Tonight I’m a busy, busy girl because tomorrow I head off for Spirits of St. Louis: Bouchercon 2011. Cool title, eh? Go ahead, use the link and then mosey back for my rant.
Once I was a princess. I didn’t know it, but looking back? Oh yeah. Someone hand the girl her sceptre and a coronet.
For example, packing for a convention was something I used to do in a leisurely fashion. I’d mull over my wardrobe a couple of weeks beforehand, stockpiling the results of my cull on the spare bed. I’d make trips to the cleaners and the tailor. I’d decide on the bag, the shoes, and the accessories days before I even thought to pull out my passport.
Of course back then, I didn’t have a job or a deadline.
So this afternoon I tried to do what usually takes me days. Stuff that normally went to the dry cleaners got shoved into the wash. Clothing was tried on and rejected. I’ve lost weight, quite a bit of it. Yay, me! Except now my clothing looks odd. Pants droop where they shouldn’t–the dreaded granny-fanny. Jackets flap in the wind. Horrors. I ran out and executed a stunning example of speed shopping, bringing home two pair of pants that needed a tailor but got me and a dull needle instead. Hemming finished, I started on the real work. It took me two hours just to accumulate all the crap I considered essential–2 belts, 3 pairs of shoes, enough makeup to sink the Titanic, a flat-iron, 3 brushes, 4 pairs of pants, 8 tops, 2 sweaters, 2 dress shirts, and accessories. I drank some water, wiped my forehead, and then tackled the next bit. It took some teeth-gritting rolling, folding, squishing and shoving, but I managed to get it all into a single carry on, and once the bag was zipped, I stood over it feeling incredibly efficient and clever.
See? I can be a princess and a working girl.
Then I tried to pick the damn thing up off the bed. Okay, unlike Kristen Painter, I don’t work out with kettleballs. The heaviest thing I lift is my dog, and I save that for bath days. I tried to imagine lifting Gibby over my head, and shoving him into the overhead.
Alrightie then. Plan B.
I went looking for the blue suitcase that is just a little bit larger than my carry on. It wasn’t in the spare room, or in the basement. Nor on the top shelf in the closet. Thirty minutes into the search, I remembered one of my kids borrowing it.
And not returning it.
Come to think of it, there’s been a regular exodus of luggage since the demon children left the nest. Once, we had lots of travel bags, but now it seems we’re down to his suitcase, my tiny carry-on, and the fugly, brown reject-piece that resembles a man’s hockey bag. I looked at it, pretension curdling in my stomach. I couldn’t. I tested the cabin-approved piece of luggage again. Perhaps I could find a man to put it in the overhead for me? And then Hedi spoke to me–very clearly, right in my head–just like she did to me two years ago.
“So Leigh,” she said. “What did your last sherpa die of?”
It’s a shedding of a skin isn’t it? Turning from pampered matron into someone who carries her own weight?
I looked at the Roots bag again, and tried to see past ugly. Truthfully, as bags go, it’s super light, and Gibby would fit in it if he held his breath and curled into a puppy pocket. Also, I’d only half fill it, leaving ample space for the books I’d get at the con. (Yet another reason to go to conventions–you get free books!)
So, there we are. My princess status has been revoked. I am, and will be, a working author. Thus, I will pull my weight–or in this case–a truly fugley, brown hockey bag.
I’ll try to post from Bouchercon. In the meantime, happy reading.