The Struggle is Real

First order of business on our Miami trip: Bar procurement in our suite. I was up for the challenge.

By Patti Parish-Kaminski, Publisher

After being married to a human of the male species for nearly 30 years, there’s one thing I know for certain:  men and women are not even remotely the same.  And I can’t even fathom adding in the them, they newfound pronoun business into the mix – mostly because I can barely understand the plain male gender, and I fear my ability to understand a new hybrid version is limited at best.

Now that does not mean I cannot accept and love any of God’s children for who and what they are:  I absolutely can and do.  After all, I’m still married to Mr. Kaminski – case and point.  But this difference between the two OG genders is profound, and in my experience never more evident than when it comes to one of life’s routine tasks:  preparing for a trip.

Now I assure you every female who just read that sentence either chuckled or halted abruptly to get a glass of wine to finish reading this, because ladies, you know when it comes to trip prep for us, the struggle is real.  Mr. Kaminski could literally pack all of his belongings in a gallon-size Ziploc baggie for a week and walk out of the door at a moment’s notice without ever looking back.  It vexes me to no end.

The full weight reality of trip prep falls solely on the meticulous matriarchs.  I have no idea why that is.  It’s kind of like why grass is green; it just is.

Trip prep starts at least two weeks out, and that’s just for the minutia.  The booking of airfare, hotel, excursions, itinerary prep, kennel reservations, physician requirements, general research, production schedules for my company, work or school schedules for any related travelers, document procurement and renewal if needed – that all started months in advance – not to mention the actual budgeting for the grand adventure.  Now Mr. Kaminski will participate in the initial discussions of the when and where, and he really likes the challenge of the airfare procurement; the rest of the “to do” list goes in my two inch folder.

Once all of these details are booked and determined, the real fun begins.  There’s weather to research, wardrobes to procure, bills to advance pay, medications to secure, house and yard schedules to manage, a multitude of work issues to manage in advance with various scenarios for multiple outcomes, team members to inform, puppers to board, mother’s schedule to coordinate and mail to hold.  There’s banking to deal with, credit cards to inform so that they work while in parts unknown and when the babies were young if we left them, medical letters to pen and notarize should they require care in our absence.  And of course, the advance paperwork for field trips, school obligations and necessary materials for projects, parties and various events – not to mention transportation.

Then there’s the actual packing.  That’s at least a week of outfits laid out complete with accoutrements plus medications, beauty products, make-up and various sundry items.

And then there’s finishing everything in time.  Sleep for at least a week prior to a trip is no longer an option as everything that could possibly come up requiring immediate attention does:  the water heater goes out, a client has a monumental crisis or a medical issue arises.  It’s a given, and it gets added to the “to do” list.

In recent years I’ve become to dread going on trips.  Just not enough juice for the squeeze in my book.  By the time we actually depart, I’m too exhausted to care, and then I glance over at Mr. Kaminski and his pint-sized luggage fully rested, ready for fun, beyond enthusiastic and worse, chatty at 5 am, and I want to strangle him.

Now I know what you’re thinking:  divide and conquer.  Give Mr. Kaminski part of the list.  Been there, done that, doesn’t work.  End result:  More items for me on the “do to” list.  Remember what I said about men and women being different?

The only saving grace in this travel tribulation is that once I arrive at my destination, I am a beast at settling in, and I excel at procurement.  Procurement is actually my spiritual gift.  Whatever I need to make my life complete for the next few days, I typically obtain within 24 hours:  staff, snacks, a bar, reservations, extra of anything.  Whatever I deem necessary to make my world complete, I typically can procure posthaste.  It has astonished Mr. Kaminski for years.  Again, one of our differences.  As for this week, I’m not going anywhere. See y’all next week – on the porch!


Patti Parish-Kaminski

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