You never realize how much stuff you need every day until you have to pack it all into a tiny little suitcase that fits in your tiny little trunk to go away for a tiny weekend camping trip.
It never fails. I slip into the passenger seat of our car. My husband backs the car out of the driveway and says to me, "Are you sure we have everything?"
I mentally go through the three-page list in my mind and answer, "I think so." Just as we get on the entrance ramp to the freeway, I begin pummeling more questions at my family members than a FBI agent during an interrogation of one of the "10 Most Wanted" after he’s finally captured.
"Did you pack a clean pair of underwear?" I ask my son.
"Whoops," he answers.
"Oops," my daughter replies.
"Toothpaste?" I turn to my husband.
"Uh-oh," he answers.
Twenty-five miles later, I summarize our conversation for everyone. "Okay, let me get this straight. Between the four of us, we have a tube of mascara, one extra sock, no underwear or pajamas, a stuffed kitty, and two toothbrushes but no toothpaste."
A long silence ensues. My husband clears his throat and then summons the courage to finally speak, "I think that sounds about right."
"Grrrreat," I mutter.
I don’t know why this always happens to us. I consider myself to be one of the most organized people I know (which isn’t saying much). I make lists, I check them twice, and I even make sure everyone is more nice than naughty, but when it comes to packing for a trip, I always forget something very, very important … like toothpaste.
As we lay in the tent last night after our children fell asleep, naked with no underwear or pajamas on, my husband turned to me and said with hot, stinky breath, "I’m going to be growing fur on my teeth by morning."
I replied, "I’m not going to be able to sleep all night. I need to brush my teeth!"
He wrinkled his nose in disgust and then turned his face away from me, "Your mouth smells like a sewer chute."
"That may be true," I answered, "But at least I won’t be shaving my teeth along with my face in the morning like you will be."
"Your eyelashes look beautiful with all that mascara on them," he added as he plugged his nose.
"That is the most romantic thing you’ve ever said to me," I replied. "And I don’t care if you aren’t wearing anything but dirty socks."
He grasped my hand as we glanced over at our innocent children who slept peacefully with the stuffed kitty between them. I reveled in the tender moment and tried not to think of the millions of bacteria hosting a party inside their mouths.
"Sometimes it’s not what you pack, but what you pack inside here," I told him as I patted my heart.
"That’s very profound, honey," he replied, "But next time you talk, can you put the pillow over your mouth? I’m starting to see a green cloud forming over your head."
I covered my mouth with the pillow case, "Okay honey, but tomorrow when you put gas in the car, you’d better use sign language when you pay because if that guy behind the counter gets a whiff of that breath … holy cow! He might charge us $3.00 a gallon for gas, and wouldn’t that be outrageous?"
Just so you know, we did make it through this weekend without all our "necessities." Just don’t tell our dentist the real reason why we all have cavities during our next checkup.