I still remember those words, uttered by my then boss and current friend John so many years ago. It was his attempt to comfort me, as I freaked out about something work related prior to my vacation. What was I freaking out about? Who knows? Like most freak-outs, they seem totally legit at the time and then we feel humiliated literally minutes later as we calm down and realize what an ass we just made of ourselves. However, John was totally in support of my outburst. He attested that every good trip is preceded by some sort of meltdown. And believe it or not, I have found this to be true with every vacation I’ve taken. There’s always something that causes me to break down in the days leading up to a big trip. (Many times it involves nightmares about flying. Thank God for Xanax.) Now, as I’m days away from embarking on my two week European holiday, the question is… when is my “pre-trip freak-out” going to occur???
Whether this freak-out will take place or not, there are certainly interesting behaviors I’m noticing as I prepare for my journey. Shopping. Why all of a sudden do I HAVE to go shopping? I have a double rod closet, an armoire AND two dressers full of clothes. Sure, some of my garments date back to when Steve Perry was still in Journey, but come on! I have PLENTY of clothes suitable for any occasion. And it’s not only outer garments I’ve been seeking. I felt compelled to visit my beloved Victoria’s Secret. Truthfully, I’ve been publicly reaching into my shirt to not-so-discreetly pull up my bra straps for months, but why does it take a vacation for me to finally remedy the situation? (The fact that they were giving away a free rose gold tote bag with the purchase of two regularly priced bras had NOTHING to do with it, I swear!)
Then there was the dilemma with my suitcase. This is a long vacation and I wanted to make sure I could take everything I need... and by that I mean MORE than I need. My green expandable Samsonite suitcase was twenty years old and had clearly seen better days. I thought maybe it was time for an upgrade. Little did I know how involved that upgrade was going to be. It was more dramatic than a death scene on a soap opera. Can anyone envision a 25” vs. a 28” vs. a 33” suitcase? I can’t. Even with a tape measure. So, why buy ONE suitcase when you can order THREE different suitcases in THREE different sizes online from Macy’s? (It’s free shipping and returns, after all.) Suffice it to say the 33” suitcase could have fit me inside of it. Twice. And then, when I finally thought I settled on the 28” suitcase, in swoops my mother to tell me to meet her at T.J. Maxx for a luggage sale. Oh the humanity! MORE SUITCASES!!! When all the shopping dust had cleared, I ended up with two suitcases that I probably don’t need and have justified these purchases by telling myself one of them was reduced from $340 to $40 so how could I return it? Uy.
Now that I have my choice of suitcases, I need to start thinking about packing. I always admired my friend’s philosophy: “I just throw some shit in a bag and hope it all works out.” I’d love to be that free and easy. But free and easy just isn’t in my nature. No, I have a packing list in an Excel spreadsheet organized by category. You know those people who get somewhere and say, “Damn, I forgot to pack xxx.” They’re always relieved when I turn to them with a big grin and say, “Don’t worry. I brought it. You can borrow some of mine.” Call me anal (I prefer meticulous) but either way it comes in handy to have me around on a trip if you forgot to pack your SPF 40 sun tan lotion!
I’m still wondering when and IF this pre-trip freak-out is going to occur. I just worked the last thirteen days in a row with no day off so I am beyond exhausted. And when we are tired, we tend to get… well, emotional. It’s the perfect breeding ground for me to lose my shit. So far, nothing has happened, but I still have five more days. Am I going to blow a gasket in the waiter station at work, and bitch at the person who forgot to fill up the ketchup as part of their sidework? Or will I instead tell a guest what I REALLY think of how gross it is to reach a spoon into someone else’s dessert without asking first? (A cardinal sin in my book.) Stay tuned, ladies and gentlemen, and I apologize in advance to whoever is on the receiving end of my emotional frenzy. Bon voyage!