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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.

I am now suffering from 'pack-a-phobia'

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Monday, May 27, 2013 12:01 am
There haven't been many — probably not any — studies done on the affliction I have developed late in life. I call it “pack-a-phobia,” the fear of packing a suitcase to go anywhere. I want to take just the “perfect” things and always end up fretting and stewing on packing day. Sometimes I start packing four days in advance for fear my pack-a-phobia will flare up. Have you ever thought just how complicated packing has become? I must not forget to pack my: phone, phone charger, iPad, iPad charger, iPod, iPod charger, camera, camera charger and my lap top and its charger. By the time I have packed those, I'm tired and go have lunch.

Then, I consider how many days I'll be gone and count my underclothing carefully. I check the weather outside my window and pack clothes fit to the weather. Husband comes home and tells me what the weather will be like where we're going, according to his phone. (Why hadn't I thought of that?) So, I unpack what I have packed and repack, taking what I think will fit the weather at our destination.

That night, I rethink everything I have packed, and in the morning, I take everything out and repack. Next, I drag out another suitcase for the extra clothing and things I have thought about during the night that I might need just in case. Just in case it snows or rains or a heat wave hits. What then? I might need boots or a raincoat or a bathing suit.

Oh, rats. I forgot about airline regulations, and so I repack my carry-on luggage with smaller containers of everything just in case we don't make our connections and have to stay all night in some strange city.

Next, I check my luggage to make sure each piece has an identifying tag and is light enough for me to pull. The man who invented wheels on luggage is one of my favorite inventors, next to Madame Currie. In the 1960s, when I traveled with my three young children wearing three-inch heels and we changed planes in Chicago, they did not transfer my luggage since I was flying on a pass; so I had to tote my heavy Samsonite and three children through O'Hare. Where was the wheel guy when I needed him?

My pack-a-phobia began, I think, when I visited my son in North Carolina in the spring of 2004. Per their instructions, I had packed only shorts and sandals. It snowed 18 inches that visit, and I have not been well since. Maybe the guy who invented wheels on suitcases will develop a vaccine for pack-a-phobia. I can only hope.

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