With mechanical failures, gridlock brought on by VC-backed rideshares, and overweight baggage fees, there's nothing like the holiday travel season to force one to confront one's shortcomings. But for many of us, the unplanned self-reflection might begin long before we take a train (then a tram, then a desperation cab to the airport) — it begins, at home, with the simultaneously hopeful and potentially anxious-making act of packing.
Strategies (or the lack thereof) for arriving at your destination with the correct combination, quantity, and type of belongings — with room for souvenirs — are as individual as the packers themselves. So here, in a trio of wildly specific character sketches in which you might recognize yourself, we've imagined three common packer archetypes with highly gift-able, adventure-ready items from Gucci's Cruise 2020 collection — and given each an airport-security-style X-ray reveal. It's a quirky take on the most meaningful journey of the year — because however long and harrowing getting there may be, the most important thing is that we show up at all, with full hearts, gifts for friends and family (and perhaps a cheeky something for oneself), and the gratitude that we get to spend this precious time together.
The Pro Packer
The Gift: Gucci Metal Earrings With
"My word, even this entrance is being overrun by rabble," said Muffy von T. after she'd been deposited in the VIP-est of VIP airport lounges — from which she could access the tarmac directly — after a private security screening away from the prying eyes and latex-ed hands of regular TSA agents.
At least she hadn't had to bother with packing her own valise — that was her assistant Polly's job, which she did exceedingly well by gently folding scented tissue between each layer so that the whole, old-fashioned case was more impressively arranged than the most painstakingly ragù-ed and béchamel-ed lasagna. This was to decrease the friction between Muffy's signature vampiric robes and therefore reduce the risk of wrinkles.
Polly worked from a down-to-the-pearl-button-detailed master list Muffy had calligraphy-ed before every trip. Muffy never went anywhere without framed portraits of her loved ones (mostly tintypes) and reams of sheet music plucked from her personal library according to mood and itinerary. (The harpsichord traveled separately.)
But to her nieces and nephews, it didn't matter if she was coming from Beirut or Grenoble. (Their parents, when they asked what she did, would answer "she travels.") To them, she was merely a mysterious, soft figure, who came bearing hugs, turn-of-the-century velvet teddy bears (and Gucci floral-motif earrings for their mothers), and the endless capacity to listen patiently to their uncomplicated dreams.
The 11th-Hour Packer
The Gift: Gucci GG Flora Wool Jacquard Cardigan
Thirteen minutes before the car came to collect Harley K. from a tennis tournament at which she had defeated her archenemy Xenia B. 15/Love, all thanks to her mighty backhand, she was seen stuffing sweatbands into the front zipper compartment of her Gucci roller bag. Some of these terrycloth bands were still damp, as Harley didn't believe in washing their luck-lending properties away — they had gotten her ranked number one (or two, depending on Xenia B.) in the world, hadn't they? The agility exercises she'd devised and patented couldn't have hurt, either, which was why a selection of orange traffic cones followed the sweatbands into her case as she simultaneously attempted to collect her passport, floral bucket hat, the bound journal in which she recorded avian sightings, and a grosgrain-trimmed Gucci cardigan she'd bought as a gift to himself.
Harley was to spend the holidays alone in the Outer Hebrides, just her and her guidebooks and binoculars and, periodically, her traffic cones, around which she would weave to the beat of a gradually quickening metronome — just to keep her hand in. Mercifully, not even the most dedicated of her fans would know her location; there was no other way she'd rather spend this period than in solitude, away from the prying crowds and the papers constantly thrust her way for an autograph.
Safely ensconced in her cottage, Harley gazed out the window with a mug of pu'er tea in hand. Usually, as an amateur ornithologist, she was content to observe the Bramblings soaring high above the wood. But now, she could only think that they were free to fly anywhere and never around the figure-8 periphery of plastic cones.
The Lady Of The Many Bags
The Gift: Gucci Ophidia GG Flora Cosmetic Case
Lauren S. was used to being randomly selected at the airport. She did not believe in the social construct of formal carry-on luggage — imagine being literally weighed down by one's worldly possessions — so she arrived in a tangle of Gucci handbags and knapsacks. These bulged with various tinctures, powders, and unguents, sorted by category and divided amongst bags labeled "jinxes," "hexes," and "😵."
Somehow, magically, all these mysterious potions still managed to adhere to TSA guidelines.
Lauren was spending the holidays with her coven in a remote, undisclosed location, where they were to cavort in outlandish costumes, stay up late setting intentions to the full moon, drink hot cocoa, and do a secret gift exchange. (Lauren's giftee was to receive an antique astrolabe presented in a Gucci Ophidia GG Flora Cosmetic Case.) But the main purpose of this was to cast a powerful spell to heal the world, a mass summoning of positive energy that could be projected outward to counteract the overwhelming badness.
Having finally convinced the TSA agents that "😵" was more of a vibe than a veritable security threat, Lauren boarded the plane and reached her seat (13F) — only to realize that she had forgotten the crucial ingredient in a plastic sandwich bag with "world peace" written on it in permanent marker. But as the plane took off and ascended, then hung suspended in the pink clouds, Lauren realized that they already had everything they needed.