[Announcement: Strangerville Live will be September 16 & 17. You can get tickets and find other info about the storytellers HERE. Please come so we can see how cute you are.]
"Did you pack underwear?" Skylar's question sounded much more like an accusation than an inquiry. It was directed at me just after I had informed him that I had finished packing for our weekend trip to attend a wedding in Maine.
"Yes, I packed underwear," I lied while making a mental note to update my suitcase inventory when he was out of the room. The lie wouldn't go unchecked, however. This wasn't our first rodeo.
"Show me the underwear you packed." His inquisition of distrust came from substantial experience. It's honestly reckless that it took him so many years to start auditing my suitcase rather than simply rely on my assertions.
"Oh, shit." That's my most common uttered profanity on trips when I first open my bags to see what I failed to pack. This scenario has played out in so many different hotel rooms and airbnbs across the globe.
"What did you forget." Skylar will say. It's not said as a question. It's said as a statement that translates to, "I am going to start traveling alone."
"Underwear," I've told him on many occasions. Shoes are often the victim. It's honestly rare that I remember to pack a toothbrush. The toothbrush thing is really impossible. I can't pack it the night before a trip because I'll need it in the morning before we leave. And who can be bothered to remember to pack something the morning of a trip?
The amount of underwear and toothbrushes and other items of clothing I have bought while traveling could honestly sustain a small nation of people my size.
The last time we visited Skylar's parents in Vancouver he had to go buy underwear for me at a gas station at 11:30 PM. I had just gotten out of the shower and was shuffling through my suitcase, toweled, when I realized I hadn't packed any. The ones I had worn that day were now unusable since I had just returned from a late-night run in the rain.
"This is the best thing I could find," he mumbled as he tossed a pack of underwear made out of sandpaper and fishing line at me. I did not complain, for I was a beggar and not a chooser.
"There are no pairs of underwear in this suitcase," Skylar informed me after concluding a very brief investigation into the contents of my Maine packings. "There is also no toothbrush, no shoes, and, as far as I can make out, one outfit that is not even fit to be worn to a wedding."
"Oh, right," I honestly informed him. "I forgot to pick out wedding clothes."
Skylar sighed. He started to offer to choose something for me but then abandoned the gesture of dubious will when he remembered that I'm allergic to him dressing me. I draw the line there. I'm a big boy who can pick out his own clothes. One who sometimes even remembers to pack them.
Eventually we went to bed. The next morning we woke up early and took an Uber to the airport to catch a long and crowded flight. We landed in Boston and then fetched a rental car to drive to Portland Maine. We checked into our modest hotel and began unpacking—Skylar insists, no matter the length of the stay, that we fully unpack our bags and make use of any drawers available to us, convinced it's worth the time and effort to make the visit feel like home.
I unzipped my bag and began unloading. And then, suddenly,
Skylar silently shook his head, the international sign for "I don't want to know and I insist you leave me out of this."
I decided right then and there that I would keep the fact that I packed no socks to myself. This would be a battle I would wage alone. I'd accept my self-sustained adversity with dignity and grace and without inconveniencing the man I married.
That's called maturity.
~It Just Gets Stranger