It’s quite easy to divide human beings into two categories.
You either fit into the ‘pack like a man’ bracket or the ‘once a Cub, always a Cub’ section.
I most definitely missed my calling as a Cub and proved that to myself while packing for the weekend’s Isle of Wight festival.
Give me an open suitcase and I’ll fill it. It makes no difference to me whether I’m going for an overnight jaunt or a fortnight’s foray.
A bag isn’t being properly utilised until you’ve lost at least one wrestling match with the zip and the seams are threatening to burst.
If you’re a just-in-case kind of person too, you’ll know what I mean. Although it might not occur to you until you get home, empty the creased contents of your case out on to the floor and realise you wore less than a third of it.
Sadly – with the exception of my dad – it looks like most men forget everything they ever learn about being a Cub when their voices break.
The ‘be prepared’ motto just isn’t something that troubles my husband.
His list of festival essentials read like this: tent, sleeping bag, lager, water, big jumper.
My list of underwear options was longer.
One of those daft surveys claims to have found that a large percentage of men go on a week-long holiday with only three pairs of pants. But no-one needed to spend money to work that out. It’s obvious and there are three reasons why.
Men, with their cave-dwelling brains, think that it’s someone else’s job to pack the essentials like toothpaste, shampoo and suncream. Their mums did it for them. Now it’s the job that you, as wife, must secretly crave too.
They don’t have the same clothes categories as women either. Try explaining the subtle but significant difference between an ‘out-out’ outfit and ‘quick drink after work’ clobber to a man and you’ll get a blank look. Jeans and yesterday’s jumper is their fit-all occasionwear of choice.
And then there’s the issue of compensation. I suspect blokes pack light because they know that, somewhere along the line, they’ll end up carrying our bags too.