Just prior to any occasion requiring gift giving my loving husband would always inquire of me:
“What would you like for your birthday or Christmas or anniversary?”
To which I would always respond in exactly the same way:
“I would like to go around the world.” A request that consistently fell upon deaf ears. Until this year.
What joy !
After months of tedious planning (thankfully, by him) we departed from Bermuda to Boston where we attended to an emergency which is the inevitable start to any holiday. Our apartment there had suffered major damage when an industrial sized sewer pipe exploded in my closet and made unlivable the space we shared and unwearable any of the winter clothes we had stored there.
It affected no one else in the building but us. I took it as a positive sign that it was time to relinquish ties to home and go explore the unknown.
Although most of our journey would border the equator, which required barely any clothing at all, the closer we ventured toward the Southern Hemisphere the cooler it would get. So our next stop was London to rifle through our tiny closet there for warm weather gear and to make final edits to a wardrobe that would have to sustain me, stylishly of course, through 9 countries and all their individual climates. No easy task as the process included the drama of defending my final selections as “absolutely necessary” whilst enduring an interrogation from my better half about why so many other women could travel with nothing more than carry on and I could not.
How he has morphed from a man who had always enjoyed admiring the female form to someone who now seemed obsessed only with their packing practices is beyond me. But that is the length he will go to bolster his argument and perhaps gain an edge in the face of marital verbal combat.
To gather ammunition for my side, I asked many other female world travelers how they packed for 2 months away.
“Repeat outfits and buy anything you forget,” they advised.
My husband loved that explanation (except the part about buying “anything” I want) and enthusiastically, if not hopefully, suggested I take my 3 favorite outfits plus a swimming costume (such a cute phrase) and two changes of golf gear. That numbers 6 ensembles for 50 days and nights away from home.
I was speechless.
I soon added deafness to the repertoire and made the executive decision to simply ignore him. I had suddenly recognized a trend in his behavior that explained his aversion to lots of luggage. Or really anything “extra” that would ruin the line of a fine suit or leisurely amble through an airport.
I cannot tell you how many times I have been talked out of carrying an umbrella in London only to come out of the theatre or even a Tesco to torrents of rain.
I know he cannot help it, trying to streamline our lives. And as he does do all the heavy lifting I do make some last minute edits to lighten our load. But I struggle with the scale.
I weigh myself everyday. What if I encounter a hotel or hovel without a scale? There have been times when that has happened and I have seen things-namely me- go pear shaped in no time at all. As I have only a finite number of travel outfits they must continue to fit throughout the journey despite expanding (probable) or retreating (impossible) waistlines.
I forfeit the cumbersome scale idea by considering those who are not enslaved by it. Like my favorite uncle who laughed when I mentioned that I stepped on a scale everyday.
“I never use one,” he said.
“What?,” I exclaimed. “How do you know when you’ve gained weight?”
“My underwear get tight,” he said.
Such a wise man. I shall channel him with any further sartorial issues I have along the way.
Next Stop: Dubai