Monday, March 21, 2011

how not to pack for a long weekend

Despite the fact that I have been in perpetual motion for the past couple years, I am still the worst packer ever.  I struggle to remember one trip in recent memory that didn't begin with a scramble to get everything packed at the last minute-- whether that be a weekend jaunt in nearby Philadelphia or a year-long move to the opposite side of the world.  Often this ends in gross over-packing, frequently in poor sartorial decisions, and time and again in random acts of packing stupidity, as I end up with several pairs of pants and only one shirt for the weekend or completely forget to toss in underwear (which can only somewhat work if you are headed to Mexico and plan on spending most of your time rotating through the bathing suits that you, thankfully, did not forget to pack).

This weekend was no exception, and Friday morning found me struggling to finish a final paper and throw together a weekend bag for New York with highs of 75 and best friends on the horizon.  75 is well and nice, but the excitement over basking in the glory of an early spring day can easily corrupt the reasonable part of the brain that tells you that highs of 50 the following two days really mean that it will get down close to freezing over the weekend-- don't hang up your winter jacket just yet.

Flash forward to Sunday night, as I'm waiting for the bus to take me home, away from the chaos of the city as well as far away from the people I love.  After a night of dancing in heels and retiring yet another sad pair of black opaque tights, I've been schlepping it around the city in a pair of yoga pants and gold Toms.  While I am vaguely embarrassed about my state of being, at least New Yorkers are wonderfully active, and traversing Central Park in workout attire (albeit of the perfectly matched Lululemon variety) is nothing out of the ordinary on a sunny Sunday.  Having just made it in time for my bus back down below the Maison-Dixon line, I'm high on the adrenaline of a close call and not really expecting a long wait out in the cold.  But the buses are backed up, and so nearly forty minutes later, I decide to pull a pair of jeans over top of my pants in hopes that I will stop shivering uncontrollably.  Never mind the awkwardness of shimmying into denim that was not meant to be layered and bending over to fish for the ends of my bunched up yoga pants while surrounded by hundreds of Megabus customers-- I'm certain I am borderline hypothermic at this point, and dammit, I am not going to go into shock just because I can't pack or predict the changing weather worth shit!

My bus ended up boarding a few minutes later, but the damage was done, and I shiver shiver shivered all the way home.  While this should be a lesson in how not to pack, experience tells me that I will continue to get this wrong time and again.  How does one pack for a short weekend with drastic temperature changes and drastically different social situations (a Saturday night out at a swanky lounge vs. lounging on a Sunday morning, for instance)?  Will I ever get it right?!

a self-portrait. the big apple is just sooo much better in the comfort of my yoga pants, yea?  I'm pretty jazzed about the situation, anyway, if you can't tell.

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