Saturday, July 17, 2010


"Imagine the Bounties Each Bra Cup Can Cradle"


Should you be having a tough day, I open with a photo aimed at making you feel better about your own life:


Our master bedroom looks like the inside of Mel Gibson's brain:  unconnected piles of crap that somehow synergize into a vastly unattractive view.

Despite the disarray of our most intimate room, we're actually feeling pretty on top of things...relative to our timeline of leaving Duluth on July 31st and flying to Turkey on August 3rd, after spending a few days at my in-laws' house.  Yes, there are heaps everywhere, but, two weeks out from our depature, their very heapishness shows that we've sorted through things and made some decisions.  Plus, most of our furniture, save the mattresses and one big desk, are stored in the basement already; we need only to fill in the cracks with boxes and bags, finish packing up the kitchen, and then drag down the last-days things right before we leave.  Oh yea, and bake a ham and tap a keg when we throw ourselves a going away party next weekend for 83 of our closest friends.

There remains, of course, the actual packing.  For months, we've tossed all sorts of "wouldn't this be nice to have during a year away?" paraphernalia into my closet.  The other day, we dragged all of those goods out and added them to the intended clothing and, well, you've just seen the result.  Yesterday, I had a little time to start packing some of the kids' clothes and fleece jackets into compression sacks.  That was the first time I've enjoyed myself during the process of Getting Ready, for compression sacks (into which one can cram a fairly good amount of stuff and then tighten down the straps until something the size of a ciabatta weighs 8.5 pounds) bring up for me Memories of Good Travels Past.  I can remember stuffing in and tightening down all my clothes before catching an early-morning train out of Dublin.  I can remember sitting on and condensing a month's worth of clothes before getting onto a ferry in Iceland.  I can remember strong-arming my tshirts and shorts into submission on my last day in Warsaw, trying to make room in my backpack for the meatsticks I was determined to bring home.

Compression sacks create a sense memory that signals Jocelyn, Buckle Up.  You're Going Somewhere.

Some things, like shoes, don't compress, though.  As a result, they are drummed into a different kind of service:


Feminine hygiene product receptacle seems a worthy job for the Privos and Borns of the world.


Indeed, I know we're coming out the other side of stress when I find infinite delight in this still life:

Clog with Bouquet of Tampons.

25 comments:

Jeni said...

All your talk here about compression packs makes me wish that somehow, someway, someone would invent a compression thing that a person could envelope around themselves, pull a few strings and presto magic, it would turn a size 18-20 into a lovely size 12. Okay, a ten would be fantastic and a 14 would do too, I'm not THAT picky!
And what a neat way to pack those female things! Too cool!

Shania said...

If only I could have a reason to put my privos to such a good use. Alas, they remain only as very expensive chew toys for a slobbery dog.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

They don't have tampons in Turkey? Who knew? If you had bigger feet, you could take more of them.

I don't think Mel Gibson's brain looks as good as your bedroom at its worst, though.

I can't believe you're really leaving. Wahhhhhh. (Looo-cie!)

choochoo said...

I want compression bags! I want! I want! I don't think I'll pop my shoes full of tampons, though. I'd get all paranoid about my private bits smelling like feet.

unmitigated me said...

Hmmm. This is making me wonder about your daughter, and how far along into puberty she is. Have you packed supplies in her shoes as well?

secret agent woman said...

One of the many reasons I prefer continuous birth control - no supplies needed.

Too bad you can't compress the people who sit next to you on the plane so they don't intrude on your space.

kmkat said...

Excellent shoe packing, m'dear. Back in my youthier days I believe I remember doing that, too.

Word of warning, probably unnecessary b/c, clearly, you are an Experienced Traveler: Don't put all those 8.5# ciabattas into a suitcase that zips unless you put lots of straps around it. Zippers alone cannot handle the strain. Ask me how I know...

p.s. I miss you already and you haven't even left Duluth. And we have never, you know, actually met.

yogurt said...

I am going to remember this clog. For a very long time. If Turkey is the destination, be sure to bring a LOT of tampons. Are these high quality modern conveniences available where you are going?

lime said...

alternately you could make yourself some slippers out of maxi pads and have a two in one sort of item to pack.

lime said...

hhhmm...dunno if that link is working so just in case...

http://familycrafts.about.com/library/projects/blpadslippers.htm

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

That photo deserves to be on the cover of a book--perhaps the humorous memoir you write of you families year in Turkey?. That's my vote.

Failing that? Blog header.

Michelle Wells Grant said...

And a lovely still life at that.
I'm behind on your news ... will you be blogging from afar? Like a foreign correspondent? I hope so!

Jazz said...

Are you taking a year's worth of tampons? They MUST have tampons in Turkey!

Jocelyn said...

Just to clarify: yes, there are tampons in Turkey, but only the OB brand (no applicators). I can live with that, and will once this supply dwindles after a few months, but since I have some good friends who are post-menopausal, I inherited about 23 pounds of tampons and pads some years back...which I continue to use. So if I have the stuff already, why not take it? I'm packing enough for the first few months, anyhow. (and still leaving a ton at home)

flutter said...

oh, I so have some tampon reorganizing to do....

ds said...

I would love to see the expression on the face of the customs official who scans the bag containing your shoes! Cannot believe you're going in two short weeks. Yes, please become a foreign correspondent (trench coats compress well)!

monica said...

LOL!! Jocelyn, I adore you !!

once you're on your way, you can lean back, take a deep breath, and " if we forgot anything now, it's just too late and we must cope..." So my dad said when we were off with the horse drawn carriage to the church, me as a bride, him humming nervously as he always does when nervous - and then I realised we had forgotten my wedding bouquet.. long story - but we made it - with the flowers... and it was 18 years ago...

geewits said...

You need to stop overthinking because some of your best posts could start: And another thing we forgot..

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

See, THIS is why I'm a bad packer. Never would've thought to put my tampons in my shoes. Brilliant.
Nice quip about Gibson's brain. And now I'm going to clean a closet because you inspire me.

alwaysinthebackrow said...

This made me think of a college friend of mine who was going to spend a year studying abroad in Ireland. This was back in the dark ages of the 70's. None of us had traveled overseas, and it was fascinating to us. She had been told by someone that there were no tampons in Ireland. So she packed an entire year's worth to take along with her. She was frantic in trying to figure out how many she would need in the course of a year, and finally got them packed in her luggage.
The first letter she sent me started "Every store here sells tampons. I am going to kill her. I could have brought more of my other stuff." Priorities are priorities in travel as elsewhere.
Hope the piles are being transformed into luggage!

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

What? Tampons are important. . .to have when you are away overseas for a whole year. Of course!

Deborah said...

I have avoided commented on this post because the memory of packing is still too fresh in my mind, and I really didn't want to revisit it. My dream is to have enough clothes in each place that I can just throw my passport and a book into my purse (sometimes I forget it and bad things happen) and be the only person on the plane with no baggage.
As for tampons, I find they're always most useful while actually ON the plane. It is a sort of Murphy's Law of Menses that they make an appearance right after pushing back from the gate, when you're chained to your seat for the next 20-180 minutes. This is, at least, the experience of the women - all two of them - in my very immediate family.

Compression is such a good idea. I had never thought of that. But doesn't it make for a lot of wrinkles?? Priorities, priorities.

I still cannot believe that you actually find the time to write. I'm betting on a post on Aug 2.

christopher said...

Packing, storing, tossing, blogging...you certainly have excellent time management skills.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

I can't wait to go on this trip.

Murr Brewster said...

It only makes sense to put tampons in a clog. I shudder to think what you put in your pumps.