My dad and I did take a lovely trip to Walgreen's at midnight, though, to buy deodorant and a toothbrush, among other embarrassing things that a girl doesn't necessarily want to buy with her father in tow.
Christmas Day came and went, and there was still no word. My spending limit was increased to $150, however. Not that I could buy anything like, say, UNDERWEAR, as nothing was open.
I called every day, four times a day, trying to get even a thread of information about my luggage. Each time, the operator was very apologetic (except for that one bitch on the 26th who hung up on me when I was being COMPLETELY PLEASANT, but whatever. No really, I was - ask my mom), but I always got the same response, "We're working on it. Just call back every few hours." Fantastic. Of course, that was when I could actually get through - the local number they gave me was constantly busy.
Wednesday - my departure day. I called Northwest's luggage center for a fourth time that afternoon, around 1:00 p.m. I was not expecting much. The woman I spoke to earlier that morning had me convinced that the suitcase had been stolen and to start listing its contents because it "didn't look good." This call was different. I was placed on hold several times, and the operator returned to the line time and again to assure me that they were "on to something." And then, a ray of hope:
NW: "Ma'am, you're not going to believe this, but we've got your bag. It went to Manila."
Donut: "In the Philippines!!??!?!?"
NW: "Yes, the Philippines. It was overhandled."
Donut: "Yeah, to say the least."
NW: "But it's in Detroit now, going through customs. We'll have it to you this evening."
Donut: "My flight back to DC is at 7:30."
NW: "Oh, well it got here just in time!" [laughter]
NW: Just call back around 3 p.m., and we'll have a better idea of whether it'll be ready for you before your flight.
I am so not kidding. The Philippines.
We got to the airport early, as NO ONE ANSWERED THE PHONE, and sure enough, it was ready. I transferred the presents to another bag that we toted with us, so my parents got their presents after all! But then... I had no choice but to recheck my bag. I was nervous! The flight was fine, but as I waited at the carousal at Reagan, I became more and more antsy. But then, it emerged from the bowels of the airport! I welcomed my well-traveled friend and got the hell out of there.
Here's what a tag looks like from DC to Detroit (with a slight detour along the way):