Trips, and trips


I am a notoriously horrible suitcase packer.  If suitcase packing were a school, I would be the dunce.

I always pack too little or too much, and never the right quantities of anything.  I’ll pack running shoes, but no socks.  A light shirt, but a black bra.  No heels for dinners out, or no flats for walking the city.  Too many layers.  Too few layers.  Five dresses for two days.  No hair product.  Whatever.

It’s always bad.

And the fact that I know this about myself would make one think that I’d be extra prepared – make lists, plan out my outfits, check the weather, think ahead.  But it’s a major defect, a constipation of logic, an impediment that I cannot work or think or plan my way around.  If there is a suitcase to be packed, I will screw it up.

When I left the house on Wednesday, I drove for a block before I remembered.  OH.  UNDERWEAR.  So I pulled back in front of the house, ran inside, grabbed a handful of undergarments from my top drawer, and boldly carried them outside in my bare hands in broad daylight to stuff into my suitcases.  Hello, neighbors.  I climbed back behind the wheel of the car, and thought for a second: am I forgetting anything else?  Concluding that I indeed had everything I could possibly need, I took off for the airport.

Can you sense the impending doom?

When I opened my suitcase in New York, I found the following: all of the last-minute underwear, a ratty brown cardigan, and a white V-neck T-shirt.  Not the nice one.  The see-through, stretched out one that is good for absolutely nothing outside of a shopping trip to Wal-Mart.  To buy a new T-shirt.

So I spent yesterday in the same outfit I’d worn on the plane the day before, and by the evening, I smelled sour.  I took a quick shower, donned the gross white T-shirt, and looked at myself in the mirror.  “I can go to dinner in this,” I thought.  “I totally can.”

You know I totally couldn’t.

The clock told me I had 25 minutes until we were leaving for dinner, so I jumped on the elevator.  I’d spotted a Gap just down the block, and was on a mission to race to buy a new top.  Just as the elevator door opened, I pulled out my phone and called my mom, anxious to tell her about the ways of my idiotic packing.  She’s my mom – she has no choice but to indulge her daughter’s freak outs.

I was rushing through the lobby, talking fast, when all of a sudden I caught my toe on a rug and – phone catapulting through the air – dazzlingly, spectacularly tripped.

Like, people gasped.

There were probably 100 people in the lobby, and they all GASPED.

I didn’t waste any time.  I used my rug-burned hands to grab my phone off the floor – “Mom, are you there? Okay, so as I was saying” – and shoved through the revolving door.  The bellhops on the curb smirked as I walked past – because yes, they had seen me through the window.

I tornadoed through the Gap, grabbing all manner of pants and full-price sweaters.  I didn’t bother trying anything on; my bill came to $176.  I’ll return most of it tomorrow.

Moral of the story: learn to pack for a trip, lest you trip.

(Dumbest moral I’ve ever come up with.)



  1. Ginger on October 12, 2012 at 8:47 AM

    I gasped at the exact same time reading. That’s good storytelling.

  2. linda on October 12, 2012 at 10:02 AM

    I’m an over packer – which is usually fine, just a few random things end up getting thrown in there. One time, a bag of knives. Most recently, a tub of peanut butter. TSA loves me. Have fun in NY!

  3. Tad on October 12, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    It sounds like maybe having a couple ensembles put together and stored away specially and only for travel that you can always have ready at hand might be good. Totally a guy response. I know. I’ll own that.

  4. Greta on October 12, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    This is one of my favorite blogs, and you are hilarious, and the moral of the story was punny and ridiculous.

    I can’t wait to talk to you about NY!!!!

  5. Emily from Seattle on October 12, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    So I’m trying to be a travel writer right now, and if it ends up happening, I TOTALLY need to find a way to work the phrase “a constipation of logic” into one of my books. Don’t worry…you’ll get an acknowledgement. :P

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