My Life in A Bag

Posted on June 27, 2011


I’m leaving for London tomorrow.  I’ll be there for a month (My daughter will be giving birth to her second child), and so I’ve been packing my one-allowable-but-not-more-than-50-lbs-in-weight suitcase with baby clothes that have been stored at my house, gifts, items my daughter and son-in-law can’t get in the largest city in the European Union, and glittery July Fourth headbands with American flags attached.  This leaves me with a carry on in which to put everything I will need for a month. 

So, you can understand why the photo I saw on the back cover of Time got my attention.  Here I was, in a dither, wondering how I could possibly limit a month’s worth of clothes and whatever to 20 lbs, and there was La Jolie, in Cambodia, no less, to nothing more than a Louis Vuitton bag.  Damn.  She didn’t even have shoes on, and she was sitting on an old wooden boat (splinters) surrounded by a swampy environment (feet eating fish, bugs, disease-bearing microbes).  I was planning to not only wear shoes to London(where pavements have been in fashion for some time now), but to have an extra pair in my carry on.  It was starting to feel like entitled, wretched excess. 

Worse, Jolie’s hair and make up seemed unaffected by the humidity in Cambodia, which I understand is in excess of 90%.  At 20% humidity, my hair starts to puff out.  At 90%, I would no longer be able to walk through doorways.  At 90% humidity, my make up (although I’m not sure why I would have make up on while I was sitting in a wooden boat in the middle of a swamp in Cambodia) would have run down my forehead and permanently blinded me.

 Back to the Louis Vuitton bag.  My best guess was that it was filled with three of her six children (there being an airline regulation about how many children can be packed into a carry on), an application to adopt several more, and lip gloss.  Oh, maybe a small photo of Brad Pitt (but I sometimes carry that as well).  

The ad with Jolie is part of an advertising campaign Louis Vuitton is now running that shows a series of high profile people doing amazing and exciting things, having nothing more with them than their Louis Vuitton bags.  You can follow Jolie (and others, on  To my knowledge, after airport security does their usual spread-eagle pat down on me (“I’m going to run my hands under your breasts now, and I won’t even bother to call you in the morning”), nobody much cares about where I go or what I do. 

So, Mr Vuitton, here are more suggestions for your “Journeys” campaign, using icons instead of celebs: