Ever since I can remember, traveling has had a sort of romance to it.
I have always dreamed of jetting around the world, seeing the greatest sights mankind had to offer. I would see everything from the Taj Mahal to the World’s Largest Hand Dug Well. I will not tell you which of those I have seen, but it was not in India.
It seems to be a natural thing for people to want to do. On every movie or TV show, there is a character who wants to pack their bags and “get out of this two-bit town.” For some reason, they are always in two-bit towns. If I did not know better, I would guess Hollywood had some sort of prejudice towards three-bit towns.
I have always wanted to be just like those characters that managed to escape from their lower-bit towns, heading to the airport with bag in hand. They have big dreams and they will, no doubt, see the world. All the while, though, I cannot help but wonder.
How did they manage to jam everything into their bag?
For me, packing is always an ordeal. I will watch those at the airport wheel their neatly packed canvas bags around as if they owned the world. Then I will look at my hastily put together bag and shudder.
It does not matter how much I plan. I will forget something. It’s the way I work.
Two days before a trip, I will start thinking. I will have devised a mental check list of everything I need. Pants? Check. Underwear? Check. Then, I will remember something I cannot forget.
I need deodorant, I will think.
So I will set my mind on remembering deodorant. After all, nothing makes people instantly hate you more than armpit stink. You could punch a person in the face, but as long as your pits do not stink up the room, there is a chance they will not hate you. If you punch them in the face AND your armpits stink, your friendship is effectively over.
I will be at work, quietly thinking about deodorant. Anywhere I drive, I will be focused. My mind will be going a hundred miles an hour. Deodorant, deodorant, deodorant…
Finally, as I begin to pack my bag, I will triumphantly throw my deodorant in. Even though this memory is etched into my brain, the entire time I walk through the airport, I will be concerned. I forgot something. Was it deodorant? It might have been deodorant.
On the plane, I will start to plan. If I forgot deodorant, there must be a store that sells it. I can just pick up a tube when I land. My armpits should be fine until then unless they start making passengers run wind sprints. If everyone on a plane is running back and forth, though, I probably have something bigger than my body odor to worry about.
Finally, the plane will land. I will jet out of the doors or whatever you call waiting in line patiently to file out of a crowded jet. I will head to the baggage claim, silently hoping that, by some miracle, there is deodorant in my bag.
I will barely get the bag off of the carousel before I have it open. There, on top of everything, will sit my trusty Speed Stick.
I cannot believe I was worried about that. It is just foolish. I knew the whole time that I had packed it, but my packing paranoia got the best of me. I have officially remembered everything.
Well, everything except shirts. That might be a problem.