2012.06.20 I'm simply naked without my clothes

Written by David Green.

I am naked without my clothes

I have no idea what transpired in the two weeks since writing my last column, but apparently nothing remotely amusing or noteworthy. So, to the archives I went. I found several past columns that amused me, but selected this one from almost exactly five years ago. Ben and Sarah and Rosie, Taylor and Caroline will be coming home in a few weeks, and we’ll all be heading to the cottage. This column should serve as a reminder to David: Don’t let history repeat itself!

 

By COLLEEN LEDDY

Never let a man pack a car.

Isn’t that what your mother always told you?

It’s a sexist thing to say. So let me be just a tad more specific: Never let David Green pack your car.

We were in a rush. I was setting things in the entryway to take on a quick overnight family gathering at David’s sister’s cottage on Gun Lake. The celebration would acknowledge two birthdays, an anniversary and Father’s Day, and the adventure would include a trip to Sam’s Joint—home of the most delectable barbecued chicken strips and potato wedges on the planet. 

My hastily packed suitcase was lined up, ready to go, full to the brim, equipped for all manner of Michigan weather: hot day/cool night (shorts, T-shirt, lightweight but long sleeve pajamas), cool day/cool night (long sleeve shirt, jeans, long johns and heavyweight long sleeve shirt), hot day/hot night (lightweight nightshirt)—and activity: running shorts, bathing suit, grungy jeans for geocaching.

We weren’t sure exactly where we would slumber, so we added sleeping bags and mats to the pile. I threw some beach towels, bagged sneakers and sandals, a scarf, sweatshirt and jacket, and the toiletries bag into a laundry basket. Loaded up some groceries and added the bags to the collection. While I whirled some basil into pesto, David filled the car with our belongings.

Never let a man pack a car.

We arrived in time for an early dinner at Sam’s and in the chilly air-conditioned restaurant, I kept thinking how nice it would be to slip into my thick Polartec long-johns (which I’d brought along as pajamas) when we got back to the cottage.

Remember Friday night? Was it cool here in Morenci? It was chilly at Gun Lake, but that didn’t deter the rest of the crowd from stopping at the Curly Cone for ice cream. I passed on the ice cream; I just really wanted to get into those warm long-johns.

Back at the cottage, we unloaded the car. 

Never let a man pack a car.

It’s OK to let a man unpack a car. What harm can he do? Take things out, carry them inside. Plop ’em down. Maybe he’ll put them in the wrong place. But that’s not so bad. You can move them to a better location. But let a man pack a car?

“Hey, where’s my suitcase?”

“What suitcase? I didn’t put a suitcase in the car.”

“You didn’t put my suitcase in the car?”

“This is an overnight. Who packs a suitcase for an overnight?”

“You really didn’t pack my suitcase? You’re kidding, right?”

“I’m not kidding. There's no suitcase in the car.”

“But I had my suitcase right there in the entryway with all the stuff to pack into the car.”

“I didn’t pack it.”

“You really didn’t pack my suitcase? You didn’t put my suitcase in the car? You’re kidding right?” 

He had to be kidding. But this joke was going on too long and his face looked too serious. Still, he had to be kidding. I am naked without my clothes. I need my clothes. I’d covered all the bases. I was prepared for any possible weather condition I might encounter, any activity we might engage in for the 24 hours we’d spend away from my closet and dresser drawers.

“How could you possibly not pack my suitcase?” I was containing my outrage pretty well, I thought. I was going to accept this situation. But I was still incredulous. My suitcase was sitting right there, among the rest of the flotsam and jetsam.

“Your suitcase had been sitting in the entryway all week after you got back from Berea. We were only going on an overnight so I didn’t think it was supposed to go to the cottage.”

“So you picked it up and actually moved it out of the way?”

OK, I am guilty of not putting the suitcase away after my quick trip to Berea, Ky., to drop Rozee off for a month’s work as a camp counselor. But it had been gone from the entryway for at least two days before I packed it again. Besides, the trip to Berea had been an overnight, so his reasoning made no sense. 

He can’t redeem himself. He’ll be in hot water until my steam blows off. He’s just lucky my sister-in-law Ginny offered me a mini-wardrobe of her own clothes (like any good woman, she overpacks). But I opted to wear my daughter Maddie’s extra sweatpants and t-shirt (like a good daughter, she overpacks).

Ginny was able to offer perspective on the situation with a packing tale of her own.

Her overnight suitcase for her wedding night was stowed in her car during the wedding. She engaged her brother to drive the car alone to the reception, but on the way there, it died. He abandoned the car (and suitcase within) on a street in St. Paul, and hitched out to the reception. As they were leaving the reception, Ginny learned her suitcase had never arrived. So she and Thom headed off to the B&B with no luggage. And in the morning, she had no choice but to wear her wedding dress to breakfast. 

Maybe our mothers should have told us: Never trust any man with your luggage.

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