PACKING

Grandmas in the olden days had to pack steamer trunks or covered wagons in order to go visit their grandchildren. I don’t envy them the journeys, because seasickness, rutted roads, attacks from indigenous Americans trying to save themselves from extinction–no fun. But those grandmas from the days of yore could pack everything. They did not have to fit all the possible things into a carry-on, for God’s sake.

I go back and forth to Los Angeles multiple times a year, so that my beloved grandchildren won’t forget who I am. This makes me so happy, despite airline seats getting smaller, having to pay a fortune for those dried-out turkey sandwiches on the plane, fighting over the armrests, and dashing between terminals to make connections. I can deal with those things.

Packing is another matter. I begin to worry about what to take about a month out. What will the weather be? Will I need a coat? I got a “packable” coat for Christmas, thank heaven. However, it is extremely warm. Should I take it? I might get too hot. I don’t have a nice sweatshirt. Should I get a fashionable one? What about shoes? My goal is to buy one pair of shoes that I can wear with 1) leggings, 2) jeans, and 3) a long skirt if dressing up is required. Note: shoes like this don’t really exist, except for the ones in the Neiman Marcus catalog that cost $300.

Pajamas. The ones I wear at home look like men’s. That is because they are men’s. Do I want to look a bit less louche in LA? Yes. Yes, I do. But feminine pjs, the ones I like from the Garnet Hill catalog, are $120. So louche it is.

Pills. You have to take those on board with you, in case they lose your luggage. You don’t want to die, right? So I have two of those weekly pill things with all of the little compartments. My purse sounds like I am carrying maracas on board. But at least all I need are pills, not a support animal.

If I want to listen to a podcast while flying, I will need new earbuds. The good ones cost around $40. Forget that. Book. I will take a book.

Jeans or leggings? Both? How many pairs? I have three new shirts. Take them all? I want to, so that my kids will think I am fashionable. Wait. It’s a carry-on. My daughter has a washing machine. Take two leggings and one jeans. Two shirts, one tee.

Who am I kidding? Chicos had a sale. So I am jamming in two pairs of jeans, two leggings, three shirts, the louche pjs, an extra pair of shoes, four presents for the children, underwear, a workout outfit (that I will never use, but just in case someone opens my suitcase; I want to seem healthy), a sweater, the packable coat, and my makeup.

I am all packed. My carry-on weighs forty pounds.

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