Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Packing Angst

Nothing gets me gnarlier than packing for a trip. I think it all stems from those childhood summer vacations when I had to cut back on what I wanted to take because we were a family of six traveling in one car.
Here’s what really bugs me about packing:
Making decisions. How do I know what I’ll feel like wearing or reading when I get to where I’m going? For that matter, who knows what the weather will be like? (I learned this the hard way when I went to Vancouver in August – and it was freezing).
Finding clouds of dog hair in my suitcase. I know, I know, I should be a better housekeeper and give up my penchant for black.
Worrying about my dog. Lily has followed me around all day today. She knows something is up. In fact, she’s staring at me now with big haunted eyes. I’m waiting for her to start howling. That just wrenches my heart.
Looking for stuff. While I’m hunting around I come across all sorts of things that I haven’t finished, and I feel guilty about going away.
Losing stuff. I’ve been to Boston seven times. I have a fabulous map and all sorts of info. But where is it? Why did I set up a fancy cross-referenced filing system if I can’t even stick to it?
Housecleaning. Even though I’m a slob, I hate coming back to a messy house. Today this involved scrubbing the bathtub…the number one housecleaning job I hate. I keep hoping someone else will understand how much I loathe doing this and take over. But so far, no luck.
It’s not all bad though. This time I’m traveling with John and we’re driving. His philosophy is that we just fill up the car with whatever we want to take and stop when it’s full.


Carmi said...

I suggest packing in the garage...if they don't see the bags, they can't really be sure anything is going on......
I expect to open a book twenty years from now and a peice of Shadows fur will probably still fly out...

Jeanne Schedler said...

Susan, I know exactily what you mean. We have travelled so much in the last 5-6 years that I have developed a system. I have "traveling clothes" the same outfits every time, lots of layers for climate control. I pack about 3 days ahead with the goal of unpacking 1/3 to 1/2 of it by departure day. I keep a small toiletry bag of small-size toothpaste, shamppoo, etc. that I never unpack- just keep it stocked and ready to go. Tearfully, I gave up taking books a long time ago. I had widthdrawal but it lightened the load. One small paperback- max. I always come home with new books from where I am going.

There is no easy solution. It is just one of those things women fret about. Men seem to be oblivious to it all. Just pitch some stuff in a suitcase and go. However, if you are driving, I tend to agree with John!