I’ve always hated when friends complain about their work travel. Oh really? Was it so awful to spend the week in Los Angeles or in South Beach? Did that 36-hour trip to Vegas mess up your week? That whole warm weather, free food, new experiences while getting paid for it thing must be a real drag for you as I trudge off to the 1,800th day of teaching middle school math in a row. I feel for you…
I know you’re expecting me to be like, “But I was wrong…” right about now in this story.
I still maintain, though–even after so many back-to-back trips–that traveling for work is dope. I love it. (And I promise to never complain to you about it or take it for granted, because for a decade, it was something I couldn’t do.) I love it so much that I think I might be ruining our lives with it. Or at least killing my wife. (Who feels slightly differently about spending so much time on the road.)
In my defense, Chicago is terrible right now. Screw this city. It’s the middle of April, Chicago. Get it together! We just took a walk around the block and I think I might have permanently damaged my hands from the cold. And I had freakin’ gloves on! Why do I live in a place that is lethally cold in April? Again, screw this place.
So I get to travel for work now, but my middle school math teacher sensibilities haven’t left me. Remembering to pack the right stuff is hard enough; delicately folding an ironed shirt into a suitcase is absolute torture. As far as I’m concerned, that whole dangle-your-dress-pants-on-a-hanger trick is witchcraft. Honestly, why did I buy these wrinkle-prone clothes in the first place? Can’t someone just invent a wrinkle-free shirt that doesn’t look totally lame? Like, how hard could that be?
It turns out that that someone is Vineyard Vines and that wrinkle-free shirt is called the “Performance Shirt.” When I first received it in the mail, I’ll admit that I didn’t think the thing was legit. So I shoved it into my bag–and I mean shoved. I was tight on space, so I literally pounded it with my fist into a corner of the suitcase, and then sat on said suitcase so I could zipper it closed.
I hate ironing. I hate it so much that I often feign ignorance about how to use the iron.
“Ohhhh. It’s not on? I thought it was on. Hmmmm…”
“This material is silk. Should I turn it to cotton or linen?”
“BAH! I just soaked the whole shirt! There’s water pouring out! THIS THING IS BROKEN.”
That trick worked for years, and I sat back on the hotel bed while Kelly handled everything. Now, though, my wife can’t be bothered. If we’re in a hotel room without a baby, the last thing she wants to be doing is ironing. (Ahem, ahem. Climbin’ those Chardonnay mountains…)
Anyway, a big thanks for Vineyard Vines for inventing this shirt. Packing is now easy, as I can just grab this stuff off the floor and throw it at the suitcase like I’m a middle schooler in a Kobe Bryant jersey. The shirts come out of the suitcase wrinkle-free, and they save me from that stupid teeter-tottering hotel ironing board I loathe so much. I’m not a scientist or anything, but why would I buy another kind of shirt? Seems kind of silly–especially considering people always ask me whether I’ve lost weight when I wear them. (Every time. Without fail.) These newfangled Performance shirts give me the freedom to travel and, very honestly, I want every single one of them.
I make no claim at being a master traveler. But in hotel rooms, I’m up, showered, dressed and ready to wait for Kelly in no time at all. ;)