Another year, another 18 bucks and I’m back. Back from the beach and back to the blog. I know. You thought I was dead and I’m not. Just recovering from the shock of returning to the cold and snow. It’s not that I haven’t been thinking because I have. Mostly about all of the things I learned I like about being down south. It’s true. I have a very strong preference for warm weather over cold. And I like walking on the beach much more than I like walking on the treadmill, which is what I have to do now because it’s so cold. I like sitting outside at Starbucks better than inside and I relish the concept of being able to order cold drinks all year round. Not that I would. But I could. I like Sunday street markets where I can buy strawberries and avocados picked locally the day before. And they taste the way strawberries and avocados should taste. I really like being able to stay up as late as I want and not having to worry about getting up in the morning for work. Although it’s not as if I don’t stay up as late as I want every night. So I suppose it’s the “not getting up in the morning” that’s the best part of that “like”. But what I like more than anything else is that I can wear jeans, T-shirts and flip flops all of the time. Which quite surprisingly leads me to something I didn’t learn. Apparently, I didn’t learn how to pack light. And I say this with some confidence having lugged two “almost overweight” bags along with a “more than regulation weight” carry-on around several airports.
It’s not that I haven’t been around this block before. In fact, this year was my third sojourn to the sea so it would be fair to say I have a pretty good idea about what’s what. Let’s face it. The beach is a casual place where fashion takes a back seat to comfort. I’m pretty sure that people there are single handedly keeping LuLuLemon above water. And while I continue to find the “boots thing” somewhat bewildering I completely understand the penchant for amphibious footwear. On the “101” you’re likely to find yourself walking behind a group of rather svelte surfer dudes sporting the latest in wetsuit couture, which although practical given the circumstances, I don’t actually recommend unless you have a body mass index hovering in the 15 – 18 range. Overall it’s pretty much a “come as you are” kind of place and you would think that as a shallow person I would have this one in the bag…so to speak. I mean, I know for 100% sure that each morning I’m going to get up and pull on my jeans and a “T” because last time I looked, Starbucks hadn’t instituted a dress code. For goodness sakes! I’m on the beach. Even Auntie Fannie would be ok with my wardrobe choice. So, as you can see, I know exactly what I need and what I don’t. This is a “no brainer”. At least on paper it is.
But here’s the rub. For some reason still unbeknownst to me, each and every year I pack an inordinate amount of clothes which, from the get go, I’m pretty sure I’m not going to wear. It all starts out ok. The cases come out and in go the jeans and T-shirts, along with all that other necessary “goes without saying”, stuff. Next come the accessories, and while for some 6 pairs of shoes, 5 watches, and 8 belts may sound a tad excessive for a beach vacay, you can chalk it up to that matching obsession of mine. Throw in some shorts (I won’t wear them but who goes south without shorts) and a bathing suit, and you would think I could call it a wrap. You would think! But nope! It’s right about now that those nasty little voices in my head start egging me on. It goes something like this:
Voice: You’re going away without your favourite shirt?!
Me: It will be here when I get back. Ok, I’ll take it.
Voice: What if you decide to go to a fancy restaurant? You’re going to wear jeans and a T?
Me: I don’t go to fancy restaurants. Ok, I better take something just in case.
Voice: What if you accidentally spill something?
Me: There’s a washing machine. Ok, one more pair of jeans ‘cause you never know.
You get the picture. Before I can say Jack Robinson I’m looking down at two, large red suitcases chock full of a whole lot of duds that I “might” but probably will not wear. It just happens but as Mr. Nicholson would say, “something’s gotta give”. So next year I’m going to learn from my mistakes. Next year I’m going to stick to my guns. As a matter of fact I’ve already decided what I’m not going to bring. And you can be sure I won’t be sharing that information with the little voice in my head.