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Meredith Leigh Knight Columnist

Published Friday, July 20, 2012

I enjoy being a girl

“It’s so hard to pack,” I whined to my husband before a recent trip.

“What’s so hard about it? Just pick out what you are going to wear and put it in a bag,” he said.

At this point, I stuck my head out of the closet so I could get a look at his face. I couldn’t believe my eyes. He was dead serious.

“That’s the problem. I don’t know what to wear,” I said. You see, I dress by my mood, which changes often.

“You’ll probably just end up wearing your black tights (meaning workout pants) and your big sweatshirt,” he said.

“You mean, what I have on now?”

God forbid the hosts from the television show “What not to wear” get a hold of me. I’m sure the first item to go would be my favorite sweatshirt. I’ve had it for longer than I’ve been married. It’s gray and starting to fray around the seams a bit.

I love it — a lot. My husband doesn’t quite share the same enthusiasm for it. Perhaps it’s because it has the logo of a business competitor on it, or perhaps because it’s ugly and gray. Regardless, it’s going in the suitcase.

The other difficult part about packing is I feel like I have to try on everything before I pack it. This is important because I’ve discovered lately that chocolate makes my clothes shrink.

Another major problem with packing is shoes. One pair just isn’t enough. I don’t care where you are going or how short your stay is. Women need shoes, or, at least, this one does. They are like part of my identity.

Which brings me to another issue — clichés about women. I hate them. Is it because I’m a feminist? No, if I come to a door at the same time a man does, I will pause until he opens the door for me, and if he doesn’t, I become miffed and wonder if he were raised in a barn.

The truth is, clichés about women bother me because I continually perpetuate them.

For example, in addition to having nothing to wear, I never ever have my money ready for the cashier. Perhaps — subconsciously — I think if I wait patiently, the man behind me will pay, just like he holds the door open for me.

But, alas, even the best Southern gentleman isn’t that polite. So, instead, I inevitably hold up the line while fumbling for my credit card because, despite my dad’s wise advice to carry cash on me, that’s all I have.

I also tend to perpetuate the myth that women cannot be on time.

For the record, I can. I just choose not to most of the time. I used to blame it on the kids, but now that they are older, I have to fess up. Sometimes I’m just not in a hurry. My husband seems to think that loading the kids in the car and honking will hurry me up. It does not.

That is, unless my gray sweatshirt and black work-out pants are clean. In that case, I can put on my heels, grab my credit cards and race out the door. And, if I’m lucky, someone will hold it open for me.

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