwashed undies! Good luck with the airlines...

Posted by: Catherine Coulter at February 19, 2007 1:09 AM

yay! my arrived at my hotel room at 10pm sunday night. (a day and a half late.)

Posted by: xta at February 19, 2007 10:37 AM


Hey...you should be able to reimburse up to like $50 or so. I've done it before.

Posted by: Stew at February 19, 2007 11:29 AM

No, but you can wear a bra right on the rack. I would say, if they are encased in a hitherto unbreached plastic bag, wear away.

Ross kind of rules, for emergency retail needs. Like lost luggage and therapy.

Hope you're having fun in Portland. If I ever have the misfortune to get married again, it will be at Voodoo donuts. That's a promise. I guess one would need a ring bearer.

Posted by: Marianne at February 20, 2007 7:28 AM

One word.


Posted by: Gidge at February 20, 2007 9:08 PM

I don't ever wear anything right off the rack. I've had dye deposited on me from clothes, and I know what kind of chemicals they shove through cloth when making/dyeing it (I used to work in a textile mill).

Voodoo Doughnut looks -- well, mesmerizing. Maybe that's just because Durham has such a lack of doughnut places.

Posted by: Joseph H. Vilas at February 21, 2007 2:02 AM

Apparently there are now disposable underwears in both cotton and PAPER. Yes, folks, PAPER.

And I have to assume that you don't wash either before wearing.

Posted by: Phil at February 22, 2007 2:06 AM
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