Do not attempt this at home. May prove dangerous…
I told my husband I was taking the day off from work Tuesday to pack for the RT convention in Pittsburgh. He looked at me as he does when I tell him something truly nutty, like when I told him I always wanted to climb Mt. Everest, except I’m scared of heights.
DH: “Why do you need a whole day off to pack for a four-day convention?”
Me: “Because it’s RT. I’m an author and have to pack all this stuff I’m giving away.”
DH: “So you are going to pay this money to attend a convention to give away stuff and you need a whole day to pack it into a suitcase?”
Me: “Right. Glad you see my point.”
I took the day off, first indulging in a pedicure to mentally cleanse my mind for the Great Packing Event, known hereon as the GPE.
I got home, my toes all bright fire engine red, and started to pack. First, I made myself a rum runner. A rum runner is a tropical, Keys drink and I need fortification. I selected my conference clothes and laid them out on the bed.
Then I girded myself and set out to get the small red suitcase for the GPE. As a writer for an international charity, I've visited poor countries from Haiti to Guyana, squeezing a week’s worth of clothing into a suitcase the size of a handbag. “You can do this, you can do this,” I silently chant as I drag out the sturdy red suitcase.
The dogs look at me with woebegone expressions. Dolce knows the Red Suitcase. I took out that red suitcase when I packed for the Dominican Republic three weeks ago. His little face takes on a mutinous expression.
As I drag the red suitcase to the bedroom, the dogs chase after me. “No, you are NOT leaving us again. Who will play with us?”
I put the red suitcase on the bed, and open it. Dolce puts his paws on the bed and looks at me. Pouts.
The small travel alarm clock I bought because I lost two other travel alarm clocks is broken. I proceed to throw into the suitcase my panties, socks, hose and flamingo pajamas. And realize, I Can’t Do This. Already the suitcase is full.
Wonder if I can just wear the flamingo PJ’s to all the events.
Drag red suitcase out to the living room to put it back into the garage. Realize Dolce has left me a “gift” on the living room rug. He sits there, wagging his tail and grinning. “This is what I think of your leaving,” the gift announces.
Clean up the “gift,”, wash the rug, go to garage and hunt down the Green Monster. This is a suitcase that could easily smuggle 10 small children in and out of the country. The color resembles nuclear puke. Easy to spot on a baggage carrousel because no one wants to admit they’d purchase something this tacky.
Drag Green Monster to the bedroom, nearly trip over the dogs who think that if I fall on my butt and break something, I can’t go.
Open Green Monster. Find the two missing travel alarm clocks.
Take a large swig of rum runner. Say a Hail Mary and proceed to throw in flamingo PJ’s, panties, socks, hose, and then items for the gift basket I’m giving away at Club RT and the silent auction items to raise money for charity. And the basket I need for giving away pens, bookmarks and cover flats for my new Dorchester Egyptian historical, The Scorpion & the Seducer.
Tiger jumps on bed and proceeds to lay in middle of conference clothing. Grins.
Put Tiger on the floor. Take another swig of rum runner. Exhausted, I decide to check email. See that my Nocturne editor has wished me a good trip and by the way, I’ll have your November Nocturne edits ready in early May and edits for your Nocturne Bite.
Take a giant swig of rum runner as I anticipate said edits.
Drag out all my conference clothing. Check the weather in Pittsburgh. Realize it will be 55 degrees at night. Shiver. Think about packing parka, decide that maybe I should fur line flamingo PJ’s and just wear those. Hunt through closet for a jacket.
Take conference clothes and realize the suitcase is already half full with stuff to give away. Sit on bed, take another swig of rum runner.
Admire red toenails.
Begin rolling up conference clothing. An old ex-Army pal told me this trick. “You can pack anything into anything if you roll clothing,” he assured me.
Try it, seriously doubt John has ever been to an RT convention.
Make a brave attempt again. Then realize I am packing last year’s conference clothes. What if they don’t fit? I did lose weight, about ½ a pound. Take off shorts, try on conference pants. Breathe sigh of relief. They fit.
Take off pants, roll and tuck into suitcase.
Realize I forgot to pack the VIRGIN and EX VIRGIN badges I made up for fun to give away. Fetch badges, pack, take another swig of rum runner.
Dolce barks. Mail is here! Start to go outside to get mail.
Realize I’m dressed only in a T-shirt and underwear. It’s south Florida, but not South Beach. Put shorts back on. Sort through mail, check email again, and steel myself to go back to packing.
Drag out the rolling fold-up travel bag for the promo stuff. Authors
Linnea Sinclair and Nancy Cohen told me, “You MUST buy one. It’s perfect for conferences!”
Stuff rolling bag and realize it is sagging to one side like a drunk person on a Saturday night bender.
Say a Hail Mary that someone will want all this stuff I am giving away.
Check email again. Spam folder has email about someone asking if my male member is too small.
Go back to bedroom and realize… I still have to pack hair dryer, cosmetics, contact lens solution, hairbrush, extra hose, nail polish in case extra hose run, bookmarks, extra basket to throw in extra stuff to give away, two toys for Heather Graham whose Slush Pile Players are visiting a children’s ward at a hospital Saturday, and more.
Sit down and start to compose letter to spammer who asked if my male member is too small. “Forget the penis,” I write. “If you can increase the size of my suitcase an extra ten inches and not have the airline charge me a trillion dollars for overweight baggage, I’ll pay you anything.”
Take another swig of rum runner, sit down to admire red toenails again. My flight leaves tomorrow and somehow, someway, I will pack everything into the Green Monster.
I am woman. I am strong. I can do this.