Travel Wardrobe Neurosis

So I’ve been busying myself making money and laying plans to entertain you with tales from places not New York this summer. I’ve made so many plans I’m exhausted just trying to pick a flashlight for each of them. How do you pack for a week of camping on the West Coast followed immediately by a week on the road with a punk band that hates hippies? A lot of the things that are useful to have while camping look suspiciously like something a hippie would own. And I can’t even make my usual excuses like, “It’s not my fault I’m wearing this Polartec fleece jacket, I don’t even know what’s happening, because I’m in California,” because this band happens to perform a song called, “All of California and Everyone Who Lives There Stinks.”

So I leave for the West Coast in twenty-one hours and counting, and I can’t decide which boots to bring. If I bring the hiking boots, the punks will mock me, and if I bring my combat boots, I’ll get blisters when I’m hiking. And the combat boots don’t have Gore-Tex, and therefore will get wet if I cross any streams. But if I just bring the hiking boots, I’ll have nothing to wear with my white fringed flapper dress at the show in Vegas, though come to think of it, combat boots are not the right shoes for that dress either. What goes with a white fringed flapper dress? What goes with Vegas? I refuse to bring more than one pair of boots, because I am somewhat well-traveled and one of the rules I’ve made for myself is “never bring more than one pair of boots.” You understand my dilemma. Surprisingly, there are no magazine articles called, “How to pack for a week of camping followed by a week on the road in California with a band that hates California and camping and hippies,” and that is why I long ago started wearing a pair of army pants and a 37-pocket black fishing vest everywhere I go besides New York City.

I think my best bet is to wear my headlamp all the time, turned on, so everyone who looks at me is blinded by a flash of light and can’t see what I’m wearing.

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