Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Luggage Goes to the Dogs

You’ve heard about “dog years,” right? For every one year a dog lives, it’s the equivalent of seven human years. So a three-year-old dog is really 21. And a 10-year-old dog is like a 70-year-old person. And there’s that goofy tee shirt, which reads, “In dog years, I’m dead!”

Well, there is a thing similar to dog years and it’s called “boy nights,” and it has to do with traveling and luggage. Basically, whatever a woman requires to be able to spend one night away from home, a guy can make last for seven days. If a woman needs one medium sized suitcase and a shoulder bag to be away for 24 hours, a man can make that same suitcase and bag last seven “boy nights.” Just like dog years, it is a seven-to-one ratio.

To phrase it another way, men require one-seventh the amount of luggage that women require. Now, you might say it’s very sexist of me to make this claim. But actually, I’m going the extra mile NOT to be sexist. Originally, instead of calling this phenomenon “boy nights,” I was going to call it “girl bags.” That’s not a very pleasant term, so as you can tell, I’m bending over backwards to be understanding and chivalrous.  

This major difference in luggage is the result of a major difference in outlook regarding travel. When guys get ready to travel, they want to bring along only what is necessary, and they assume everything will go according to plan. For example, if a guy has to be away on a three-day business trip, he won’t pack an extra pair of pants in his suitcase because he’s already wearing a pair of pants. (I’m assuming this is indeed the case, as most airlines frown on letting people board wearing just jockey shorts.) It never dawns on the guy that while at a dinner meeting with a client he might accidentally spill an entire plate of chicken Parmesan into his lap. If that happens, he’ll have to attend another meeting the next morning looking like he just got stabbed in the thigh. (Or he can attend the morning meeting wearing only jockey shorts, but I think most business clients are on the same page as the airlines regarding the hasn’t-quite-caught-on-yet jockey shorts fashion trend.)

When women prepare to travel, they also want to bring along only what is necessary, but they do not assume everything will go according to plan. Besides the risk of a plate of chicken Parmesan in the lap, there are the uncertainties of weather. It might rain; it might snow; it might get really cold; it might get really hot; there might be a hurricane — even if the business trip is to Kansas City. When it comes to the weather, you never know for sure.

Then, of course, there is the First Commandment of Women’s Fashion: Thou shalt not wear the same outfit two days in a row. This includes shoes and belts and other accessories, which is why the number of suitcases really adds up. The only fashion Commandment for guys is: Thou shalt not — oh wait, there actually are no fashion Commandments for guys anymore. We did away with all rules when Casual Friday turned into Casual Everyday. Now we can wear whatever we want for as many days in a row as we want. 

To summarize, similar to the concept of “dog years,” it’s a fact that guys can make the same amount of luggage last seven times longer than women. And after seven days away from home with a single carry-on bag, we fellas usually smell a lot like dogs, too.

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