A Little Corner for Me, Please?

Guess which case is mine?

We’re going traveling next week, and I’m looking forward to it, really I am. My husband and I, and few close friends, plus a few strangers, will be staying at lovely hotels in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, and just for good measure, in Hong Kong. In the old days, this might have taken us about 10 days, since we were always trying to squeeze in as much as possible. Now that we have more time (in theory) we can actually hope to see something of the country and the people in each place we visit.
There’s one thing about these hotels, though. I never have enough space to put anything. I expect you’re sympathizing – you understand what it is to have small closets and lots of luggage. That isn’t my problem. My problem is my husband Jay. Within seconds of arriving in any hotel room he has covered every surface with his things. While I am still looking out of the window at the magnificent view, or looking out and moaning about the view of the parking lot, Jay is unpacking his enormous suitcase and spraying the room with his small change, wallet, newspapers, novels, laptop, pens and pill containers. The bathroom of course is never big enough. I can sometimes find a corner in which to stash my make-up bag, but mostly it sits on the toilet cistern. As for the closet, well, if I manage to have a quarter of the hangers for my things, I’m in luck.
He’s not completely thoughtless. I usually have my bedside table to myself, and sometimes I can even manage to squeeze the things from my small carry-on suitcase into one of the drawers under the TV. Why do I travel with such a small suitcase? It’s obvious, isn’t it? I’ve learned over the years to travel light. I have a Kindle, instead of Jay’s six or seven books. I have one pair of shoes in addition to the sneakers which I wear for traveling, compared with Jay’s two spare pairs of shoes. He points out that he’s bigger than me, so his clothes are bigger. A specious argument, I find, since this doesn’t seem to happen with the other couples I know. There, the wife has the huge suitcase, and the husband has the smaller one. Bell-boys and porters always think the larger case is mine. And on the way home, Jay always asks me whether I might have room in my case for some of the things he’s bought while we’re traveling. He’s an inveterate shopper, so I trail along behind him through souks, bazaars and markets, trying unsuccessfully to restrain him. (Other wives are jealous of me that I have a husband who likes to shop – if they only knew…)
And so, when it came to building a house several years ago, the architect turned to me and said, “How big would you like your closet to be?” “Don’t ask me,” I replied, “he’s the one with the clothes…”
We started with two closets, but Jay turned one into a sauna, and now we share the other one. It started out 50/50, but by now, Jay’s hogging 75%, and gaining. My clothes are stored in my suitcase.

Recent Comments

  • notquiteold
    October 8, 2011 - 11:30 am · Reply

    Oh dear, it sounds like Jay is quite the girly man. 😉 My husband also doesn’t know how to pack light, but that usually comes in the form of ten pairs of underwear for a three day trip. (I don’t know exactly what he’s afraid of…) I learned to pack relatively light (for a girl) when I traveled a lot for business. Traveling alone, you just don’t want to carry it all. But I will say this about traveling now with my husband…. the bathroom is ALL MINE!

  • Jay Wilson
    October 8, 2011 - 4:31 pm · Reply

    Okay, so I like books–real books with pages to turn. This trip we’re going on will last about a month and since I like to change my underwear every day and laundry at these hotels is terribly expensive and macho men don’t wash out their dirty laundry and my wife refuses to do it because she’s “liberated”, what’s a guy supposed to do? Is it excessive to carry one pair of sneakers, one pair of dress shoes and my docksiders for a month? We usually have two sinks in the hotel bathroom and I always give Gabi her choice and then I get to choose counter space. See what I mean?
    If not, I take the fifth!

  • Helen Sargent
    October 8, 2011 - 5:10 pm · Reply

    You two are hysterical! I can vouch that I’ve seen one of Jay’s hotel room take-overs!!
    Hopefully, he’ll have some books to share with his friends who travel much lighter…or with
    no books. That way he can loan some out and Gabi will have more room for her few
    belongings!! We look forward to seeing this develop while on the trip!!!

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