I am going to New York this week. It is very exciting. I am going to a writing retreat with a bunch of extremely talented women.

Many of these women are bestselling authors. They have law degrees, medical degrees, National Book Award nominations, and all sorts of other impressive credentials. How I got into the group is a mystery, but I don’t ask too many questions.

Here is the thing: what do you pack when you are going to be with a group like this? Especially when all of the participants are women you have never met? So you have no “benefit of the doubt on those sweatpants” going for you? I know. Awful.

Here was my thought process:

  1. Get all new clothes.
  2. Don’t necessarily get ALL new clothes, but for sure, get new tops. Those black jeggings are fine. And the stretchy slacks.
  3. Don’t take any top that stops before your thighs do.
  4. New pajamas are a must. God knows your husband doesn’t care what you look like at night, but there will be judging if you wear that Stone Temple Pilots tee and the M & Ms pants you love so much.
  5. That $50 investment in anti-eye bag cream? The one they enthused about on QVC? Wise. Very wise.
  6. Some pundit said “always travel with an umbrella.” Follow that. Despite the fact that in your entire traveling career, you have never needed one.
  7. The giant purse.
  8. Should you take your paleo nuts and seeds? Or will the women think you are weird?
  9. Why did you make the reservation for that 7:00 a.m. flight? By the time you land, you will have bed head, for God’s sake.
  10. Computer to a writing retreat? Naw. You know you won’t do any writing. You can pretend that you use Evernote for all your travel writing and just peer studiously while you peck at your cellphone. And it is so much more important to squeeze in your new Tempur Pedic neck pillow, anyway.

So I am off. Well prepared. I have my cell charger. Walking shoes. That lipstick that lasts 24 hours. Ambien. This will be so much fun. Unless I am so cowed by the collective brain power that I am rendered speechless.

My husband says that will be when Hell freezes over. Alrighty, then. READY!tallpoppies_2-5

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