Ode to the packing list
Well, it's not really an ode. Not in the mood to think up a limerick or a haiku so this is going to be more prose-like.
Growing up as an only child in central Ohio, we would drive to my grandparents' houses with a fair amount of frequency. Since my mom had to more or less pack her stuff as well as my dad's, she would have me make a list of the stuff I wanted to take on our little roadtrips. Then she - and as I got older, I - would pack up my bag for the weeekend based on the aforementioned list. Now, probably a quarter of a century later, I am utterly incapable of going on the simplest trip without a packing list.
Most of the time they're copied from previous trips to similar climates with small edits to reflect new clothes or extra days. Friends have been known to mock the list - usually right before asking for me to make them a list of their own. Carolyn maintains her list in Word whereas I prefer the grid in Excel.
The truth of the matter is that I'm COMPLETLY scatterbrained and would forget to pack half of what I needed if I weren't checking off a list. I'd have the contacts but not contact case; 6 pairs of pants but 2 shirts; and I would likely have half the amount of Underoos I would need to get through a trip.
Of course, the list isn't sacrosanct. After the final printing I do tend to jockey things around a little bit, but usually I've been drafting the sucker for so long, I have a pretty good idea of what I need. The current version is just over a page long - I really need to do something about that.