Packing Nightmares

Tomorrow, I’m going on holiday!

Every holiday, I promise myself that I would draw up a list of items to pack but I always forget. I always begin my packing thinking everything is under control, I have plenty of time. Now time management is not my forte, and having spoken to a couple of my girlfriends about their packing dilemmas, they seem to agree that they just can’t organize packing without panicking.

I can just picture Thursday night’s scene. I find a suitcase of a suitable size. Place it on my bed. Open the closet and the packing begins. I start off by picking some trousers, some tops, a few skirts. At this point, I remember an important (yes-important) blouse that I want to take on holiday but it’s in the washing machine. I head for the washing machine and dig it out. Excellent, it’s been washed. It’s still wet. What to do? I take the blouse and head to the hairdryer and start blow drying the blouse. That doesn’t really work so I just stick it on the electric heater in the living room.

In the living room, I see my significant other who’s quietly reading a book. READING? I think to myself… How can he be so relaxed? Its now 2 am and our flight leaves early tomorrow morning. Anyway… “Ignore him and carry on packing”, I think. I resume packing and realize I don’t actually have as much time as I’d like. I’ve still got to wax and do my nails and get some beauty sleep… all in the next 6 hours. I need to organize my packing. So I take things out of the suitcase and start again, this time with some sort of classification system. I reach inside my closet; first I need something comfortable to wear on the plane. I also need an outfit for each day, an outfit for each evening, a swimsuit (maybe 2). I’ll need my day cream, my night cream, my sun cream and my after bath cream, my sun glasses, my reading glasses, underwear (plenty of it), my make-up, my hairdryer, some brushes and some basic toiletries. That should be fine.

I place the items of clothing in my bag, with my speed increasing exponentially as I realize all the things yet to be done. Once the clothes are done, I begin on the toiletries (the difficult part). I get a little travel bag and put in my shampoo, conditioner and hair balm. Why is it that shampoos only come in industrial sized packs and thus take up one quarter of the suitcase? Onto the nail stuff. I can’t put in the nail stuff yet; I still have to do my nails. OK, put the packing on hold till I do my nails, then everything can go in. It’s now 3 am…why are time, patience and organization all conspiring against me this evening?

Anyway, I sit down and think … RELAAAAAX… I give myself a quick unprofessional manicure (not a good idea?) I apply the nail polish and start blowing on it till I am blue in the face so that it dries quickly. Now I know the nail polish is not totally dry but if I’m really careful, my packing mission should be accomplished in no time. It’s 3.30.

I throw my manicure set in the suitcase, followed by the hairdryer, the large round brush, the small round brush, the medium round brush and finally the non-hairdryer brush (ladies, you know which one I’m talking about right?). SO. Got clothes, got nail stuff, make-up’s easy, it’s in my handbag and that’s where it will stay. Got my hair stuff…got everything.

By this time my toes are dry, I can put on my slippers and go join my hubby in the living room (still don’t understand how he can be so calm the night before a trip). So I put on my slippers and… SLIPPERS?? I forgot to pack slippers and shoes… “Don’t panic,” I think to myself. There’s still enough space to fit some essential shoes in the suitcase (as you can see the issue is no longer just time, it’s also space). Essential shoes: black days shoes, black evening sandals, brown day shoes, gold evening sandals, a pair of beige sandals, a pair or red sandals (for when I’m feeling sexy), a pair of flat sandals (if I’ll be walking), a pair of trainers (for if I’m hiking), and an extra pair of shoes just in case. Just in case what? I have no idea but the logical part of the brain seems to take a break when I’m packing.

Now shoes are in…just. I can finally relax. Until… I remember the blouse that I had so wisely placed on the electric heater. By now, it must have turned into the blouse equivalent of a prune. Hands in the air (the nail polish is still drying) I run to the living room to save the prune. I grab it violently off the heater and manage to ruin one of my nails. I flip. I’m tired. I just start talking to myself loudly.

I’ve had it. I’m exhausted. It’s 4 am and I have to be up in a few hours. I go back to the bedroom, dig out the nail polish remover, take off the nail polish, throw in the blouse and zip up the suitcase. I don’t care about the nail polish, the beauty sleep, nothing. I just want this packing nightmare to be over and to start the trip.

I get into pajamas, to try and catch at least a couple of hours of rest (it can no longer be classified as sleep). I’m lifting the bag off the bed but my arm goes into paralysis. The bag is so heavy; I can’t even move it! Never mind, I think, it’s always better to over pack than to under pack. I call my hubby to help me carry it. He looks at the bag which is the size of the Titanic and says “you do realize we’re only going for 3 days”. (Had I not mentioned that yet?).

Sweetly, he still carries the bag and puts it on the floor. I’m surprised it hadn’t caused a dent in the downstairs neighbor’s ceiling. At this point I get into bed. I need rest. He joins me. “What about packing your suitcase?” I ask, panicking. The word suitcase seems to automatically trigger a sensation of panic by now. “I’ll do it tomorrow,” he says. I’m thinking “but we are tomorrow!”

I don’t get much rest and before I know it, it’s time to go. On our way to the door, he picks up and old handbag. Opens his closet and in less than 3 seconds, has placed all he needs for the whole holiday. All 3 days of the holiday! He’s content. He’s finished. He’s carrying his bag and mine (no matter what we say, they always end up carrying it). We walk out the door, we’re in the cab on the way to the airport and despite my traumatic packing night, I’ve still got a feeling I’ve forgotten something!

Photo by Nubia Navarro (nubikini) from Pexels

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