So I'm going away for a week on vacation and I have no idea where I'll be or what I'm going to be doing. I'm exagerating. See, there's a very loose itinerary. By loose I mean we have a roundtrip flight with 8 days and four hotels in different cities in between. Ostensibly we'll be driving around Washington, Oregon and Northern California seeing what there is to see but that kind of open-endedness puts me in a tizzy. Are we going to a fancy party? Will there be a soccer game or debutante ball? Safari? Will I need my cowboy hat? What about my Water Wings? Is there a chance someone will be shot? This is a vacation. Anything could happen.

The biggest problem with this kind is ambiguity is, of course, figuring out how to pack appropriately. Finding an appropriate outfit for a quick run to Starbucks gives me heart palpitations and often ends with me throwing shoes across the room while wearing 8 ill-fitting tanktops, so a full vacation wardrobe is pretty much out of the realm of possibility. Last night, the concept upset me so much that by 1 a.m. I had dumped my entire closet on the floor and burst into tears. The only thing I had actually managed to pack was an empty can of Axe. And a book called "Croquet for Dummies" but that's neither here nor there.

In any case, I eventually got over it... after a lot of deep breathing and a very awkward breakdown in the middle of a late night showing of Toy Story 3 (I just ran in, screamed for about a minute, stopped and watched the scene in the trash incinerator, cried hysterically, and ran out, my empty suitcase rolling behind me). I managed to pack my bags (with clothes and not just emotions!) and I'm pretty proud of how economical and yet thorough my packing is. I have two suitcases and a carryon, inside of which I've shoved literally 30 outfits.

I know what you're thinking--30 outfits is a little conservative for 8 days away. Don't worry, I had the same thought.
But I'm not going away with the gays so the number of costume changes gets chopped in half. I'm going away, instead, with my parents who are very heterosexual and will probably not boo me if I repeat a pair of jeans or wear a deep v-neck shirt even though everyone knows I don't have the collar bones for a deep v. My only concern is the underwear. At first I thought I should pack all my cute underwear--the squarecuts, the labels, the ridiculous colors. But then I remembered I'm spending a week in the Pacific Northwest looking a redwoods and old mining towns with Cliff and Claire Huxtable. The only time anyone is likely to see my drawers is if I accidentally say "That's what she said" 30 to 40 times during a presentation on redwoods and my shirt rides up as I'm bending down to pick up my dignity.

So I just packed whatever. And a lot of it. I packed a pair for every day, of course, and a second pair for the 4 days I plan on working out. Then I stuff 3 more pairs in my carryon for when the airline loses my luggage and a final pair for in case I pee myself. Stop acting like you don't pee yourself just because you're not 5 anymore. Okay, whatever. I'm not saying I definitely will pee myself but it's vacation. Anything can happen.

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