Some people are organized. I'm not one of them, but I am married to their leader.
For my Lovely Wife, all things have their place and had better be in them. Misplaced items regularly put her "over the edge." The kitchen countertop is best when clear of papers, and the children's rooms should remain in continuous and regulated states of "neat" and "orderly." The fact I don't care if all the shirts hanging in my closet are facing the same way baffles her. And don't even get her started on the torturously entropic qualities of Legos.
While I'm the kind of person who doesn't like things unclean, untidy does not bother me at all. Two or three times a year I might get a bug up my butt about the disorderly state of my office, or my closet, or the closet in my office. Things get sorted, thrown away, re-evaluated, and reorganized. Two weeks later, it looks like it did three weeks earlier.
When we pack for trips, I usually am smart enough to rely on my Lovely Wife to ensure we have all the necessary items. Her orderly thoroughness results in an abundance -- some might say over-abundance -- of clothing and sundry items necessary for whatever trip we might be taking. Forget "Be Prepared," our state of uber-preparedness would put any Eagle Scout to shame.
On rare occasions, however, I am called on to collect and pack items for a last-minute sleepover or a night of the children staying at my parents' house. I'd like to say I've learned from the example my Lovely Wife has repeatedly set for me, but I'm simply not that smart.
One time, I forgot pajamas. Another time, I forgot pants. Depending on the circumstances, I might also forget toothbrushes, toothpaste, socks, underwear, bathing suits, hats, shirts, sunscreen, sweaters, jackets, flip flops, sneakers, dress shoes, belts, medications, blankets, and snacks. Now that the children are getting older, I can look forward to also forgetting to pack glasses, phones, phone chargers, iPods, iPod chargers, deodorant, makeup, makeup remover, bras, and pads.
Whenever we head out on a vacation, the boys rapid fire a list of items they suspect I might forget, beginning with the items I've neglected in the past.
Most recently, as we pulled out of our community to make the long drive down to Florida for our cruise, I thought I was in for another game of "What Dad Forgot." The Italian started listing the obvious items, asking me if they were packed, but the German cut him off.
"Don't worry," the German reassured him. "Mom helped Dad pack, so we'll be okay."
© 2011 Mark Feggeler