I have a problem I’m assuming many women are familiar with. I’ve tried to hide it, deny it, overcome it. No matter what I do, no matter the drastic actions I take, it seems to be a habit, an obsession I cannot conquer on my own. I’m horribly embarrassed by it, ashamed of it, and do my best to distract people from noticing it.
My name is Sue and I’m an over-packer.
I can’t stop myself. I have tried. I tell myself to close the suitcase and just walk away. Five minutes later I’m opening it back up and adding another fifteen outfits, seven more pairs of underwear, argyle socks that I’ve never worn in my life, a couple of belts (I don’t wear belts), a graphing calculator, a day planner from 2003, JCPenney’s Christmas Catalog (um, it’s May), a swimsuit (even in February), my high school yearbook from 1999, and a bottle of cooking oil.
Okay, so maybe I exagerrated slightly. But I swear to you, it is almost that bad.
Say the husband and I have to take a quick trip overnight somewhere. He throws some things into a backpack. Me? I pull out my small-sized suitcase and proceed to pack 5 outfits, 2 sets of pajamas, about 9 changes of underwear and 7 pairs of socks, 3 pairs of shoes, everything that I currently store in the bathroom (and I mean EVERYTHING), a couple of books, a board game, my swimsuit (REALLY? JUST IN CASE?! WHEN YOU HAVEN’T BEEN SWIMMING SINCE 2005?!), and maybe a notebook or two.
I swear to you… I. CANNOT. STOP.
There’s this compulsion to pack EVERYTHING for EVERY POSSIBLE SCENARIO no matter how SILLY, how LUDICROUS, how UNNECESSARY it may be. I would have made a frickin’ AWESOME girlscout. I mean, really? Always be prepared? You bet your BIPPY I’m prepared.
Why am I packing a travel sized chess set? Um, you never know when you may be challanged to a game of chess. Are you going to stand there all like, “Uh, oh, um, I don’t think I have a chess set on me.”? I think NOT. You come prepared to whup somebody’s you-know-what when they challenge you to a game of chess, not stand there like a fool.
Why am I packing a bear trap? Um, HELLO?! GRIZZLIES?! Have you not heard of these monsters? And don’t tell me any of this mumbo jumbo about “Only in the Pacific Northwest and Canada and Alaska.” What, they’re gonna come to the border of Minnesota, stop, reconsider, and turn around because they supposedly don’t roam the wilds of Minnesota?! These are crafty animals my friends. To heck with borders, they don’t care about borders. If they wanna visit Minnesota, they’re gonna do what they gosh darn please. And Sue will be THE ONLY person ready for them.
Why am I packing my bonzai tree and my goldfish? Um, HELLO?! I can’t exactly water them and feed them WHILE I’M AWAY, now can I?! NO. So, I’m going to be responsible, TAKE THEM WITH, and ensure that they receive the proper care and attention they deserve. DUH.
Why am I packing my computer monitor? REALLY?! Uh… maybe because I don’t want the little midget closet dwellers getting their hands on it while I’m away so they can sell it on the black market for a pretty penny?! HM?! EVER THINK OF THAT?! NO! YOU DID NOT! BECAUSE, YOU, MY FRIEND, ARE UNPREPARED.
You know, you can judge me, you can mock me, you can ridicule and point fingers and laugh and talk behind my back, but remember this…
Sue is ALWAYS prepared.
I don’t care how long it takes to get the luggage out to the car, or how heavy or bulky the suitcase is…
I’m prepared. And you will thank me when you win your chess game, you escape that hungry grizzly, you preserve the life of your goldfish and bonsai tree and save your computer monitor from an untimely demise.
Underpacking equals stupidity, my friends.
And apparently, I win the prize for “Most Brilliant.”