The Weekend Getaway

A few months ago, my wife and I celebrated our one-year anniversary. Achieving this milestone not only proved dozens of oddsmakers wrong, but it also officially makes me an expert on marital relations. Naturally, I decided to put my wisdom to good use and introduce a new category on Zillionaire, simply entitled “Marital Advice.”

So here’s how this category works: I dispense marital advice and then go into hiding while a mob of angry women seek to have me de-penised (New word!) for exposing the reality of married life. This is what happens when you tell it like it is. And as you know, I’ve always been a straight talkin’ dude. I pride myself on keeping it real.

In all seriousness though, marriage is great. Seriously. If you simply follow the thousands of rules I’ll be documenting on this site, you too can have perpetual marital bliss. With that said, here are some tips for surviving a weekend getaway with your wife…

Tip #1: When going on a weekend getaway with your wife, always pack your own clothes.

Packing for a weekend getaway pits two primal male instincts against each other: The desire to be in charge versus the compelling alternative of being lazy and letting your wife pack your clothes for you. But be mindful, there is a reason she is offering to pack for you. Hard to see, the dark side is. Your wife is usually smart enough to suppress an evil laugh when making this overture, so don’t expect your Spidey-sense to tingle ominously. That’s why I’m here to help…

It all goes back to your wife’s childhood. From the moment she received her first Ken doll as a little girl, it was ingrained in her that the man in Barbie’s life is pretty much a fashion accessory to whatever Barbie is wearing. Like a blank canvas, a buck-naked Ken doll was an outlet for little girls to express their fashion creativity by dressing a male figure in a way that robbed him of his dignity and masculinity. Since his head was hollow and plastic, and since he lacked beer-swilling buddies to save face from in the Barbie fantasy world, there was no protest from Ken when he was placed in a tuxedo with a pink bow tie and matching cummerbund. This became the genesis of your wife’s concept of acceptable male attire. Fast-forward twenty years later… Her fashion sense remains the same, except now your wife simply substitutes her husband as a life-size and slightly more anatomically correct Ken doll to dress.

So how does this affect you? While the original Ken doll came with lots of accessories, his wardrobe unfortunately lacked sleeveless Homecoming ’94 t-shirts, Budweiser bandanas or anything camouflaged. Because of this, your wife doesn’t think it is suitable for a man to dress this way, even though these items constitute 98% of the average male wardrobe.

Also, since your wife doesn’t drive a pink Corvette, the closest thing she’ll ever experience to the Barbie lifestyle is dressing her man in an “outfit” that is coordinated with what she is wearing. For instance, here’s a brief list of what you could look like if you allow your wife to pack your clothes:

a) A member of a boy band (Usually the “sensitive” one with a fu-Manchu and purple-tinted sunglasses.)
b) A cast member of “The OC.” (Any of them would qualify.)
c) A mannequin at the GAP. (The one wearing a turtleneck and a scarf.)

Of course, here’s what you won’t be dressed like: A man.

But, it’s not just what she packs. It’s also what she doesn’t pack. For instance, women don’t see the need to bring a fart machine to a wedding… or a flask to a funeral service… or the Xbox to, well, pretty much anywhere. This means that not only will you find yourself wearing a pink cardigan sweater in a public setting; you’ll also be without the necessary mancessories (Another new word!) to survive the weekend at hand. But that’s only half the battle…

Tip #2: Even if it’s only for a weekend, do not share a suitcase with your wife.

Clearly, this ties in with tip #1. While this tip conflicts with male inclinations towards efficiency and minimizing luggage, it is simply counterproductive to pack your own clothes in a suitcase your wife will share. The reasoning is simple: You’ll never be able to find your clothes again. Feel free to dig around. Your clothes may be in there, sure… if you like finding needles in haystacks.

Me: “Where are my socks? I packed them in the outer pouch…”
My Wife: “Oh, I moved them. They should be buried somewhere in the bottom of the bag where they’re impossible to find.”

That’s the first obstacle. Regardless of how you initially pack your clothes, your wife will re-pack the suitcase in the following manner:

The top layer is devoted to gigantic beauty appliances: Travel irons, hair dryers, curling irons, belt sanders… along with any extension cords, gasoline and power strips that might be needed to operate multiple devices at once. Of course, all of these are absolute necessities, so don’t even attempt to question their importance on a weekend getaway. There’s no way to win this argument, but you can score one for your side. The best thing to do is cite how long (in seconds) it takes you to style your hair. Women love this.

The next layer consists of her beauty products. I can live with transporting 20 or 30 pounds of makeup, but my wife also insists on packing her own shampoo and conditioner as well. For some reason, she fails to realize that hotels provide these products for free. I no longer argue this issue, because at this point, I’m just thankful we’re not hauling in our own towels and linens.

