Life In A Suitcase

In 2013, I packed my life into three suitcases and moved 4,000 miles to a country I barely scratched the surface of understanding. One year after a life on hold, I purged my belongings a second time in preparation for a forced uprooting and return to the USA that (thankfully) did not happen… but I was still left with a life that fit into two suitcases.

Two big suitcases, to be fair, but it is still only two of them.

Since that time, we’ve moved about 200 miles or so north of my husband’s hometown and we’ve rebuilt/regained what we lost. For the most part, we’ve succeeded in just about all aspects save for a dining table and my wardrobe.

That changed today. In all honesty, were it not for necessity, I would have still eked out the use of the clothing that I had already. It still fit… kind of… mostly… if I use a belt… and there aren’t any holes… that are significantly large or inappropriately positioned… on my outer layers… Or stains…. in places that are visible….

Yes, I am aware I was clinging to a sinking ship, but one of my trademark qualities is my sheer stubbornness. It is to a fault, I’ll own up to that, but it comes from a lifetime of just not having any better options than to just keep trying.

Long story short is this: I set myself a budget (I went over it, I’m sorry. In my defence the sales were good and I did buy enough to purge my wardrobe properly plus I got some new socks for the baby. My conscience is clear, dangit) of £200 and turned myself loose, alone, in the megamall that is Meadowhall in Sheffield.

I’ll be frank, Meadowhall will never be a Mall of America. That said, it doesn’t really need to be, as the only things it lacks are the tourist traps (though that does not stop them from trying; and trying they are, judging from the superhero statues currently on display). How hard was it to find what I was looking for? Psh, it’s clothing… I stepped off the bus, crossed the skyway into Meadowhall and I was literally in the ladies’ section of Marks&Spencer’s. Any easier and I would have physically tripped and crashed into a clothing rack with mannequins on stand-by to jazz-hand around my landing.


You’re welcome.

Anyway. Half of my budget was taken up in the first store, and the rest was just whimsy purchases. One piece here, another there… Until I was met with the dilemma of which pair of trousers to buy at Laura Ashley. All were on sale. I reasonably had enough funds for… one pair… but two would have been nice since I didn’t want to be stuck in my bland routine any more than I must.

Now, this has very little to do with being a Transplant and everything to do with me being a weirdo who never really had the courage to be daring in my youth. My clothing was always about as riveting as melba toast.




Actually, it might have been even less exciting than that. I’m doing a disservice to the crisp-bread by daring to draw comparisons.

I can’t honestly say why that was, but the facts are what they are. I was boring on the outside, one hot mess on the inside… kind of like a pop tart without the frosting.


The one on the left is me.

Anyway: I was in the hornet’s nest for all of a couple of hours, but my payload was pretty good. I scored 4 pairs of trousers, 4 t-shirts, a blazer jacket, a blouse and a fancy sweater (jumper, in the British vernacular) for myself plus some 9 pairs of socks for the little one and a bouncy ball because, what the heck.

It’s been a few years coming, being able to replenish the things we packed up, gave up and threw away. But, we’re finally getting there. While this post isn’t exactly anything serious or remotely keeping up with current events with the rest of the world (and let’s be honest, it’s pretty nasty stuff going on lately), it feels kind of good to not fogs on it for a change and… well, maybe not find enjoyment out of the mundane but at least be able to find the humour in it.

Which, really, when I think about it. Isn’t that more or less the same thing?


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