I’m likely the worst suitcase packer in the world but am lucky be married to one of the best. Ann does all of the logistical planning and the packing for our vacations, because if left up to me, we’d bring our stuff aboard in Food Lion "carry-on" sacks.
I want to help more in the process but can’t make the case of why it matters what I wear. Ann’s attitude is polar opposite, so over the past few weeks, she has been assembling her clothes and which accessories "go" with each outfit.
I believe most men — certainly this one — couldn’t care less. My formula for appropriate dress is simple: Warm places equal shorts and sandals. Cold places equal jeans and sandals.
My general disinterest in how I look is a double-edged sword. On the positive side, I’m probably the most comfortable guy in any room, which is of highest personal importance.
On the negative side, I likely scare away some potential clients with my beach-bum raggedness. I tell myself anybody choosing accountants because ties match shirts may have flawed priorities. But who knows?
Times they are a changing. This year, I’m making a concerted effort to clean up my travel act on our yearly adventure. I’ve even augmented my "wardrobe" with neat stuff I ordered from a store in Hawaii.
I don’t know how their catalog found its way to our door, but they had some clothing items that really struck a chord … my chord. Their product descriptions kept using my two favorite styling words, "cotton" and "comfortable."
They offer pants and shorts right down my alley, softest cotton in great colors. And true to the sales hype, their products did turn out to be "unbelievably comfortable."
This isn’t an infomercial, but I should mention the store, which is "Crazy Shirts." Unless their clothes fall apart in mid-vacation, you can bet I’ll be doing a lot of business with them.
Now, I’ve done more than "augment" my ratty wardrobe. I’d pretty much replaced my whole suitcase. So this year when we do our tourist thing, strangers won’t whisper as we pass by, "Isn’t it nice of that attractive lady to help the homeless?"
The only thing lacking for a successful trip was a few tiny items of big importance. Solved! Yesterday, I bought snacks to take on the plane.
Anytime I go aboard a boat or plane, I immediately get hungry. I’m sure there’s a clinical explanation, but that’s between me and my stomach.
I’d have made a terrible Viking. The crew would’ve thrown me overboard for raiding the food locker before we rowed from the dock.
I would’ve likewise been a poor Wright Brother. Could "The Wright Flyer" have risen off the sand dune with added weight of sandwiches and a batch of cookies? My travel munchies might’ve created a history mystery.
Otis Gardner’s column appears here weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.