I gaily packed some of my favorite of the previous summer's clothes for a February trip to the Bahamas -- inconveniently forgetting the months-long holiday eat-a-thon that had occurred since last I wore them.
So there I was, dressing for dinner at a resort one night and -- quelle horror! My favorite slinky brown rayon pants zipped, but just barely. The seams screamed in agony. There was no way I could be seen in them. The same thing happened with a pair of daytime casual pants I'd brought -- cutting down considerably my wardrobe options for the week.
I ended up spending a lot of time in what I think of as my "fat" skirt on that trip, and thinking often and wistfully of a pair of baggy chinos I'd changed my mind about at the last minute -- actually pulling them from my suitcase right before zipping it up. Big mistake.
Aw heck, it doesn't matter. If I'd brought them, something else would have been wrong with my packing decisions.
Have you ever, ever, EVER felt like you've done a good job packing for a trip?
I'm not a casual packer like my husband, who has the audacity to toss a few things in a bag the morning of departure. Drives me nuts. I can't do that. I set my suitcase out days early and start filling it. I make lists and more lists, try on outfits (except, of course, before that Bahamas trip, for which I was trying to be less obsessive-compulsive than usual), make last-minute purchases, put things in and take them out and then put them back in. (Again, except for that Bahamas trip. Half my problems would have been solved if I'd put the chinos back.)
Yet there are Murphy's Laws to packing that always seem to bite me in the bottom. Perhaps you've experienced them?
Murphy's Packing Law One: Whatever the weather the last I checked -- even if it's the morning I leave -- it changes the moment my plane lands. Bright and sunny for the past three weeks? I'll need a rain slicker. Sweater weather in the morning? Bathing or snow suits on arrival. The correlating law to this: Seventy degrees in Los Angeles feels entirely different from 70 degrees in Dallas which feels entirely different from 70 degrees in Denver. Numbers mean nothing when it comes to packing.
Murphy's Packing Law Two: Stains, rips, and other clothing imperfections are invisible until I am at my destination. Correlating law: My sewing kit never has the proper color of thread to mend whatever needs mending.
Murphy's Packing Law Three: Shoes change size in my luggage. Maybe they've been comfortable as house slippers for the past year but one day of sightseeing and I'm hobbling like a Chinese concubine.
Murphy's Packing Law Four: No matter how chic I try to be, it's never chic enough. I can pack my grooviest threads for a European trip, but the minute I set foot on the streets of a European capital, I am crushed by the weight of my own dowdiness.
Murphy's Packing Law Five: Conditioner cannot be contained. I close it tightly, wrap it in seven baggies, zip it in a toiletries bag, tuck it deeply into pocket - it stills manages to ooze out on something. Correlating law: If my conditioner cuts me a break, my sunscreen picks up the slack.
Murphy's Packing Law Six: No matter how carefully I pack, only one outfit will be perfectly suitable and I'll wear it daily. Correlating law: If I try packing the same outfit for another trip, regardless of similarity of climate, etc., it will be all wrong and I will end up wearing a different outfit over and over.
Really, it's a miracle I manage to dress myself at all when I travel. So if you see a fellow traveler who is dowdily dressed in stained, poorly mended, and tired-looking clothes, be sure to stop me and say hello.