Packing for a trip is painful. It’s equivalent to shopping for bras—you gotta do it, there’s a lot of huffing and puffing and eventually your nipples get pinched—and not in a good way.
It takes me all day to pack. I put stuff in my suitcase then I take stuff out. I try on clothes and I dance around to make sure they feel comfortable and not itchy. Then I stand in front of my closet and pout—”I need new clothes, somebody. I can’t afford to buy anything right now but you can, brother with a full time job. “After complaining for about 45 minutes, I continue shoving items into my cheap ass suitcase I bought at Ross that’s basically a brown paper bag. And then I ask myself: “Am I taking too many things? Do I really need this spatula? Do I really need this can of baked beans? Do I really need my First Holy Communion dress?” I might. There could be a night of sharing childhood memories that were traumatizing.
Then it’s time to burrow my bulging toiletry bag into the shallowest part of the massive nest that is the contents of my suitcase. But this is utterly impossible because there’s no room. I panic and start removing items from my suitcase and then realize—I only need my toothbrush, toothpaste and lube. Solved.
Without warning and in a flash, I start weeping uncontrollably. I am a selfish beast. Here I am able to travel to a destination city of my choice so I can advance my career. The working poor can’t just pack up and fly off to New York. They are stuck working 2-3 jobs just to make ends meet month to month. I need to volunteer at a soup kitchen once a week. I need to donate my wages to an orphanage—but wait—I’m unemployed. I borrowed money from my sister for this trip. I haven’t paid my rent this month–god I’m screwed.
I look at the clock—one more hour to finish. I’m now shoving in my travel food: granola bars, nuts, dried fruit, small packets of dehydrated miso soup, a plate of eggs benedict, Snickers, M&Ms—I’m now eating my travel food. Oh good lord! I slap myself and yell: “Get a grip, woman, finish!” I triumphantly zip up my suitcase. I am so proud of myself. I glance over at my desk and notice my flight itinerary. WTF? I don’t leave until next week. Jeez!
Book Monica Palacios for your upcoming university and cultural events that focus on: LGBT, Chicana/Latina, Theater, Women, Gender, Performance, Race, Class, Sexuality, Vegetarian Food.