I’m going to a wedding this weekend in Asheville. Since it’s been a while since I was on a weekend trip that wasn’t work-related, I decided to book a place and make a nice weekend of it. I’ve talked before in these here pages about my tendency to overpack for trips. I’ve mostly gotten it under control these days. I only packed two bags for a recent two-night trip to Nashville. Throw a wedding into this mix—as in all my travels I’ve never gone to a wedding with an overnight stay—and my streamlined packing plans are now in a moderate form of chaos.
If this was just a weekend getaway to Asheville I’d have no problem getting my gear together. My bathroom bag, a couple of jeans, shirts, socks, boxers, and off we go. The wrench in the works for this is that everything I will take, down to even which luggage I use, is centered around the suit I’ll wear to the wedding.
The dress code for this wedding is moderately relaxed, I doubt I’ll go with a tie for this wedding. I’m glad I’ve lost enough weight to not fit into my very nice summer linen jacket, but also sad as that would have been the perfect fit for this. I think I’ll go with a blue check jacket I wore to a wedding last year where I looked so dapper everyone on social media who follows me had a moment.
This means I’ll take the weekend bag (which for some reason isn’t big enough to truly hold everything I’d need for a weekend trip) and I’ll center the rest of my plans around my suit, uh, suitcase? Yeah, that’s right? Does that have a technical term? Do you know what I mean? The kind of folding case you put clothes in right on the hanger? I could google this. I’m writing this on a computer right now—sorry to those of you who thought I wrote on a typewriter from the 1960s.
Between ending that paragraph and starting this one I have googled, dear reader, and the name for such times is a “garment bag.” I am mad at myself that I couldn’t remember this. Maybe too many traumatic memories of hauling a garment bag around those choir trips from high school. We’ll put “the essentials” and all the things for my electronics in the weekend bag and I'll put the clothes in the garment bag.
Now the real question will be that despite committing to this two-bag plan in print will I keep it up? There will be two bags, at least, but what of a third bag? This is what will keep me up at night. What if I need a backup sports coat if a wild bird flies over while I’m walking around Biltmore Village in search of pastries?
It’s one of the many “gifts” that anxiety gives you. A sense that you must be prepared for every eventuality on a trip. Sure, I could go and buy clothes if I need them should something happen, but when you’re on a trip all the stores you’re used to going to at home no longer exist. I don’t make the rules. Target? It’s there if I need toothpaste. An emergency shirt? Not possible. Shirts don’t exist away from home.
Hopefully, by the time I leave on Friday, I’ll have it all sorted. If not, I’ll just take every piece of luggage I have and fill it with 9,000 emergency options. It shouldn’t come to that. I hope. I’ll let you know if I manage to keep this trip to two bags, including the garment bag. I shall spend the rest of the day thinking about the garment bag and how I blanked out on that. See you next week.