Hollow Tree Ventures parenting humor
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How To Go Insane By Packing For Vacation

A version of this post was originally published here as I Need A Vacation From Packing For Vacation in June 2012, but since almost no one ever read it and it's suddenly relevant to my life again and I'm too lazy to write a new post, I thought I'd dust it off and reshare. Enjoy!

how to go insane packing for vacation

I know, more of my First World Problems.
Boo hoo, Robyn's having trouble preparing for a week-long lake vacation with her family.
She has so many possessions she can't find the ones she needs under the piles of her other possessions.
She doesn't like the way she looks in her swimsuit, despite access to swimwear fabrics developed using space agey NASA technology.
Hey, don't mock me.

But seriously, I'm looking forward to a week of relaxation A) because our whole family doesn't get to be smooshed together in confined areas very often anymore and 2) I'm sick of packing.

It started, as packing usually does, with a mad dash to get all the laundry done and then shove it into suitcases (okay, plastic trash bags) before people could excitedly proclaim, "Hey, I haven't seen these shorts since the Nixon administration" and demand to wear them, thereby giving me another fourteen loads of laundry to do.

Unfortunately, I can't do laundry right, so it takes an extra long time.

Hollow Tree Ventures
Multi-tasking fail: Take clothes out of dryer. File papers while waiting for washer to fill with water. Return to finish laundry, put clothes in washer. Realize they're THE CLOTHES I JUST TOOK OUT OF THE DRYER. *smacks forehead*

As of today, everybody has to wear pajamas and Christmas socks until it's time to leave for vacation, because I'm NOT doing any more laundry (unless I accidentally wash some more clean stuff).

Eventually I got all of Zoe's double-clean clothes together and felt quite smug for being almost finished with packing 1/4 of the people I need to pack for. But that right there was another Classic Packing Blunder - I assumed I was almost finished.

I thought the hard part was gathering the clothes, remembering underwear, and not dropping the baby while reaching for things on high shelves in the closet, all while avoiding meltdowns from the packee about what terrible wardrobe choices I was making on her behalf. The only thing I had left to do was scoop everything up and deposit it into her backpack, right?
When I located the backpack (already lost under her bed even though it seems like school just ended about 20 minutes ago), can you guess what I found at the very bottom of it? I'll bet you can. That's right, I discovered a solid inch-thick layer of silver glitter, in which plastic coins, erasers, and hair clips were embedded like fossils in sedimentary layers recording the history of her first grade experience.

Not wanting her clothes and everything else in the known universe to get coated in stripper tinsel, I lugged the backpack to the trash can to dump it out. Except glitter doesn't "dump out" - instead, a bunch of it flutters all over the kitchen floor, and the rest remains adhered to the backpack interior.

So I cleaned up the floor, got the vacuum, and proceeded to Hoover the bag. 15 minutes into Operation I'd Rather Just Blast This Bag With A Blow Torch, I was STILL seeing new shiny flakes every time I looked at it from a different angle, so I furiously shook the bag over the carpet where it would be easier to vacuum. This was the precise moment the baby chose to cruise by and instantly become coated in a gaudy silver crust.
Why is it that, although glitter itself is not sticky, it sticks to everything it touches with a permanent bond rivaling that of construction adhesive?
At that point I decided, Forget it - we'll just be the tacky glitter family at the beach this year. So I abandoned hope of sparkle removal and moved on to Phase 18 of packing - torturing myself with spandex.

My eyeballs are still recovering from the trauma, despite full frontal tankini coverage with "tummy control." I don't "often" put things in "quotes" because I think sometimes people "use them wrong," but rest assured they're being aptly used in this scenario, in the sense that there was no tummy control going on. The tummy was obviously in charge of the situation.

Well played, tummy. Well played.

And that's where we stand. I continue to think of things I should pack faster than I can find them (like the swim diapers I've had since Jake was a baby, which I kept because they're so expensive and apparently it was more economical to bring them with me the last three times I've moved than just buy new ones, so I'm gonna be sincerely peeved if I leave them at home when I finally have an opportunity to use the stupid things after storing them for ten years).

To show you how serious I am about needing to finally get cracking and wrap this packing stuff up, I'm not even going to proofread this post. I bet it's all rambly and unreadable and full of typos, and I'm sorry about that, but has anyone seen my beach towels?

I hope you enjoyed yourself while you were here - and I hope you come back! Please share inappropriate giggles with me on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, or subscribe via email so you don't miss a thing!


Catherine said...

What kind of washer do you have that you have to let it fill with water before you put clothes in? I've always loaded the washer, then turned the water on. Am I missing something?

Elisa E. said...

A good friend of mine refers to glitter as "the herpes of the craft world". I find this definitive amazing accurate. Also worth noting, when 3 girls dump glitter in the washing machine as they are using it as a "giant mixer", you will find glitter on your clothes for approx 2 weeks.

KellyJMF said...

I've had pretty good luck washing backpacks.

I also had to buy a new bathing suit (after 20 years the elastic in the top was shot and that was not a good look). My 12 year old daughter needed one as well. We went everywhere we could think of and everything was either for old ladies who have given up or for prostitutes working dodgier corners. Neither of us was happy. But we ended up at LL Bean and found stuff for both of us that we were happy with. And knowing what size worked for the sprout, I was able to order a second suit for her online.

Carrie said...

Stripper tinsel is my new favorite phrase!!! I love glitter, but then again I hate glitter. I hear you on the bathing suit troubles. Sometimes, I'd rather just not go to the beach!

a happiergirl said...

Never fight the glitter. You never win. Just corral the glitter towards the trash can and hope for the best. Know going in that there will be glitter in the part in your hair for the next two days.

Robyn of HollowTreeVentures said...

I wish I could remember - we have a new one now, but that old one should've gone to the Smithsonian.

Robyn of HollowTreeVentures said...

That is very good - and terrifying - to know.

Robyn of HollowTreeVentures said...

I'll have to look there! I've heard great things about their suits, and buying extras online once you have the sizing down is a great idea.

Robyn of HollowTreeVentures said...

I have gone to the beach and worn shorts the whole time - I don't regret my decision. Also, I think I might be getting old.

Robyn of HollowTreeVentures said...

Sometimes just resigning yourself to acceptance is the only way. That, or moving to a new house.

Blogger said...

I've just downloaded iStripper, so I can have the sexiest virtual strippers on my taskbar.

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