Hello, gentle readers! Would you like to guess what I'm doing tonight? I'm repacking for a trip to North Dakota.
Yes, I said repacking. I've already packed. Several times.
I'm traveling to the flickertail state* to give a talk on landscapes in Arthurian romance. No, no! The tickets are entirely sold out,** so stop right right now; I can't get you in. Sorry. You will have to suffer the pain and misery of never hearing my stimulating analysis of twelfth century romance ecology. What can I say? Sometimes, life's tough.
In any case, this particular bout of repacking is slightly the fault of my friend Michelle who, when I asked about the weather, told me that it would be "high 60s, even very low 70s, during the day; 40s at night," so that's what I packed for the second and third times that I packed the suitcase.
(The first time doesn't count because I packed the wrong suitcase altogether. Obviously, I can't take my blue suitcase to give a talk in North Dakota! It has to be the black suitcase. I have no idea what I was thinking. Sorry about that, denizens of the Peace Garden State.***)
Anyway, I love and trust this Michelle, but apparently I trust weather.com more because I kept checking it, and it says to expect highs in the low 50s and possible rain. Naturally, I can adapt to cooler temperatures, but even the suggestion of precipitation means that I had to change my shoe plans quite thoroughly. And once you've changed your shoe plans, well, the rest of the ensembles must be reconsidered as well. Moreover, I've had to consider (and reconsider and rereconsider) whether or not to include a small travel umbrella, which is not a decision one makes haphazardly. I mean, there are weight limits these days, and my past experience has shown that Delta will not let me get on the plane wearing a jacket with two pairs of shoes in the pockets even if they fit perfectly well, dammit.
Delta may be a fine company, but it does not understand the importance of appropriate footwear.
Meanwhile, I have to find just the right piece of pottery to bring this Michelle and her beloved husband Adam, taking into account their decorating preferences, our long friendship, and her failure to warn me of a slight chance of precipitation and the possible Footwear Crisis that might have ensued.
It's taken me a glass of wine and two glasses of raspberry iced tea to figure it out.
Anyway, I still have to figure out pajamas and slippers and fold each of my robes and stick it on the bathroom scale to see if I can get any of them in the suitcase without exceeding the weight limit or sacrificing a pair of shoes. So I'm likely to be at this all night, and I just wanted to ask you folks: would any of you will be willing to do my repacking for me the next time I go on a trip? I can pay you in pottery.
*According to the Official Portal for North Dakota State Government, "Flickertail refers to the Richardson ground squirrels which are abundant
in North Dakota. The animal flicks or jerks its tail in a
characteristic manner while running or just before entering its burrow.
In 1953 the Legislative Assembly defeated Senate Bill (S.B.) No. 134
that would have adopted the Flickertail facsimile as the official emblem
of the state." Which was a lucky thing, based on the behavior of the squirrels I know. They are just waiting for a chance to take over.
**I lie, of course. It's by invitation only.
***"The International Peace Garden straddles the international Boundary
between North Dakota and the Canadian province of Manitoba. In 1956 the
North Dakota Motor Vehicle Department, on its own initiative, placed the
words Peace Garden State on license plates; the name proved so
popular that it was formally adopted by the 1957 legislature (North
Dakota Century Code (NDCC), Section 39-04-12)." You're welcome.