Back when I was 8 or 9 years old, I was borderline obsessed with hiding things. Don’t misunderstand, I wasn’t a deceitful child, I’d just read way too many Nancy Drew novels. I had a couple of those little diaries that locked, though I was a little disappointed that the locks usually lasted an average of two weeks before they started to tear right off the cover of the book.

Damn that cheap manufacturer’s glue.

But even if the locks themselves were a joke, I had about a dozen hiding places to stash my most prized possessions. I dreamed of one day owning a house with a safe built in behind a swinging bookcase, or a secret compartment beneath the floorboards. And I loved the idea of a hollowed out book to stash things in, but I could never talk myself into actually defacing a book to make one for myself.

Yeah, I’m the type who will likely have money and other random things stashed all over my house when I get old. It’ll give the kids and grandkids something to keep them busy when I die.

When I was old enough to carry my own suitcase on family vacations, I insisted on getting one that came with a little lock and key attached. In my mind, I fancied myself something of an adolescent secret agent, using my family’s trips to Denver and Dallas and the Black Hills of South Dakota as a cover for my covert investigations. I had no idea what I should be investigating, but by God I wanted to be certain that my suitcase full of sketches and writings and evidence was safe from prying eyes.

Once I hit adulthood, I put many of my covert childish fancies aside, and one of the first to go were the luggage locks. I mean really, why do companies even bother to sell luggage with these cheap little locks attached anyway? Most are about the size of my thumb, and are hardly able to withstand a stiff easterly wind without falling apart. If someone wanted to get into your locked suitcase, it would take them all of 6.5 seconds. I mean, just look at this thing…

These days people can’t even make it through airport security with a red velvet cupcake, let alone a suitcase with a padlock on it. Want to guarantee yourself a strip search and detainment in airport jail? Slap a lock on your bag and refuse to open it at the TSA agents’ request. Go on, I dare you.

This particular little lock and set of keys have been hanging out with Steven and I since we got the luggage as an engagement gift back in 2006.

Over the years we’ve lost one key, both keys, misplaced the lock, found a key, found both keys, packed them all away, moved four times, and finally found all of them in the initial unpacking here at the new house.

Funny thing is, I said right away that we should get rid of them, while Steven argued that they were perfectly good and worked and we should use them on our suitcases the next time we traveled.

Luckily, good sense prevailed. I mean, sure, I would still love to have a hidden safe or a hollowed out book full of cash or Top Secret information. Who doesn’t? But when it comes to these cheap little locks and their their false sense of security, I’m ready to draw the line, and this lock and keys will no longer be cluttering up our house.


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