“Everyone over there wears the same stuff we wear over here,” my husband said.
It was his umpteenth attempt to curb my annual pre-vacation shopping spree.
“Google pictures from over there and look at what people are wearing,” he continued. “They’re exactly like us.”
“That’s not the point,” I said, staring at my empty suitcase, then at the teetering piles of clothes on the bed. Half a dozen pieces still had the tags on. “I’m not trying to blend in. I’m trying to pack light.”
“So, let me get this straight,” he countered. “In order to pack light — a goal I fully support, by the way — you have to buy more stuff?”
(Men. They have such an annoying need to make things logical.)
I took his hand and led him into the closet.
“Look at my footwear,” I said. “What do you see?”
“Am I going to get another lecture on why a woman needs a minimum of eight pairs of black shoes?”
“No. But your point is pertinent. When you pack, it’s easy. Why? Because all of your shoes are the same height. Thus, all your pants are the same length. Plus — and I say this with love — you’ve always played fast and loose with the rules of fashion. You’d wear the same shoes to dinner that you wore on a hike, if I’d let you. It’s different for women. It’s all about the shoes.”
“You have 30 pairs of shoes in every height imaginable. Pick three — low, medium, high, all in black — and pack clothes to match.”
(Logic. It’s so overrated.)
“It’s not that simple,” I protested. “First of all, my black heels are my least comfortable shoes. I have to go with the browns. They’re two-and-a-half inches tall, requiring pants that are two-and-a-half inches longer. And, because the shoes are brown, the pants can’t be black. See? In order to pack light, I have to buy new brown pants or new black heels.”
“Second of all, I have two pairs of black flats — one is dressy, and the other is for walking. I can’t very well choose between them.”
“Just wear the walking shoes out to dinner, too. Who cares?”
“I care! Those things are hideous! They look like shoes Wilma Flintstone would wear, if Wilma wore shoes.”
“Wilma actually has very dainty feet,” my husband retorted. “You’re thinking of Fred. He’s got the big hooves. Besides, Wilma is such a snazzy dresser. If she wore shoes, they’d be right in style and match her necklace.”
(Hmm. This was news to me: His cartoon crush on the animated redhead.)
“OK then. If Wilma the Dainty-Footed Fashion Plate wore shoes, I guarantee she’d pack more than three pairs for a two-week trip. And, for every pair, there’d be a snazzy outfit, elements of which she would buy new, with Betty at her side. Don’t you remember, “CHAAAARGE IT?”
(At what point did this argument jump the tracks into Hanna-Barbera Land?)
“I don’t understand why you seem to manage your clothing options at home just fine, but when we travel, you freak out and have to buy all new stuff,” he sighed.
“Look, you wear the same five or six outfits all the time. You can easily put them all into one suitcase. I create my fetching ensembles from the whole closet. To pare it all down into one little bag is beyond daunting. Not to mention the weather over there. I need cardigans and tank tops and fleece. Oh, my!”
“But you HAVE those things already! You don’t have to buy new stuff.”
“Don’t you see?” I replied. “The new stuff is more versatile. Shoes that work for day AND night. Pants that work with the shoes. Cardigans that complement the pants.”
“But wouldn’t it be more logical if you already had versatile things in your closet?” he asked, that irritating ‘gotcha’ look on his face.
“If the world was a logical place, men would ride side saddle,” I answered, simply because I had no other comeback.
“Who said that?” he asked.