Thursday, December 1, 2011


I spent yesterday afternoon packing for my trip to Paris. I will only be there one week and I’ll be dog-sitting, so I should be able to get by with very little. I mean, one doesn’t need high heels or a cocktail dress when spending every free moment with a Dalmatian, right? So why is it so difficult to pack everything for a week in a little carry-on? I’ve decided that its age.

Normally my packing problem begins and ends with shoes. It’s a simple fact of female life that you have to have the right shoes for the right outfit, am I not correct?  But this time, with a minimum of outfits, all in black (this is Paris after all), I still needed 3 pair of shoes. And now I have to admit, this is NOT for vanity’s sake. It’s because my old feet get so sore and cramped that I need to change my shoes often when I’m doing a lot of walking. Plain and simple. So, one week…one pair of shoes and two pairs of boots.

Then there’s the personal product bag. It used to be one, now it’s three. First there’s the creams and potions. I try…I really try…to keep these at a minimum. But my face no longer seems to bounce back  when I go without. Plain soap and water causes my skin great agony and it quickly takes on the look of the leftover December grapes still hanging on the vines. It seems that every year I have to add a new cure to the myriad of miracles that will supposedly keep my skin young. Fat chance. This goes for hair products as well.

Ditto on the makeup. Now, apparently, I must spackle my face and eyelids with various emulsions before applying makeup, in order to keep it from permanently lodging in the crags and crevices of the years. I’m thinking at this point that if it rained on my face, the droplets would slide off…the same theory as that stuff you put on your windshield. None of these products have managed to keep my lipstick from making it's daily migration up to the base of my nose, however. 

Undies. One ugly bra in beige used to do it. And a couple of pairs of cotton granny panties that I could wash out every other day. Now I have to have at least 4 sets and they have to all be different, pretty and matching. This is not the fault of age however. It’s the fault of France. But these bras do take up a lot of space and that IS because of age. In order to replace, reorder, re-hoist all that has fallen or completely disappeared, they require a lot of extra parts and pieces. 
I’ve also had to pack 5 French books because I fully intend to do some studying while I’m there. I’ve been lax and it shows in my conversation abilities disabilities. And I’m afraid I have to attribute this to age as well. If I were younger, I’m sure I would have been able to learn to speak French correctly within the 3 years that I’ve been here. But I haven’t. My old brain is still trying to work out the pluperfect, conditional perfect and the future perfect as well as feminine and masculine versions of everything. And I've decided I’m not even going to require myself to go any further than that.

Then there’s the comforts that I’m no longer willing to do without. A pair of warm slippers, lounging p.j.s with a nice, comfy ELASTIC waist. I had to leave the down pillow at home this time, which has me worried. Will I be able to sleep without my squishy pillow that goes everywhere with me? Or without my down comforter?

On top of it all I have to pack 3 pairs of glasses, one for day, one for work, and one as a spare, plus all the junk for contacts if I should choose to wear them.  

As I was packing, rearranging, adding and subtracting, I wondered what the hell has happened to me? Will I soon become one of THOSE woman, hauling around several giant bags for a 2-night sejour in Sandusky? You know, the one that takes up all the trunk space of the taxi so her friends have to resort to sitting on theirs in the back of the cab.

I’m writing this while on the high-speed train to Paris. I did manage one carry-on style bag and my computer bag with any and all electronics, chargers, cords, and cards that I might need. I have a one bedroom in the 15th in exhange for the dog-sitting, so I imagine I can do laundry. Which will be necessary... considering there was barely any room in my suitcase for actual clothes.



  1. Have a great trip Delana, I'm sure you would have looked the part even without your creams and extra shoes!

  2. A week in Paris - nice! I hope the weather holds up for dog-walking.

    You could have taken two bags on the train! There's loads of room and no weight limit.

  3. Wow, I so totally relate to this article. Its sad. It now takes so much stuff to get me through a three day getaway. Oh well, just go with it. I am packing today for a two day weekend with my sister in Atlanta. Let me see if I can find my trunk.........While you're in Paris I hope you plan to get a sitter for the dog so you get to enjoy being in Paris. Enjoy your week.

    The French Hutch

  4. Delana, this is all so scary true! I'm right there with you . . .where did the time go?

  5. You should have seen what I took along for a two week bicycling trip to France. And I don't use makeup.
    I bet you'll never open those books. At least for our next trip we can go to an iPad and won't need the computers!
    I had a strange dream last night about lipstick. Very strange fruit flavored lipstick. In five flavors. Maybe it was you trying to pack!

  6. You speak for us all!!! The electronics: that's what gets me. The endless cords and chargers, never interchangeable of course. I thought the iPad would solve all that, but then I find out Blogger can't be used at now I need to take the laptop too.
    Anyway, hope you're having a wonderful well-outfitted time!

  7. The golden packing rule is...take half the clothes and twice the money.

    Have a fab trip, SP

  8. I understand this- the "must have" list gets bigger and bigger, each year.(Wait- you mean have to get rid of my ugly bra before coming to France?!)

    Have a wonderful trip- hope we can see some photos.

  9. Nothing stresses me out like packing does. Even just for a weekend, traveling by car, to a friend's house I can work myself into knots. Maybe there's some sort of support group for this?
    Have a wonderful time in Paris with the Dalmation!

  10. Sharon-That's nice of you to say, but in fact, I feel decidedly frumpy for some reason.

    Sarah-Thanks. I know I could have taken more but you know what it's like hopping metros, walking, climbing stairs. It's just too much with lots of extras.

    Emily-Thank you. I AM enjoying it. And actually Bella makes a very good companion. I'm not sure if she'd like a good, rockin' nightclub, however.

    Libby- I know. And if I'm missing one part or one charger or a single adapter, I feel like everything has come to a complete standstill. My Kindle is on the blink. I'm a wreck!

    Fly-I know you know. And then some!

    Debra- I don't know where the time went. Nothing has seemed to change in my head.

    Sharyn- I think you're right on the book thing. They haven't been touched so far! As for the I-pad...see Libby's comment below.

    SE- No you don't have to get rid of it before. Wait until you get here. You'll want what we've got. But you'd better start saving your pennies....they're expensive!

    Sara-I know, I just get all freaky when I pack. I HATE it, hate it, hate it. I've even bought books on the subject to make it easier. It never is.

  11. Enjoy your week in Paris and I'm totally with you on the shoe thing. People often tell me that I "only need one pair" for a 5-7 trip. No way! I think you're restraining yourself by only bringing 3. :)

  12. I'm so jealous - Paris at Christmas - divine! Please post some pictures!


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