2018-01-26 / Commentary

Packing with panache

I’m just saying...
Julia Rogers Hook

Sometimes I wonder if, at the beginning of time when God created the two sexes, He may have given males an extra little gene for travel He left out when He made the females. Or maybe it’s all about that extra “X” chromosome in the female species… maybe that “X” stands for “extra.”

I think mine does.

I’ve written about this before, but it just slays me every time I travel. I typically start planning any trip wardrobe three or four days before I leave, and I am meticulous about it. I’ve learned to pack in such a way that you start with one or two basic colors and then make each piece of clothing work for at least two, preferably three, different outfits.

My basic colors are almost always black and white. One pair of black pants for example can be used for at least three different looks and when you add different tops, jewelry, or scarves, you’re set!


You always have to take the type of material and cut of the pants as well as the shirts into consideration when deciding what sort of top you’ll be pairing up, so normally at least two styles should be taken on any trip…if nothing else, dressy and casual. After all, tours and hikes through new towns call for one type of attire while dinner in a fancy restaurant demands a completely different appearance.

So with all this in mind, you can imagine the thought and time it takes me to sort and accessorize to make sure I’m set for any and all occasions that may arise on any trip I take. And I haven’t even begun to discuss shoes, jewelry, and other accoutrements to turn everyday garments into fashion statements.

Add in inclement weather and whooooboy! I’m totally bewildered. As in recently when my husband Marty and I took a quick weekend getaway to Key West. January in the Keys is typically still beautiful, but with this crazy weather we’ve had with snow even in parts of Florida, who knew what to expect!

I painstakingly matched up everything from tank tops to sweaters and then threw in all the scarves, necklaces, and earrings for each individual “look.” Shoes must be comfortable, but stylish of course, and that’s easy in the summer with all the cute flats and sandals out there. But in “iffy” weather, you may need something more, maybe tennis shoes or even boots, which are both heavy and awkward to pack.

Nevertheless, I got it done! It took three full days of trying on clothes, picking and choosing what to take and what to leave, and then going through the pile of “take” garments one more time to trim it down even more.

And I fit it all into my SMALLER suitcase! I couldn’t believe it myself! It was miraculous really! I’d never packed so well and so light in my entire life!

I was glowing with pride at my newfound travel savviness. I couldn’t WAIT to tell Marty how well I had done. After all, he always accuses me of over-packing, but oh no! Not this time.

I was now the PERFECT packer. Oh sure…there was some effort involved…well quite a LOT actually, but by golly, I had packed light, and Marty had said it couldn’t be done! I impatiently waited on him to get home and begin HIS packing.

He came home and got out his suitcase…a much LARGER one than mine, I might add. I smirked shrewdly as I walked downstairs and left him to begin his own sorting and switching process.

Not ten minutes went by and he was in the kitchen with me

“Aren’t you going to pack honey?” I was wary. “We have to get up pretty early in the morning you know.”

“Oh I’m packed. I’m all ready to go.” His suitcase was by the door and there was a suspicious gleam in his eyes.

“You did NOT pack that fast!” I marched over to his suitcase and began to unzip it. When I opened it, there were his clothes…shirts, sweaters, pants, and shorts…on hangers and just lying in his bag. And under all that his toiletries and underwear were serenely nestled in each corner of the bag.

He had completely packed in TEN MINUTES!

Remember those chromosomes I was talking about and how the additional “X” in the female might stand for “extra?” Well, since the males get the “Y” as well as the “X” chromosome… that “Y” may very well stand for generations of bewildered and baffled women screaming out “WHYYYYY?????”

I’m just saying…

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