"The More Observant Among You Will Have Noticed My Heavy Reliance on the Pictoral Post in Recent Weeks, and Shut Up Already That I'm Essentially Phoning in My Blogging Life Because I'm Teaching Summer Classes at the Same Time I'm Computing How Many Pairs of Underwear Can Fit Into a Compression Sack."
I promise I'm not complaining.
The truth is, the kids are off at daycamp this week, which magically opens up the daytime hours for Groom and me to hustle around the house, throw bedding into plastic bags, and disassemble bed frames, all while staring at a pile of caribiners mixed with agates and Yu-Gi-Oh cards and thinking, "Do I really feel like taking fifteen minutes to separate the cards from the agates from the carabiners, or should I throw them all in the trash--or put them into a Ziploc bag so that I can unpack them again in a year and stare at them some more?"
Then there is some more hustling around to take paintings off the walls, an activity only broken up by the minutes spent staring at the stack of our daughter's 56 journals, each of which have writing on the first page only. This staring is followed by a few minutes of rifling through the 203 pencils in her desk drawer, which conveniently alternate with key chains and stickers of emoticons, a mixture that can only be called Tween Gorp.
After about an hour of what should be Productive House Packing Time, I realize I'm pretty much just walking down the stairs, getting a plastic bag, carrying it back upstairs, opening a drawer, sighing deeply and dramatically, and then closing the drawer and wondering why I'm holding a plastic bag. Before I've completely registered all the junk around me, some part of my vision becomes oblivious to it; the vastness and variety of the piles of stuff all blend together, my head gets woozy, and I plop down with an ooof onto the floor where I sit and consider one more time the specific craziness that is Agglomerated Clothes I Think I Want to Take to Turkey.
On one level, I think I've done okay, as we'll be gone a full year to a place with a complete rotation of seasons, and yet I'm taking neither snow boots nor winter coat. But I am currently stalled out on a stack of 19 short-sleeved shirts that all are begging for a trip to the Near East. The short sleevers are so raucous that the 3/4- and full-length sleevers aren't even emitting a peep but, rather, are sticking together resolutely and silently in their own stolid clump in the corner.
Right now, our household is realizing how even our "restrained" packing attempts are resulting in hella lotta crap being aimed at an open suitcase. Groom--who can say no to dessert, go to bed at a reasonable hour, and avoid shopping for months--compiled all his intended clothes, and here's what his low-key self came up with:
In comparison to his big-but-doable load of clothes, mine is overwhelming in both breadth:
As I chastise myself for struggling to cull the mass of fabric, though, I am defended by rationalization. In the heap are 6 bras. Over the course of 365 days, that means I would wear each bra about 61 times. When put that way, 6 bras doesn't seem excessive. When photographed as part of a column of 3 skirts, 11 pairs of socks, and 10 pairs of underwear, though, the cumulative heft--which comprises maybe 1/6 of the overall total--seems like too much:
You may have noticed already how, even after a few photos, the heaps start to blend together. Very quickly, it's just Puff 'N Stuff everywhere. If I turn away from issues of underwear and open my closet door so as to view all the sundries that we've tucked inside as part of the Non-Clothing Items--home school books; a few toys; crayons and markers; DVD's--it's as though I'm possessed by Material Vertigo and can't see anything through my swimming vision.
You may have noticed that I mentioned bras and underwear with little hesitation. Assuming a posture of semi-defensive breeziness is part of my smoke and mirrors act,
to distract from the issue of shoes.
Which I don't want to discuss. Because it's kind of a hot button for me.
Because I'm thinking 10 pairs of shoes sounds about right (rather a lowball numer, to tell you true...keeping in mind that I wear a women's size 10, which I won't be able to buy in Turkey), but whenever I start to intimate to my husband that taking 10 pairs of shoes might qualify as "restrained," he makes this odd gargly noise in the back of this throat and clutches spastically at his Adam's apple.
So then I just shut up, hand him a spittoon, and slide open a Very Special Closet Door, where the view could not be more clear or simple,
where I am reassured by a quick glance
that everything is going to be all right.