I used to routinely pack for the husband whenever we went out of town, but a few years back I stopped. I can’t remember the exact circumstances. I suspect it was a combination of time shortage on my part and a preference for waiting until the last minute to pack on his part.
In any case, since we initiated the “Everybody Count Out Your Own Socks Policy,” it has become increasingly apparent that we have very different approaches when it comes to packing.
When we first started packing separately, I wondered what sort of random, haphazard packing method he might use. When I witnessed him packing methodically, carefully and neatly, I wondered if perhaps I was indispensable. And then he tossed in hard cover books, newspapers and heavy dress shoes on top of his neatly folded clothes. So maybe I was still indispensable.
Mathematically, our split packing should have meant going from one suitcase to two. It did not. I take two bags for his every one. I long to be one of those people who “travel light,” packing only three articles of clothing and turning them into 15 different outfits, but it is not in the stars. Or the luggage.
I tend to pack for every conceivable weather condition (heat wave, torrential rain, drought, hail, hard freeze, blizzard), while he packs like an optimist who assumes the weather will be sunny and 72 regardless of the destination or season.
His modus operandi for packing is “Have khakis, will travel.”
Let it also be noted, the man doesn’t do “outfits.” He is of the mindset that everything he has goes with everything else he has. Why argue at this stage of the game?
I’d be concerned if I saw him laying out shirts and pants on the bed, seeing what goes together for hours at a time the way I have been known to do. He appears to put little thought into packing, but always looks put together.
The greatest difference in our packing revolves around shoes, which is currently running at a 4:1 ratio in my favor. What can I say? I have needy feet.
We also differ in that I will start packing days before we leave, while he often packs the morning of, based on the motto: “What’s the big deal?”
It turns out I come with a lot of baggage. Literally. Meanwhile, he has successfully become the minimalist that I always wanted to be. He’s gone from packing one medium suitcase to a carry-on bag, to a business overnight bag that wouldn’t even hold my hair appliances.
We recently returned from a weekend trip and I asked if he had unpacked, as I was going to start laundry.
“I brought in the clothes I took on hangers,” he said. “I just need to unpack a few things I stuffed in my camera bag.”
Is there anything more annoying than someone else’s success?
Lori Borgman is an Indianapolis columnist. Send comments to email@example.com.