PACKING for CAPE COD or WHY DO YOU HAVE SO MANY BAGS WHEN ALL YOU WEAR IS THE SAME PAIR OF JEANS AND DENIM SHIRT?
One of two darling straw hats that I only wear on Cape Cod and the ubiquitous over-sized denim shirt.
In the spirit of full disclosure, the title of this post.
Let's face it: I am an over______[fill in the blank]:
- buyer (yes, there's a difference)
What I own too many of:
- art supplies in general
- watercolor palettes
- black pens
- blank sketchbooks
- pads of watercolor paper
- Art Paper
- Nature Writing
- Travel Writing
- Design books
- Lettering books
- Art Journaling Books
- Black pants
- striped tops
- casual jackets
- winter coats
- black shoes
- button down shirts
- tote bags
- (You expect me to add "bags", but mais non, actually haven't bought any in a few years.)
Now, take all that stuff up there, add in stuff for the beach likes straw hats, coverups, beach sandals, swim shorts, UV shirts, beach chairs, cute beach towels, umbrellas, etc., and you will understand.
And Mr. Pom, even before this latest back siege where he can't carry anything, is all up in my "luggage" saying stuff like, "Why do you have so many damn bags for two nights away??"
Cause I need my "stuff".
Here's what happens:
In my mind - very important distinction - in my mind, our weekend will be like this: Gloriously cool morning where we will hike through the woods, sunshiney lunch time on a boat, beach naps, perhaps later afternoon cocktails at....somewhere...dinner by the sea...cool evening by the campfire, and repeat except that probably add in a smurry day with fog and rain when I will read 3 books and bake something incredible from the two cookbooks I am lugging up there.
Now translate that fantasy into necessary accoutrements:
jeans, hoodie, boots, camera; shorts, t-shirt, deck shoes, hat binocular, picnic hamper; swimsuit, cover up, straw hat, tote, gauzy scarf, books, journal, paints; white capris, tunic, chandelier earrings, jaunty short scarf, espadrilles; little black dress, strappy sandals, big gold bracelet, shawl; striped cotton knit sweater, sweat pants, woolly socks, heavier, scarf.
Reality: We will do ONE of those things above and it will never be a) have lunch on a boat; b) have cocktails anywhere except wine or beer in the backyard or with burgers which c) will never be somewhere where I need to wear a little black dress (I have never worn a dress on Cape Cod except for my daughter's wedding weekend).
More than likely this will be the two days:
Drive like we are being chased by zombies on the New England Thruway from 5:00 Friday night to 11:30 Friday night wearing a suit from court because Mr. Pom wouldn't let me take the time to change; get up and throw on old sweatpants kept in the closet and an oversized, polka dot denim shirt and walk dogs in woods; drive to Wellfleet for coffee and pastry and sit in the car on the cliff, wearing sweatpants and denim shirt; go to hardware store for some tool that somehow we left home (hammer, mouse traps) wearing old sweats and denim shirt; notice the sun finally came out as did the mosquitos, change into cargo pants and athletic tee and dose with OFF; go to clam shack at beach for dinner, wear cotton knit sweater and cargo pants; make campfire, change into oldest sweats and oldest denim shirt, wrap face and hair in old scarf so pillows in bed don't stink of smoke the next morning; change in flannel pj's; repeat the next day to go home.
And yet, I tell ya, and yet, I will still buy yet another tunic (Uniqlo! So cheap!); another la marinier (striped T from LL Bean); another cute yellow waxed cotton jacket; another pair of hiking shoes that I are heavy as cement; another gorgeous indigo and white scarf (19.99 on sale at Banana Republic!); another of those cute bracelets made from braided boat rope or something; and another nautical tote to lug 3 journals (large, med, small) and watercolors AND gouache AND writing journal to coffee shop for ten minutes of uninterrupted "creative time", and then pack it all up and go home early Sunday to beat the traffic.
I've tried leaving enough clothing there so I don't have to bring ANYthing. This results in me either 8 pairs of underwear or none; 3 mismatched socks; one pair of sweats that smell like lobster from the last dinner; all the scarves I've been looking for at home; and every single raincoat, denim jacket, canvas jacket, and parka I own.
Mr. Pom has his own unique method of packing: he dashes into the house, throws off his work clothes, puts on jeans and an Izod, gets in car, gets to Mystic, reaches for jacket and realizes that he left it home. Gets up in morning and realizes he left underwear home. Changes out of Izod after hacking weeds on the back 40 all afternoon and realizes he does not have another. single. thing.to.wear. Every weekend.
Even ze dogs wear ze stripes on Cape Cod
So, whilst I can do a bang-up capsule wardrobe for 5 days at home office in Chicago, assembling a mix and match neutral pairing of two pairs of pants, two jackets, and a sweater that all fit into one carry on along with files and a laptop, I am quite incapable of packing for an ordinary weekend when I have a car and half my clothing where I am going. Don't even ask me about what happens when we go for summer vacation for two weeks. My sister and I have been known to have about 20 pairs of pants between the two of us and wash the same 2 pairs alternately each day and never take the rest out of our suitcases
You thought I was kidding?
Even my gorgeous, raven-haired, skinny cousin, who parks her car in town, and then runs to the beach, and is always in black shorts, black sweats, black fleece, confessed to bringing two little black dresses over Memorial Day weekend - just in case there was some reason to dress up (most likely our house; see above in re campfire smoke).
Even when he was six weeks old, he knew the dress code
But here's the thing about having a vacation house: in your mind you WILL be invited to a clambake on the beach where you will wear your skinny white capris, blue and white striped top, and espadrilles that tie in bows around your ankles. You WILL then be invited to a sunset cruise on a neighbor's sailboat where you will have on a maillot top, hiphuggers, and gold Birkenstocks (and probably fall overboard for not wearing deck shoes); and you WILL spend the entire morning on a little bridge in the marshes painting the tides ebbing and flowing in your small, medium, and large journals with watercolors and the occasional dab of gouache(with a heavy application of eau de OFF).
( Baby is rocking fur-lined suede booties.)
As my cousin always says right about when we are both calling either a plumber or an electrician or the septic guy , and spending Saturday afternoon stuck in the house waiting for them to come, and are annoyed either at husband or children for various and sundry annoyances like abandoning us in the house to wait for the guy, the best part of the vacation is the looking forward to it while you are at work the week before vacation.
Which is when I'm usually buying that extra tote bag and a new scarf.....