Sunday, May 15, 2011

Colorado or Bust

So, tomorrow I'm off to Colorado for a week. Six days, to be exact. My plane leaves at about 8:30 am, which means I'm leaving to go to the airport at about 6:30 am, which is eight and a half hours from right now... and I'm not packed yet.
I'm pretty sure that of you are a woman and are reading this, then you just flinched, frowned, or had some other reaction to that particular piece of news. Every woman I know, my mom, my wife, sister, friends, would have been packed for about a week now. They might say they wouldn't, but they would have. What they mean is they're not finished packing yet. Almost. They'd have clothes, and some larger items all set; that book they've been meaning to read, probably some travel-sized toiletries packed in zip-lock bags for the flight, things they may be bringing to someone at the other end of the flight.
But what they wouldn't have done is the tweaking, the last-minute adding of the stuff that they simply can't add until right before they leave. Can't pack the toothbrush, or any medications, they'll need those in the morning. Favorite pair of jeans? Have to wash 'em first, they were worn just three days ago. Are they bringing a Nook, or a Kindle, or some other E-reader for the flight? Have to give it a last minute charge so it will last as long as possible for the flight...
But other than that, they'll have been done for days. That way they can go over and over the inventory in their heads again and again, obsessing over anything they may have missed.
I'm avoiding all that.
I got the bag out this morning and put it on my bed. Over the course of the day I washed every item of clothing I own that has been worn in the past week. Into the bag, from the pile of "cleanies" I put enough shirts, pants, shorts, socks and underwear to last me seven days. Plus a couple of extra shirts. Gone for six days but packing for seven? I know myself. I'm pretty sure at some point during the week I'm gonna mess up some clothes. I'll go fishing and wipe my hands on my shorts without thinking. I'll be eating pasta and realize that the warm feeling in my chest isn't the onset of heartburn, but hot meat sauce spattering my shirt and soaking through to the skin. I know I'll do something.
I have a small bag of travel toiletries I have from the last time I took a trip, a year ago. It's still packed. Into the suitcase it goes!
Now all I have to do is get together my electronics and their cords, and I think I'm good to go. Beard trimmer, phone, BlueTooth headset, laptop, and netbook. Add in two books, one that I'm reading to my son at night on the phone while I'm gone and one that I'll may need if my batteries die, and I'm out the door.
Makes some women sick. And when I find that I've forgotten something, they point out that I wouldn't have forgotten anything if I had just packed ahead.
Here's the thing: I know I would have forgotten something anyway. I always do. But I know that if it's something that I can't do without for a week, I can probably buy it there at a Wallgreen's, or a Walmart. And there's actually quite a lot that I can do without for a week.
Women hate that attitude.
Oh, I know of a man or two who might have been packed two weeks in advance. If you are reading this, then  you know who you are.
Sorry. Last-minute packing. It's all part of the trip!
Talk to you from Colorado!
...unless of course I wind up being randomly pulled out of line at a security checkpoint and thrown into a small room with two large men wearing latex gloves, a room that smells of desperation, perspiration, lubrication and penetration.That's not the kind of last-minute packing I look forward to.

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