The next layer is her clothes and shoes. However many days you plan to be gone, multiply that number by eight and you’ll get the number of days she’s actually packed for. Also, add and subtract 60 degrees in temperature to the weather that is forecasted, and you’ll find that she’s packed for those conditions too. Finally, add in 14 other outfits for the standard “in case we” scenarios. These include, “in case we go clam digging” or “in case we go bullfighting” or “in case we enter a judo tournament.” Of course, regardless of the amount of clothes she packs, you’ll still find her rummaging through her suitcase during the weekend lamenting that she didn’t pack the one item that was left on a hanger back home.

The last, and bottom layer is reserved for your clothes. The reasoning behind this placement is simple: If any of the hair products leak, only the clothes on the bottom will be totally ruined. Of course, that’s implying there is still room for your things. In theory though, this is where they would be. I can’t verify this personally, as I’ve never actually been able to spelunk my way to the bottom of the suitcase to find any of my clothes. I usually just give up and grab a sheet in the hotel room and sport a toga for the duration of the weekend.

Tip #3: By packing your own clothes in a separate suitcase, you can avoid futile arguments.

Me: “What is this? Why did you pack four pairs of shoes? We’re only going to be gone two days!”
My Wife: “Just let me bring what I want! Why do you have to be so controlling?”

Ah yes… And that always ends the discussion. My wife can micromanage and critique every aspect of my attire every day of my life. If I so much as suggest that she’s overpacking, I’m the one that gets labeled as “controlling.” It’s standard. Until the day I learned to pack for myself and use my own suitcase, this exchange precipitated every weekend getaway. So fellow Zillionaires, save yourself and your marriage… just follow these tips. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I must now enter the witness relocation program…

8 thoughts on “The Weekend Getaway”

  1. Matt – I think you’re missing the mark here. I’m guessing lots of your readers stopped reading after tip #1 because their wives/girlfriends never offered to pack for them in the first place, ever. They probably figured they couldn’t relate to your crazy tips so why keep reading. Or maybe they were intrigued by your crazy talk and finished reading the post all the while thinking it was fiction…which sadly…most of it is not. I’m working on a post too you know…I’m calling it ‘A Day in My Shoes, I Dare You’.

  2. I’m with Jeannette on this one, Matty. NEVER in a million years would I volunteer to pack for Jeff. I’m expected to remember the bathroom essentials, but that’s where it ends (Although, it serves him right to go “au natural” if he can’t remember. He’s a GROWN UP). And I imagine on more than one occasion you’ve exclaimed “Whew! Thanks for remebering the toothpaste, babe.”

  3. Peewee, Kami has packed my stuff before, but most of the time I pack my own clothes. However, I think that your separate suitcase is a good idea because I always end up losing something because of the re-packing or just because my stuff is considered to be “in the way”. I think that I may have to give it a try!

  4. Number 1, I don’t really think anyone should be proud of still owning a ’94 homecoming t-shirt. There’s something that’s just wrong about that. Although cutting the sleeves off definitely makes it a little classier…

    So MR, it appears to me that sometimes you write things with the sole mission being that you want to incur the “extra long” vow of celibacy. Can’t say I understand, but what do I know? It seems that JR takes it all in good fun, which is definitely a good thing, because I think I would be taking the “extra long” vow of “sleeping in the backyard” if I wrote stuff like this involving her and put it on the internet. But I suppose that’s neither here nor there.

    I for one actually like having Erika pack my suitcase for me. I’m actually on a trip right now (giddy up exam seminar!), and I got home from work on Friday and my bag was already packed. She actually did a really good job too. There wasn’t anything I had to take out, I did add a couple of things, but it was definitely a nice time-saver. Maybe I’m just lazier than you are, and that’s why I liked it.

    (By the way Hansen, my seminar is in NYC. I’m in the Financial District, like two blocks from Wall St. I have no idea where you’re at or if you’re interested, but I’ll be here until Thursday morning, so give me a call or send me an email if you want to get a bite to eat some evening or something. 602 502 2134 or gabe.smith@mercer.com – I guess I’m trusting that all the Belgians or whoever it was that hit this site won’t bombard me with phone calls and emails…)

  5. The above comment was supposed to say “if i wrote stuff about this involving my wife and put it on the internet.” Instead it sounds like I’m talking about JR…

  6. I agree with this blog! Been married 27 yrs this Jan. This is funny and so true. I always pack for our trips, but I pack both ways and tell hubby to just pack the truck! Not a problem!

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