Wednesday, June 26, 2013

'Preplanned' Packing

Call me sexist or a non-feminist or non-masculinist or whatever you want, but I firmly believe there are certain things women are better at than men: like childbirth.  

And I firmly believe there are certain things men are better at than woman: like using a urinal.

Under Women Only, I also list "packing." Under Men Only, I list "carrying luggage." With good reason.

Ten years ago, my sweet husband-to-be called to tell me that after our wedding he was taking me to a resort in Jamaica for our honeymoon.

When I asked what he'd packed, he said, "I'm still pre-planning it."

If I may digress for a moment...

People, what in God's green earth is "pre-planning"? Jay says it all the time. I don't mind Southern colloquialisms if they make sense. I've even been known to pepper my conversation with "y'all." It's quite useful as a plural second-person pronoun. But I can't wrap my brain around how one plans to make a plan! Or of what pre-planning consists since the minute one thinks, "I should pack shoes," then one is already planning.

Thank you for indulging me. Back to our story...

I suggested (whenever he got around to actually packing) that he include some nice clothes in case any of the restaurants at the resort had dress codes in the evening. He promised to do so.

Since we would spend most of our time on the beach located mere steps from our room, I brought (along with unmentionables) four bathing suits, three cover-ups, and several each of sundresses, t-shirts, tank tops, shorts, and sandals. Oh, and a couple of dresses for the nicer restaurants. Jay grumbled a bit when he hefted my suitcase for the first time, but I wore nearly everything I brought.

The view from our room.
To the right was the beach, where we spent most of our time.
When we arrived at the resort, Jay opened his suitcase (which was significantly lighter than mine). He proudly showed me that it was filled with dress pants and button-down shirts. Even a few ties. It was wonderful of him to remember, and I appreciated how great he looked on the few nights we went out for fine dining.

Unfortunately, he'd also brought only one t-shirt, a pair of shorts, and one swimsuit.

For two weeks.

On the beach.

In Jamaica.

He finally relented and bought another t-shirt (of the overpriced, tourist variety), but he washed his swim trunks and shorts in the sink. 

For two weeks.

We still had a lovely honeymoon, but, based on that experience, when we went to visit family in another state, I considered it my wifely duty to check Jay's suitcase before we left home. 

He was highly offended. 

So, like good wife, I apologized.

"I'm really sorry, honey; I don't mean to be patronizing," I humbly confessed. "Yes, you are old enough to pack your own suitcase. I was way out of line. Please forgive me."

"I do," he graciously replied, mollified.

"...which is why," I added, "I won't mention that the only pair of socks and underwear you'll have for the entire trip are the ones you're wearing to the airport."

"What? You're kidding!" he exclaimed, digging through the suitcase in vain for a pair of buried undies or an overlooked sock.

"Not changing your boxers or socks the whole time might get a bit smelly," I added, "but since you also didn't pack deodorant, shampoo, or a toothbrush, I'm going to assume that you're not concerned with how you'll smell on this vacation."

"You're kidding," he groaned.

"But that's okay," I assured him, cheerfully. "I can work around it. Instead of having people to come to my parents' house to visit us, perhaps we can meet our friends and relatives at the zoo where your odor won't be obvious."

He laughed, shaking his head at his suitcase in disbelief.

"Or rendezvous at a fish-packing plant," I continued.

"I can't believe I didn't pack underwear," he muttered incredulously.

"Or arrange a stroll through a cow pasture," I suggested.

"Okay, okay," he admitted with a grin, "I can't pack.

"Or we could say," I proposed, "that we've always wanted to tour the city dump..."

"This is why I need a wife. Pack my suitcase for me. Please."

"I wish I could, honey," I answered, sadly. "But by the time I'm done pre-planning and then making a plan based on the pre-plan that I'd planned, I won't have time to pack."

Pre-planning definitely pays off--he has all he needs for at least a month.
Verse of the day: (I Peter 4:10) "Each of you should use whatever gifts you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms."

P.S. As usual, this has been posted with Jay's approval. Yes, I did pack for him that day--and for every trip thereafter.

For another Jay story, check out She Said, He Heard. For a story about an unfortunate airport incident, read Our Trip was the Bomb.


