Haphazard vs. prepped, a brief case study

Believe it or not, I am beginning to pound out my piece for the paper that will be dated July 13 already, and it's only July 3. Gather yourselves together as I know that is absolutely shocking news. Maybe you didn't realize this but, I usually don't start my columns this far in advance of the deadline. Therefore, I'm even bewildered by my own actions.

The reason for the early bird status is because I am currently perched on my porch, waiting for Perpetual (other half) to arrive so we can journey off on a weekend camping trip. Mind you, I generally do not camp with P and have not been to his “Bear Camp” in literal years. It's starting to sink in as to why I usually take on the status of “happy SOLO camper.” As most of you understand, I am always driven when it comes to sharing my views with all mammals in my path until they stampede away, mass exodus style. This is no exception so off I go.

I'm not sure if other people have the following problem with significant others. It is the fact that one person in said partnership is a planner and the other is a “fly by the seat of the pants or pantyhose,” kind of companion.

I kid you not when I say that I have no idea when we are supposed to leave. When I posed that very question to good old P this morning, this was the reply, “whenever we can—sometime.” OK, what does that actually mean? I've been poised and ready for LITERAL hours and yet, here I am, on the porch, utilizing the violent approach to typing.

I've broached this subject in columns gone by but will do so again, much to your chagrin. You see, I am one to lay the groundwork for a journey, no matter how mundane, to the point of absurdity. Not only do I ready myself for the actual destination but, I also garner as much extra data as possible about surrounding areas of interest. That way side trips can be taken, new territory can be charted and as many activities as humanly possible can be crammed into every nook and cranny of spare time. Also, I have a set itinerary in terms of departure times and estimated times of arrival. This is, without a doubt, NOT the case with my darling P.

For example, on numerous occasions I've been known to trek over to Columbus, Ohio. I would always depart on a Friday and would usually stay until Monday. Therefore, by Wednesday I would have items arranged appropriately. They would be on stand by, eagerly awaiting to be placed, gently, yet effectively, into several camping style collapsible totes.

By Thursday they would find themselves nestled into the bags of travel in an orderly fashion. I would even start loading them into the belly of the beast, known as Edna, (the van), throughout that day and evening. Mind you, I did so whilst working on this paper's deadline. In fact, I could have, in all actuality, left on a Thursday night, had I so desired.

By the time Friday greeted me with a big old sugar kiss, all I had to do was to place last minute jazz into Edna and get the *%$@# outta this joint. Departure scene, final take, always unfolded at 10:00 in the morning EXACTLY.

As I brutally bash the computer keys, the time is approximately 2:20 in the afternoon. I told the man to call one hour before take off. Then and only then would I spring into action like the FTD Man. I could wait no longer and got prepped to the max anyway.

Not to mention, but I will, I think I heard him murmur something about stopping at Walmart ON THE WAY. Has he lost his mind? Don't answer that. Might I remind him that it is July 3 and Wally World is crammed to the gills? I don't know about you but I tend to gather what is needed for any excursion a day or two PRIOR to exiting, stage left—sometimes even a week in advance.

In Perpetual's defense, I think he had to finish something at work today but am not certain about that. He might have uttered such a statement but honestly, after twelve years, who really pays attention anymore?

Another “Perpetualism,” (new word), is the “here in a bit” response when asked at what time he might be home for the evening. A bit has now been defined, over the years, as somewhere between 30 minutes to 3 hours. I josh not. I am always very serious about such matters in this column space.

My question to you is this. Is this scenario, so to speak, only limited to Perpetual and Lisa or do you find it to be eerily familiar? I am just astounded by the nonchalant attitude in terms of LEAVING TOWN FOR A WEEKEND.

Time has sailed by as I've returned from the now infamous Bear Camp. I will spare you of the details pertaining to the actual camping experience. I will, instead, continue to bloviate about organizational skills, timing and other stuff related to weekend retreats. (By the by, I named it Bear Camp because P placed the Winnebago there several years ago so that it could be utilized as a base camp during bear season. I was asked about that very thing so there you have it. Also, I believe this qualifies as a legal digression and in parenthesis to boot. I always strive to make that weekly quota.) Just to update you, we pulled out of the driveway right around five in the afternoon on that fateful day.

I was correct about Walmart but at least we got to explore a different store closer to the action. That was one terrific aspect of the journey, if terrific is now defined as maddening. You see, my darling readers, we were elated to find that the parking lot wasn't overflowing until we entered only to discover that we could not purchase any cold items. We were told something about a power surge earlier in the day that caused the tragic circumstances.

No worries because we cheerfully gathered as many dry goods as possible and then joyfully skipped to yet another location in order to collect sustenance of a cooler nature. (Is your paper damp due to the dripping sarcasm contained in the aforementioned statement?)

All of the above would have mattered not had I been in charge of the travel arrangements because a surplus of staples would have been purchased and stored for three weeks in advance, give or take. (Of course that would depend on perishable vs. nonperishable.)

Earlier in this very piece I broached the subject of whether or not I was the only one who deals with a total opposite in terms of provision preparedness, time schedules and the like. Now that I have had time to ponder, whilst prattling on incessantly, I recall that my mother dealt with similar situations.

Shockingly enough, she admitted that we are very much alike when it comes to meticulously arranging for an escape of any sort. My dearly departed father, on the other hand, possessed those pesky Perpetualisms in terms of advanced scheduling practices. I believe I've mentioned, in passing, that all my father needed, (before heading out the door), was a two minute warning, a brown paper bag and a sandwich, preferably liverwurst and mustard.

It's time to wrap this gig. Stop that cheering right this instant. I just think it's an interesting case study about how two people, in some kind of bondage—I mean relationship, can be such polar opposites when it comes to the planning ahead factor.

Well, I'm off to ready myself for a late September or early October expedition to the New England territory. After all, it is early July.