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July 09, 2008

Packing lightly?


Suitcase Over the past decade, almost all the trips I've taken have included several other people (namely, my hubby and kids). And since only a few of them are big enough to carry luggage, or at least, not actually BE part of the luggage, I usually find myself cramming clothes for six people into two suitcases--one medium-sized, one carry-on sized. (note: this usually means that at the last minute I discover 9-11 items that I absolutely need that won't fit in the suitcases, and those go in an empty Target bag. Luckily, even a four-year-old can carry a Target bag).

So on the rare occasion that I'm packing just for myself, I can't help but go a little crazy with the clothes and accessories and shoes. I mean, look at all that SPACE in there, just waiting to be filled up! Isn't it good to be as well-prepared as possible? Isn't it wise to bring along five pair of shoes and enough clothes and underwear to change at least twice a day in case something should happen? You never know--I could be invited to a ball. Or a rave. I could fall in a swamp one day and in quicksand the next. I could lose a shoe in a manhole. (I hear there have been a lot of manhole cover thefts recently). And it's always possible that I'll fall asleep first and the other ladies will freeze my bra in the hotel mini-fridge. Or at least chill it in the ice bucket.

Then there's the fact that even on a good day, I'm weather-obsessed. Being dressed inappropriately for the temperature can ruin my day, and this has me worried about my clothing repetoire. Sure, it's mid-July and bound to be hot wherever we go, but what if Utah's dry heat requires a different sort of fabric or sleeve length than the Midwest's humid heat? And last time I was in San Francisco, it was surprisingly chilly, especially right by the water. Ocean breezes on a sunny day require just the right layers. If I am too hot or too cold at any time, I will beat myself up over my packing inadequacies.

Let's not even get started on toiletries, hair dryers (the hotel versions just aren't the same as my own, but it's enormous and heavy), makeup (I generally wear hardly any, but who knows when that smoky black eyeliner, huge eyeshadow palette or 16 oz jar of bronzer might come in handy?)

Part of my brain is saying "just pack everything in your closet--YOU MIGHT NEED IT ALL!" But there's the little issue that I'm sharing the vehicle with four other people, and they all might like to bring some clothes along too. Plus, I'll have to lug whatever I bring inside each hotel myself, instead of passing that dirty job along to my husband like I usually would. And, I'd hate to take any chance that my 200+ pounds of clothing, toiletries and hair appliances might decrease the Hybrid Tahoe's impressive gas mileage.

So I guess I'll be packing light. If you notice me in San Francisco shivering, covered in quicksand and swamp mud, missing a shoe, with my bra thawing down the inside of my shirt, you'll know why. Just hand me a sweater, would ya?

--Meagan is currently obsessing over things she cannot control.


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