After two months of wearing snow boots, today I wore flipflops around the house getting my feet accustomed to them again. In a few days I'm off to Mexico for a couple of weeks. Normally on the day I fly out, I've been up half the night before trying on clothes to see if they fit and then frantically stuffing things into my suitcase. This year I decided to pack a few days in advance. What a concept!
I've been leisurely hauling the "Mexico stuff" up from the cedar closet in the basement and deciding what size I am this year. I have a whole range of sizes and patterns to choose from. I hardly ever wear a floral print at home, but I'm not staying home. I get a kick out of dressing like a typical tourist. It's almost like going to a costume party and I actually have worn some of these clothes as costumes at Halloween. Of course, you won't find clothing like this in a Mexican department store. Most Mexican women dress like "norteamericanas" - they wouldn't be caught dead in this apparel. I'm perfectly happy to join the throngs of those who look like tourists, because I am one! And there's something about being surrounded by all the tropical colors - flaming bouganvilliea cascading over sun splashed walls, red and orange and yellow hibiscus, a canopy of yellow primavera overhead - that makes my usual blue jeans and boring white blouses a sacrilege.
The hard part is figuring out how to pare down the packing. I know there are women who throw on their Travelsmith reversible dress and hit Europe for two weeks with only an overnighter to haul around, but I can't conceive of that. On the other hand, do I need 8 pairs of capris for a 16 day trip? I don't know, I can't decide. Will 6 pairs of shoes be enough, or too much? After I return home each year I make an attempt to write down what I wore so I'll have guidelines for the next time. Each year I misplace the list. Well, I have a few days to decide, rather than the normal few hours I've given myself in the past. What isn't negotiable are the 6 or 8 novels I'll bring, a couple of bird guides, and my binoculars. That must be what's weighing down my suitcase, not all those flowery clothes!