In just a couple hours, we’re leaving on another mind boggling six month trip around the world.
But at this particular moment, rather than looking forward to the alien landscapes of Iceland or the exotic beaches of Mauritius, I’m thinking about pants.
Let’s just step briefly into the WayBack Machine for a cautionary tale:
Jamie is a very smart woman. She realizes more than most that I have managed to master a narrow range of subjects. A very narrow range of subjects, if you want to get all nitpicky about it.
So she took over when we got married. She did all the planning and I did all the paying (one of things on that very narrow list of subjects, I suppose). She found and booked the venue. She found a designer and seamstress who made her wedding dress. She bought the flowers, hired the caterer, and arranged the reception. Yes, she did everything.
With one exception.
“All you need to do,” she said, “is bring your clothes.”
On the day of our wedding, I grabbed the bag containing my clothes and drove to the gorgeous oceanfront hotel in Laguna Beach where the wedding was to be held. About an hour before the ceremony was scheduled to begin, she told me it was time for me to get dressed.
I went to my room, took my bag of clothes out of the closet, and began to get dressed. It was quickly apparent that I had no pants.
No problem, I thought. Jamie’s taken care of everything, so she must have packed them somewhere.
“Where are my pants?” I asked.
“What do you mean ‘Where are my pants?’” she responded.
“Well, all my clothes are here except my pants.”
Normally a sweet, lovely, mild-mannered woman who, in the words of my farmer father, wouldn’t say shit if she had a mouthful, she exploded.
“I gave you one thing to do! All you had to do was bring your clothes! Are you telling me you forgot your pants? Are you serious?”
I fear that response may have angered her even further.
She turned bright red, stormed out of the room, and as she neared her mom’s room at the far end of the hall, I heard her scream, “He forgot his fuckin’ pants.”
Well, as the old saying goes, all’s well that ends well. We jumped in my best friend’s car, sped ten miles down Pacific Coast Highway to our house, retrieved the missing pants from our closet, and sped back up PCH.
In the end, the ceremony was delayed only twenty minutes or so and the rest of the day — meaning all the stuff that Jamie had been in charge of — went off flawlessly.
And that brings us back to today, when we’re leaving on a six month ‘round-the-world trip.
Jamie has been packing her bags for weeks. Things go in, things come out. First the suitcase is full, then the suitcase is empty and then she repacks it again. Maybe one more sleeveless blouse is added, maybe one more pair of sandals is removed.
Every few days she would look at my empty suitcase gathering dust in the corner of the closet and warn me. “You’d better start packing.”
I laughed. She’s so silly, I thought. I can do this the night before we leave. It will only take a few minutes.
So I started packing last night knowing that we’re leaving for the airport at 7:30 this morning.
Buttoned shirts? Check.
A couple caps? Check.
Toiletries bag? Check.
Pants? Not so fast, Seabiscuit.
A few months ago, in preparation for this trip, I bought two new pairs of pants. They fit perfectly. But it’s been a sweltering hot summer here in Texas so I hung them in the closet and I haven’t worn anything but shorts for the last three months.
Jamie, being the worrywart that she is, insisted that I try on my new pants before putting them in the suitcase. I, of course, thought this would be a pointless exercise because those pants fit perfectly back when I bought them. If I do say so myself, I immediately looked like a GQ cover model the moment I donned those pants. A geriatric version of a GQ cover model, perhaps, but a GQ cover model nonetheless.
Well, in the last few months, I have apparently eaten too many blueberry muffins at Snug, my morning coffee shop and office. I have apparently sucked down too many Nutter Butters at Frio’s, my favorite purveyor of gourmet popsicles. I have apparently eaten too many Reese’s Peanut Butter cups when we visit our friends Joe and Judy. I have apparently guzzled down too many calories everywhere I’ve gone.
BECAUSE I COULDN’T SQUEEZE INTO ANY OF MY NEW PANTS. NOR, FOR THAT MATTER, ANY MY OLD ONES.
So I am now taking off on a six month trip around the world with a single pair of very tight jeans and one pair of sweatpants.
And, of course, with the incredibly smug attitude of my wife, who believes I am completely incapable of dressing myself for important events.
She may be right.
But let’s just keep that between you and me.
No reason for her to know.
None at all.
ONE MORE THING: I asked Jamie to read this before I posted it just to make sure I had all the details correct. Her response? “You forgot to mention how pissed I was when I was upstairs packing your bag at 8:00 last night while you were sitting on your ass downstairs watching an episode of Cops that you’ve already seen about a hundred times.”
I implore you not put any faith in what the woman says. She is a well-known prevaricator of the worst sort. I do not believe I had seen that particular episode of Cops more than 40 times. Certainly no more than 50.