Can I Get a Packer?

I’m warning you, I’m about to complain about something that should just not be complained about, vacation packing. I’ve bragged before about how I am an expert vacation packer, not because of my superior organizational skills, but because of the many times I have put my family in suitcases, and my super graph (picture a grid drawn on a paper that still hasn’t made it to Excel) that includes each member of the family, day, occasion, and of course space at the bottom for all those extras, as in multiple allergy drugs that transform me into a walking pharmacy.

I must say it is something of a wonder (if not a bit disconcerting) that I have never been questioned about the four epi-pens in my carry-on. Of course, if security did look further, they would see the OTC antihistamines, both long and short acting, multiple puffers, and at times, a nebulizer (because my oldest seems to do this trick where he can summon an asthma flare within twenty-four hours of a vacation departure) and probably understand.

Add in the other basics, Tylenol, Advil for children and adults alike (because you know what it’s like to travel with children) and well, I could set up shop and price slash the local airport Bodega like no one’s business.

But, I’m not here to complain about the medicines, it’s the packing that’s got me all uptight this week. Did you ever watch a show, say KUWTK (still a guilty pleasure), and you see these people in their room sized closets with their assistants pulling clothes, putting together outfits as if that is the only thing they’ve got going on in their day? Yea, I want to be one of those people.

I don’t care if it’s a highly edited world of reality television, because the truth in these scenarios is that no one is going into the cedar closet to pull out the Rubbermaids, to wash the clothes that haven’t seen daylight in months (because you don’t have a room sized closet and even if you did, your clothes don’t magically stay dust free). And even if these people’s clothes do need to be washed, I suspect the owners of said clothes are not doing the washing, because, let’s face it, if your wealthy enough to have someone assist you in packing a suitcase, then your certainly wealthy enough to have someone wash your clothes. Who has time for all that washing and drying, anyway? Certainly not people who aren’t cleaning their own houses, running to the food store, driving their kids around town, or cooking dinner.

Can you feel my jealously?

My reality is that I am pulling out Rubbermaid containers from a cedar closet, carefully pulling clothes, so as not to spread dust everywhere (including up my nose), and washing them in between all the other wash I do on a regular basis. Then, folding these clothes only to realize that none of Little Lady’s summer clothes fit her anymore and Second Son’s clothes look like they’ve been worn for years, because they have  (#handmedowns).

My reality is that I am that assistant, though unpaid and without the resources or time. Gone are my days when we had no where to be or homework to do.

Worse, my wardrobe has jumped the shark. You know how one year you realize all your clothes are old and outdated, so you go shopping, and then, for the next two springs, pull out the once new clothes and decide that they have another year in them, but then eventually get to that spring where you open up said Rubbermaid and say to yourself, I’ve been wearing these shorts since 1991 (yea, I wish I was still that size) they’ve got to go?

Well, that’s where I’m at, but with no time to go buy a summer wardrobe. This was a last minute vacation and did I tell you we had, yet, another delayed opening last Monday because of snow, and, another ear infection in the family, i.e, child up in the middle of the night crying in pain, doctor’s visit, sick day. Time is not on my side, these days.

Packing out of  season is just a royal pain in the butt. Packing for Bermuda, last summer? Super fun. Short trip, clothes washed and on hand, all I had to do was curate some outfits and buy some accessories. Packing for the sunshine when you haven’t seen a day past fifty for as long as you can remember, not so much fun.

Should I be complaining about any of this? No. Definitely not. Small clothes mean kids that are growing, vacation means discretionary dollars and warm weather! But should people who are rich enough to have multiple assistants, nannies, and house maids, have days on end in their closet to pack a bag for a getaway on their private jet to an exotic island?  I would say no to that, too, but no one said life was fair. So, let me just get on with it, and go move that laundry around. I’ll take an extra dose of allergy medicine, while I’m at it, and at some point, God willing, I’ll be lying on a beach and all this packing nonsense will be a distant memory.

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