Sunday, May 27, 2012

Packing Anxiety

An Open Letter to My College Roommate

We have packing issues. We both know it. You had to schedule a day between your wedding and your honeymoon because the idea of packing for a honeymoon while planning all the minute details of your wedding overwhelmed you. At the time, while I completely sympathized and definitely understood, I thought that, just maybe, your packing anxiety was worse than mine.

I feel that the tables have turned. Because, really, if you're as bad as I am now, we both need to check ourselves into rehab. I'm looking into programs for myself.

We're going to Maui in two and a half weeks. We've kept it fairly quiet because we're desperately trying to surprise the boys. Or, at least, Garrett. If it was just Matthew we could probably shout into his ear, "We're going on a plane. To Maui. One of the Hawaiian islands. MAUI. HAWAII. PLANE!" And he'd just blink several times and then ask us why we're shouting. But if Garrett so much as hears the word Hawaii, he's going to ask us 12,000 times a day if it's time to go yet and can we go swimming right when we get there, RIGHT WHEN WE GET THERE? CAN WE? And will there be coconuts? Pineapple? Mango? Papaya? CAN WE SNORKEL? ARE WE THERE YET? ARE WE? ARE WE? HUH? HUH? HUH? And don't even get me started on what would happen when he realized we were taking a PLANE.


I'm sure you can understand that I don't want to deal with that for the next 18 days. I also don't want to deal with it for the eleven and a half hour drive to San Diego which we are doing because airfare to Maui from Salt Lake would have involved us selling our firstborn. And oh my gosh can you even imagine how mad he would have been if he'd found out we'd sold him so that the rest of us could go to Hawaii? It was considerably cheaper for us to drive to San Diego and then fly from there. The tickets were still lined with gold but we were able to afford it because my parents are generously paying for the lodging and the rental car once we're there. My parents, brother and sister-in-law will all be there with us and we've been referring to the vacation as our Trip to Barstow.

Garrett's so thrilled he's been excitedly telling people, "We're going to BARSTOW! In June! With my GRANDPA AND UNCLE JON! Isn't that the best thing you've ever heard?" And people pat him on the head and make a sad little smile as I'm frantically mouthing the word, "Maui!" over the top of his head so they don't mistake me for the lamest mom in the whole wide world. I'm not kidding, if anyone tells him where we're really going, I'm gonna go out-of-my-mind-nuts and force that person to sit next to him in the car all the way to Southern California.

But back to the topic at hand. Can you even imagine the anxiety of the packing? First, I have to pack myself and two little boys for twelve days on Maui in carry on luggage because we are only paying to check one bag and that is going to be full of our snorkel gear and our sunscreen and toothpaste and hairspray and life jackets for the kids and everything else that's liquidy or too big to fit in a carry on. Troy is only staying for a week so I have to be able to get myself and both boys through the airport with three carry ons, three personal items, a checked bag, a car seat and a booster so I have to be very strategic. Then, I also have to pack the car for a road trip. We need backpacks full of things to keep them busy on the plane and toys for the car ride and clothes for the day between the trip to San Diego and the trip to Hawaii.

You, of all people, can understand this. Right? I need you tell me that I'm not crazy. This anxiety is not crazy!

It's not crazy that I've got the three of us 90% packed and the trip is still two and a half weeks away. It's not crazy that I get heart palpitations just thinking about the fact that my husband won't pack himself until the night before we leave. It's perfectly normal. I don't need shock therapy to fix this. This is organized. This is taking care of business. Am I right?

Or am I so far gone that when I get home from this vacation I'm going to start packing for the next? Actually, that reminds me, we're going camping for two days just a week after we come back from Maui.

Maybe I should pack for that trip now.

How will I manage to clean up a tropical trip and pack for a mountain trip in just seven days? I have to go. I need to find a paper bag to breathe into.

The Headcase You Lived With For Three Years

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