Next Tuesday I leave for Vegas on a business trip. I decided I needed to get everything prepared this weekend so that I’m ready to go on Tuesday. You would think I was leaving the country for a year by the way I prepare for a 3 day trip. I’m not quite sure what it is about going away for just two nights that makes me feel like I need to tie up all loose ends and take care of certain chores prior to departing. I have a list the length of Long Island, just for this trip. I spent 2 hours in my closet configuring different outfits, knowing exactly what I will end up wearing…the same thing I wear to every business meeting I go to. I bring 10 wardrobe changes, and wear the same 2 outfits every time. I also bring an extra pair of pants and an extra pair of jeans, on top of the 10 wardrobe changes, in case I spill something on them and need to change. In all the trips I have ever gone on over the years, I have yet to have that happen. I don’t know what makes me think that all of a sudden, I will become a slobbering pig…but I guess it’s like our moms always told us as kids…wear clean underwear in case we’re in an accident and the EMT’s have to strip us down. [That would be the most action I’ve gotten in months…ok...maybe years!] God forbid our panties have a slight hole. [Which is kinda gross anyway. Socks, on the other hand, I have kept longer than maybe I should have.]
Working from home has its benefits and its downfalls. The benefits consist of never having to dress up or wear make-up or do my hair. But I always do get dressed, at least in my workout clothes, because staying in my pj’s just doesn’t do it for me. I have to feel presentable…just for myself. I put in my contacts and put make up on every day. But the downfall is my business attire is from the 90’s…back when I had to go into an office periodically. So when I do have to dress for a meeting, I never know if I’m in style, or quite the dork. It seems business clothes don’t really change too much, except for the accessories, so I’m hoping I am making a 'current' appearance. Actually, I think my clothes are now back in style so I should be good. Keep ‘em long enough, you look current once again.
But the lingering wardrobe choices are not even what amaze me about my preparation...nor are they what's time consuming. It's all the other details that I make priorities as if I was going to some foreign country for a lifetime instead of a neighboring state for a few days. I make sure all my bills are paid early...just in case. Just in case of what? Just in case I get detained at Southwest Airlines security at Las Vegas airport for a 4 ounce bottle of lotion, am thrown into jail for wanting soft skin, and as a result, I don't pay my American Express bill before the grace period ends? I know full well that my bills can wait until I return from the trip, yet I am compelled to take care of them prior to leaving.
I leave money for my girls even though if I was home for these 3 days, I wouldn’t be giving them any money for anything. Maybe it’s guilt money for leaving two grown-up girls alone in the house with the dog? They probably look forward to me going and think, “Oh good, we’re going to make $50 each when mom leaves just because she’s not home.”
I make sure I have all my chargers with me. I have my cell phone charger, my camera charger, my laptop charger, my ipod charger. I would rather have THIS charger with me, but he wasn’t available.
Twenty four hours prior to leaving, I print up my e ticket. Actually, I print up 2 copies, just in case I lose one. The problem with that is...I keep them BOTH in the same place. How sensible is that? I know how stupid that is...but do I still do it? Sure. Of course. Why wouldn't I? It just makes me feel better. And then I check my purse, no kidding, at least 50 times, to be sure my boarding pass and my driver's license are in there. I NEVER take my driver's license out of my wallet - EVER - so why do I still check my wallet 50 gazillion times to be sure it's still in there? I have temporary OCD about every single part of the travel adventure, prior to departure. I check my list over and over and over because I'm so worried I may forget something on there. You would think I was going to Gilligan's Island where there are no stores to buy something I may forget. My breath may smell for days if I forget my toothbrush because I'm sure no one in Vegas sells toothbrushes. I need like 10 valium before I leave on a trip because I’m always in panic mode that I’ll forget something.
I time the dying of my hair perfectly so that two days prior to the trip, those roots are ready to be tackled with. And I do it two days before so that one day before I leave, I can do my nails. I can’t do my nails before the dying because I may get dye under one of them or on my cuticles and I would have to re-polish them all over again. It’s an exact science, in case you were wondering.
I also make sure all my laundry gets done whether I need any of those clothes or not. And the dishwasher is put on…really? Why? I think…now I could be wrong…but I think I could be the Felix Unger of our time. And it’s quite disturbing.
The night before I leave, I print up directions to Burbank airport. I even print up the map, although I couldn’t read a map to save my life. But you never know when you will need a map to a place you have been to at least 100 times. I know the way to the airport and I have never seen so many signs guiding you along the way, almost screaming at you where the airport is, yet I still print up directions. And again, I check my purse 80 times to be sure the directions I do not need at all, are in there.
I wake up about 2 hours earlier than I need to, and the night before, I check my alarm about 10 times to be sure it’s set correctly. Of course, I barely sleep during the night because I’m so worried I won’t wake up in time to leave in time to catch my plane in time, even though I give myself more than enough time needed. I am so exhausted planning and preparing for this 3 day trip, that by the time I actually get there, I will probably plop down in my hotel room, fall asleep, and miss my first few meetings. Ahhh…something else to worry about.