Tuesday 18 December 2018

Forget your baggage... it is all about cool luggage

Tumi Dresden Flap Backpack, €975, Harveynichols.com
Tumi Dresden Flap Backpack, €975, Harveynichols.com

John Masterson

I am not a label head. But I travel a lot and there is one brand of luggage that impresses even me. The pockets are all in the right place. It is ideal for an iPad or laptop. It reeks of quality and would say so much about me that the rest of my attire might not proclaim. Sadly it is expensive and I have never convinced myself that I deserve it.

On a slightly related note, I have often been told I am judgemental. It may be true. I can be quick to form an opinion about a person without much to go on. I do not think I am unusual in this. We all do it. But I am usually open to changing my mind.

There is so much information that goes into the make-up of a personality that we could not take it all in. We all take short cuts. We all make inferences from one trait to another. If we think someone is funny we may also think they are intelligent. If you suspect someone is mean, you might suspect they are also controlling. One simple dimension we divide people into is warm and cold.

I am an organised person in an airport. I arrive in good time. I keep an eye on the signs. I go to the gate when told and I board when told. I find that makes it all very stress free. If it wasn't for the other people.

I sat on the runway in France a while back while the whole plane waited for two people who had checked-in, but not boarded. Eventually a couple arrive and bang their way down the aisle with bags flying in every direction and not an apology to anybody who had been sitting there fuming. On the basis of this behaviour I decided they were stupid, thoughtless, inconsiderate, selfish, and clumsy for a start. They seem to have a sense of entitlement that they were not entitled to. I see no reason to modify my assessment.

Across the aisle from me was an immaculately dressed woman. If someone told me she had been a rock star in her youth, I would have believed it. She had the high boots and studded jeans and when she realised that it was time to wear glasses she went for the loudest designer in town. She smiled through the chaos. She seemed to be a very happy woman. She was browsing through photos on her phone and it wasn't difficult to see that they were family. I got the impression she had been visiting a child of hers and the grandchildren. As she smiled and chuckled and I could not help feeling that she was a dominant force in a happy extended family, and I suspect she enjoyed being seen as a glamorous granny. Now, just to be clear, all of this is based on pretty much NO real information.

It served to remind me just how much we can let our minds fill in the blanks on the basis of someone having a warm smile and cool jeans.

This lady and I were not destined to even exchange an hello, but it shows how much we operate on first impressions, and how often we need a lot of conflicting information before we modify our opinions. We have a tendency to look at the information and make it fit, if at all possible.

The plane landed and before it even got to the gate the late arriving couple were pushing and shoving their way to the front.

The smiling granny was a little ahead of me, calmly taking her time. I spotted her wheelie. Tumi. It is time I splashed out. And I don't mean studded jeans.

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