I read an interview with Ted Bundy in which he said that all he really wanted in the world was dozens and dozens of pairs of brand-new socks. The line between serial killers and normalish people is apparently pretty thin, because I thought to myself, “Well, that makes sense.”
Obviously, Ted wanted more than that. If he was being honest, I’m sure he would have said, “All I want in life is dozens and dozens of pairs of brand-new socks … and an easily-jimmied bathroom window at the courthouse. Oh, and also: The address of the local college, some duct tape, and a sturdy pair of handcuffs.” But you know how limited soundbites are.
I can’t sleep tonight, so I’m thinking about my own list of essentials. A lot of online dating services ask you what five items you can’t live without, and you’re supposed to say, “Fancy Underwear, Very Expensive Booze, My Adorable and Photogenic Purebred Puppy, My Passport and YOU.” This is why I don’t do online dating anymore.
Okay, so don’t think of this list as having to do with serial killers or online dating, if you please. Think of it instead as my packing list for camp, grownup people style:
1) Coffee of some kind, not necessarily good. This coffee snobbery amazes me. It’s a drug, my friends. Let’s get over it. I don’t care if it’s Folgers or Starbucks or what have you. I just want it NOW.
2) Comfortable underpants, preferably cute. Days of the Week are good. Anything with stars or other vaguely punk rock geometric shapes will do. Thongs are right out of the question, as long as I’m packing for camp.
3) Many books, most of them trashy. I’ve been reading a lot of mysteries lately. And by lately, I mean, for the last twenty years or so. I also read “The Writing Life” by Annie Dillard recently. It was good, but man, she’s fancy, isn’t she? I think she’s sincere, but I sort of wish I didn’t hear the choir singing while she’s unfurling her prose. Also, she says that you’re likely to write what you read, and since I read a lot of mysteries … well, let’s just say that if she’s right, I better start learning something about plot and/or police procedure, like, yesterday.
4) My sister. I know she’s a person. I’m packing her anyway. She folds up like a chair. No worries. I’ve had her around for the past couple months while her husband is in Iraq and I don’t think I can give her up. We have completely regressed to childhood and spend the bulk of our time together socking each other in the shoulder, making farting noises, and trying to give each other wedgies.
5) No hairbrushes. Fuck ’em. I’m throwing them out.
6) Twelve tubes of MAC Russian Red lipstick.
7) Biore pore strips. They are so gross. No really: Their allure is based entirely on getting to see the disgusting crap that comes out of your nose.
8) Oh! Know what? If I’m going to camp, I’m getting a Trapper Keeper. I know those were for school, but I’m getting one anyway. AND I’M WRITING YOUR NAME ON IT. YOU + ME, 4-EVA.
9) And, I don’t know, maybe a diary. This is fun!
10) Somehow this has degenerated into nostalgia. STICKER BOOKS. We’ll have sticker books, for sure.