  1. Ha! Love your comeback! :-)

    Seriously, if Jay could do packing well, I'd be concerned. But, based on the above, his "man-card" is secure. ;-)


    1. Totally agree. It's not something I was looking for in a husband.

  2. Poor Jay. I have a feeling his pre-planning comment will make him eligible for Nina's next victim of her "Redundancy of the Day" posts. That aside, I'm with Jay when it comes to certain things that don't necessarily need to be laundered. As such, only packing one should be adequate: Towels (because if you do things the proper way in the shower) should never become dirty - only wet, and bathing suits (because they get laundered every time one uses them). And by swimming in the ocean, the salt can only help matters. And if he planned on swimming WHILE wearing his "unmentionables" then that too could justify him bringing only one pair. Sorry, Pamela, I have to defend my fellow dude and his unintentional brilliance whenever I can. Under the international "Man Code" rules, I'm obligated to do so.

    1. I respect your adherence to the Man Code.

      I'm all about cutting down on laundry. We use Norwex towels because they have micro-silver in them which disables and then kills any bacteria or germs that might get picked up (major simplification of how it works, but I did a lot of independent research before getting them). A normal towel will start to smell after a while as any random bacteria rapidly reproduces in the damp environment. I won't tell you how long our Norwex towels last--weeks--but I usually eventually wash them even when they don't need it. I especially adore the hand towels, because if we have kids over, I don't have to wonder how well they washed their hands after going to the bathroom. As long as they dampen their hands and wipe them on the towel, no germ is going to spread through the rest of the house (and that germ will die instead of reproduce in the towel). And until the towel has a slight odor, it's clean. There was a MAJOR decrease in the laundry loads once we got them.

    2. Jay thanks you for your defense. Especially the "unintentional brilliance" comment. "Rock on, dude," were his exact words.

    3. I always check david's suitcase too. I think it's a man thing...he likes it when I do and would love me to pack for him every time but I tell him..he can do it, and I can check it be4 he leaves. This works for us.

      Also...pre planning is what david does a lot of but he doesn't use that term surprised Jay came up with a word for it. ...David just says I am still thinking about it....but this thinking about it before he starts planning can take a while - I have learned to be patient!......I think he has to think a lot about how he might want to do something and consider a lot of options before the actual planning starts!! Yes...This is a guy thing too I am afraid. Maybe it's because their minds are more one track in nature, where ours can handle many things at once.

    4. Jay didn't come up with the word (although it's one of his favorites)--it's used a lot down here in the South. I'm from the Southwest, so I'm straightforward enough to say, "I don't even want to think about packing right now. I'm not gonna, and you can't make me."

  3. Bill pre-plans...which I call his "talking about planning" :) I must say though, he is a much better packer than I am!

    1. I usually say, "You mean you're in the 'procrastination' stage." I've never known a man good at packing, so good for Bill! He's methodical, so that must be his secret. I have a packing list I refer to because then I don't have to think about the essentials.

  4. Hilarious, as always! I read it aloud to the family and they enjoyed it. Fred put in a few good words for Jay (that Man Code thing again), but we girls KNOW towels MUST be washed (unless they're Norwex, of course). In Fred's defense, he's a very good packer, so I never have to check his suitcase. I DO, however, have to rifle through his closet occasionally to find clothes he has worn several times but keeps putting away instead of into the laundry. (When I read this comment to him, he gave me a blank look and said, "SO?! I'm PROUD of that fact!" Sigh.) ;-)

  5. Last night I made a few hilarious comments to Jay, but when no laugh track followed them, I was finally convinced that our life is not a sitcom.

  6. You are killing me!! I am laughing so hard I scared Samson to death - he thought I was having a seizure!!! LMAO!

    Suzanne & Samson

    p.s. Thanks again for having "lunner" (combo of lunch and dinner!) and thanks for talking on the phone today - was that the longest you have ever talked on the phone?? LOL

    1. I LOVE when I can make someone laugh! Have you read the other posts, too? I think you'll appreciate Medicated Part One and Medicated Part Two. And Samson might like My Native American Name is Mighty Rodent Hunter. Then again, it might give him some ideas...

  7. Since the pre-planning obviously failed, let's just call the purchase of the overpriced, touristy t-shirt "post-planning."

    1. Ha! Every time he says "pre-planning," it drives me NUTS. I say, "How are you preparing to make a plan? Do you say, 'I must determine what to wear when I begin to plan. And what I will be drinking when I plan. And I should determine my planning snacks. Should I plan in my head or write things down on paper? There are many supplies to assemble before one dares venture to plan anything.'? Or what?" He just laughs.