This past weekend we went to visit my parents, who live in Florida. It is a little bit more than a five hour drive from where we live to where they live. I took a day off work, so we would have longer to visit. Besides, work has been very stressful recently, and I needed a break.
We had procrastinated packing; the morning we were to leave both my wife and I were scurrying around, gathering up clothes and other odds-n-ends we tossed into the one suitcase we were taking. My wife repeatedly told me, “Please remember to bring the camera”, punctuated every now and then with a more forceful, “Don’t forget the camera!” I had forgotten it the last time we had visited my parents, and she wanted to make absolutely sure that this time we would be able to take some pictures.
A few more last minute preparations, a quick check to make sure all the lights were off and the doors were locked, and we were finally on our way. Florida here we come!
Traffic on I-75 was fairly reasonable for an east coast interstate, and we made good progress. We were a little more than two hours into our trip when my wife softly asked me, “Did you remember to bring the camera?”
After some quick outbursts of irritation and disbelief, she was nice about my latest act of forgetfulness. We chatted idly about this and that for the rest of the drive, while the four year old slept in the car-seat in the back. All in all, it was a very pleasant drive.
Finally we were driving down my parent’s street. We were almost at our destination, when out of the blue a sickening thought struck me. You know that sinking feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you realize you just messed up something awful? This is how I felt.
As we pulled into their driveway, I turned to my wife and said, “Did you pack the suitcase?”
“Of course I packed the suitcase,” she replied. “Why?”
“No. What I mean is, did you put the suitcase in the car?”
She looked at me in shock for a second or two. “No, that’s your job.”
“I think I forgot to put it in the car.”
Neither of us said anything for a moment, then we just both started laughing. Here we were, hundreds of miles from home, with no change of clothes, and none of those essential bathroom items we use to keep ourselves presentable. What a mess!
It all worked out okay. I went shopping with my Dad, and bought a pack of underwear, a nice shirt and pair of pajamas for our kid, a pair of cargo shorts for me, and some panties for my wife. (I’m not sure what the two young sales-girls in the women’s underwear section thought of the two old guys asking them about panty sizes and styles, but I hope they found it amusing!) My Mom gave my wife some of her old blouses and bras, (miraculously, they both wear the same size), my Dad gave me a few of his old shirts, toothbrushes, toothpaste, a razor and shaving cream, and we were nearly as fully equipped as we would have been, had I not been such a doofus.
It was a fun trip, but next time you’d better believe both my wife and I will check to make sure the suitcase is in the car BEFORE we leave!