Packing for Paris

Photo from Daily Photo in Paris

Packing for Paris • Via THE BASICS Magazine

Packing for Paris

Some people pride themselves on their kindness to strangers, their strong work ethic, their informed political stances, their toned physiques; I pride myself on my minimalism. Let me correct that, I used to pride myself on how few possessions I had before I started packing for Paris and realized that I’ve acquired “so much stuff.” The problem isn’t even with the possessions; it’s the fact that I don’t want to let anything go.

Last week, I brought home four medium-sized Staples boxes—two to be filled with items to save, and two for clothes and shoes to be donated. Last week, I figured that for my indefinite European stay it’d be adequate to bring two handbags, a few summer dresses, two pairs of jeans, three pairs of sandals, two pairs of boots, two fall jackets, some underwear and a few socks. Everything else I’d decided to ship to my mother’s house in Kingston in a three-hundred pound plastic barrel. Since I’ve never been attached to “stuff,” and have made four major moves in my adult life, I figured I’d have little to pack. I’ve already bought and left behind couches, a bed, paintings, clothing, coffee tables, and books. However, I was wrong about the ease of packing; the problem boils down to shoes and bags.

The apartment in the Latin Quarter is a seventh floor walk-up. Seven floors. Thus, it’s necessary to pack smart and light or face the consequences of my back and shoulders nagging me for days: V, a suitcase of shoes wasn’t a good idea. Nag nag nag, here’s another pinch.

My mother flew in from Jamaica last night, and she’s in the process of helping to divide and conquer the wardrobe. She has advised me to look at the heels of the boots, and repair those in need. The number of shoes that need repair narrows the number of choices. New heels and tips are an expensive venture. The shoe count’s now comfortably down to three pairs of boots, two pumps (black, brown), eight pairs of sandals, and a beautiful pair that defies categories. The other shoes (loves of my life) and I will be reunited in Jamaica sometime in the future.

The second packing problem is handbags. Can I digress for a moment? I know someone who carries one bag—everyday, everywhere, with every outfit. She’s told me that she doesn’t like to switch bags because she doesn’t want to move her wallet, lipstick, tissues. Her bag argument’s incredible, and I’m a bit in awe of her simplicity; however, no can do, I’m a bag lady.

It hurts my heart to think about which bag will be left behind. Bag abandonment. Okay, it goes like this: the black bag is vital (a basic), a gold bag (a real neutral) can be carried with everything, the deep green is also neutral, and holds just about everything, a red bag creates a splash of color on dreary days. And then there’s the navy bag. I don’t even own the navy bag yet, but my eyes have been on it for a few days, and despite my bag quandary, I feel it’d be an investment, change my life, make me happy, and fill my arms with something to love, caress, cherish.

How did this happen? What happened to the get up and go woman I imagined myself to be? Is it too late to reclaim her and pack two handbags, three pair of shoes, a few items of clothing and a Kindle?