I spent a few years thinking of myself as something of a packing connoisseur. After flying on nothing but extremely cheap airlines that charge you extra for everything, including breathing their air, I’d turned packing a single bag for a two-week trip into a fine science.
But mastering the pack has turned into something akin to my thoughts on the English language after acquiring a master’s degree in both writing and literature: I don’t have to do it well to prove I know how to do it. In much the same way that I don’t believe I need to capitalize letters or use proper punctuation in my tweets, I have recently decided that I don’t need to pack like a champion any time I go somewhere to prove that I know how to do it. I know that I know how to do it. And somehow, that should be good enough.
Unfortunately, in this case, it seems to mean that I have totally forgotten how to pack a bag.
I realized this recently on a few different press trips. I’d be packing my smallest suitcase, which used to be able to hold a week’s worth of clothes. But now, all of a sudden, I was struggling to fit four outfits for a trip that lasted less than 72 hours. How have I fallen so low?
I blame it on driving everywhere. If I need to go somewhere in the Suburban, why should I pay attention to packing light? I can just throw a bunch of shit into a few different bags and call ‘er good. Can’t decide between two outfits? Bring ‘em both. Not sure how much time I’ll have for reading? Fuck it, I’ll just bring 10 books and see how the mood strikes. Now, trying to pack efficiently for even the shortest trip, I have no idea what I’m doing.
Please make me feel better about myself. Share your most horrifyingly terrible packing jobs with me. I’ll take them all. The overnight bag. The U-Haul. The back of your Suburban. I don’t care. Just please make me feel less like a goof.