Good News and Bad News

packing list
In a piece of huge cosmic unfairness, I was recently informed by that authoritative source of all things organizational and nutritional — the New York Times — that as long as my house is messy, I will never lose a single pound. (You will be fat, in other words, if your house is messy.) Actually, I think they tried to put it in a nice way, which is to say that those who are organized, or get organized, well, they also tend to lose weight. That’s the good news, at least at this time of year when a lot of people have that goal on their resolution list. The first thing I said is the same news, but somehow it seems like bad news. It’s all in how you look at it, news is, I mean. Just ask Noam Chomsky if you want someone to tell you that in a more eloquent (and even more incomprehensible) way.

Now, let me hasten to add that I’m quite happy with my body, which works very well, and is pleasing to me and those who have a right to care about it, like my husband, and anyway, I used to be painfully skinny when I was an emotional mess in college and so I associate my curves with my happiness and have come to like them quite a bit. Still, is it really possible that if I pack a neat suitcase for my trip to London I will lose ten pounds while I’m there? If not, can I, like SUE the New York Times? (I know the answer to that, being a Legal Professional, and it is, obviously, no.)

Having already told you what my children think I smell like and confessed how messy my office can get, and revealed that I sewed the world’s ugliest cheerleading costume in the 1970s, and also that my triumphant moment in the year 2006 was throwing away my couch, I feel that I can show you my packing list, even if it does contain the shockingly intimate revelation that, in fact, I do wear underwear. I am even bringing some on my trip. Eye makeup remover? Of course. It’s not that I’ve begun to channel Amy Winehouse, but I have recently decided that I like eyeliner. It’s hard to get off, though, so you have to resort to a commercial product because spit doesn’t work that well and I don’t think it’s too sanitary either.

I’m wearing a brown sweater dress next week. A lot. Jeans, my favorite corduroy skirt. Turtlenecks. Boots, ones that my husband thinks are a little S&M and I think are chic in an equestrian way. I will buy, before I go, one brown belt and one pair of brown gloves. I will also buy ten of those little plastic airplane container things for my explosive liquids. I am carrying on my bags, dear reader, because I don’t want to waste a moment in getting into London.

I can’t think of anything I have left unsaid here on BlogLily, now that I’ve shown the world how many toiletries and electronic gadgets I travel with and how my packing list sits on top of a very, very messy pile of mail I have to deal with.

I’ll get back to you on whether my neatly packed suitcase results in the loss of that ten pounds, okay? If it does, I’m going to write a whole book about it, and make a zillion dollars. No, make that pounds.


14 thoughts on “Good News and Bad News

  1. If you can get all 10 of those items in ONE plastic baggie, you are organized and need not worry about losing weight! Advise from one who flew 25 RT trips in 2007: Remember, if you’re makeup is liquid, loose powder or gel, it must be in the baggie too. Lipstick = no; gel lip balm = yes. Eye liner — in the bag or it’s tossed out. Personally, I’d opt to buy shampoo, conditioner, etc once you get there. Bring an extra ziplock baggie too, in case yours breaks. Check your bags coming home or forget about bringing the wonderful Jo Malone home with you.
    I thought that the FAA giving instructions for how to pack your bag were a bit ridiculous, but look at their website — despite the dictoriailness of their guidelines, they do make sense if you’re carrying everything on board.
    Have a wonderful trip, BL!

  2. Oh Cam, That is such a lot of good advice! I should have guessed that a woman who’s required to organize professionally (and all that travel!) would know these things. I love the idea of buying my toiletries when I’m there, particularly because Boots is one of my favorite places. (I know that’s weird, but it is the truth.) As for Jo Malone, yes my plan is to pick up duty free Jo and then check my suitcase on the way home.

    Thank you Charlotte. I’m thinking that the whole link between decluttering and weight loss is a bunch of hooey. If I spent all my time decluttering, I’d never spend any time hiking, now would I?

    My reaction exactly Yogamum. Except it was a little stronger than Sheesh.

  3. I am messy; my father is messy; my mother is messy; my wife is messy; and we can’t be much thinner than we already are.

    My anti-NYT position is that people who are so manic-compulsive that they actually manage to keep their home constantly tidy (not occasionally like normal people do) are bordering on depression. And we all know that nutrition and depression do not get well together.

    Enjoy your trip. In addition to Cam’s advice, just make sure your garments can stay on your body when you remove everything metallic for the X-ray shower.

  4. I count myself in the ranks of the skinny and disorganized. I am very suspicious of people who too organized and neat, because they are likely to be control freaks. If these people are skinnier, it is only because of unhealthy fretting and fussing and 409’ing. Who needs that?

    Now you have such a detailed list, I would enjoy chucking it all into your bag in a haphazard fashion!:) Have a great time in London!

  5. I said sheesh, or something like it, as did Yogamum, when I read that in the NY Times. And I love Boots (or Boots the Chemist, as my dad used to call it), too! Have a great trip šŸ™‚

  6. I am thin and very organised, but I don’t know if the too are related. I’ll admit to being slightly obsessive but still capable of scarfing down the chips.
    Also, my packing lists look much like yours, except I also take back up outfits in case I don’t feel like wearing the first ones I planned on. Have a fantastic trip!

  7. Becky, I like knowing you’re slightly obsessive, but a chip scarfer-downer. And the backup outfit? Brilliant.

    Boots the Chemist, indeed, Gentle Reader! I don’t know what it is about pharmacies, but I really, really like them, especially ones in countries other than my own.

    I guess, Alice, I could try that chucking in thing and then try the obsessive packing of everything in tissue paper thing and take pictures of both and see which one I like best.

    Dear Emily, I’m getting the idea that there is no sure pattern to anything in life — we are thin, mostly, or round, mostly, because that’s what our bodies do and we should just accept and enjoy that. Oh, and eat plenty of vegetables, get a lot of rest and drink tons of water. I don’t know why the NYT didn’t just call me, and ask me what I thought!

    Mandarine — Fabulous advice, and wonderful observation, as always. I’ll make sure the removal of the metallic doesn’t result in anything bad.

  8. Thank you all for all these great entries. The NYT is off their rocker, and contribute to a lot of the clutter and hoarding I’ve seen in my life, mostly by thin people. The hoarders I’ve known are also often brilliant, creative and lots of fun to be with, although I prefer visiting with them in a cafe, rather than at their house. I can’t wait to see your packed bag, I know it will be very tidy, because I’ve seen those bento boxes you do…just leave your desk messy. I think this all has to do with the theory of entropy. Order in one part of the universe creates disorder in another part. Ah, the joy of travel, a chance to create a moment of order. Have a great time!

  9. Not one of the NYT’s finer moments. If there really was a relationship, we’d be tipping the ‘morbidly obese’ scale.

    Oh, and London is ‘bracing’ at the moment. Bring extra sweaters! And lots of vitaman C (the Tube is one big virus love hotel at the moment).

  10. My house is messy AND I’m really skinny. The New York Times should come over and check it out. I’ve blown their theory to pieces. But yes, dear BL, I would say that jet lag is quite sufficient in itself for the loss of 10 pounds!!

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