Look out, Spain

IMG_0546I hate to heap onto Spain’s problems, what with all the stuff going on about Catalonia’s declaration of independence, but everyone in that country is going to have to bear witness to a visible panty line across my butt. Sorry, but that’s just how it’s got to be.

This is what’s consuming me these days — that I bought this super cute reversible skirt, white on one side, black on the flip and when I’m rocking the white, it totally shows VPL. Because I’m over 40, I’m unwilling to put myself through the extreme discomfort of wearing a thong or Spanx so I’m just going to own those lines criss-crossing my tush. And I know it’s stupid to dwell on such stuff, but it saves my mind from churning more ominous thoughts because traveling isn’t easy when you’re a closeted, obsessive worrier.

As is true of anyone who has fairly obnoxious personality traits they hate, I blame my parents.

Growing up (and still), they were incredibly overprotective. Also, the paranoia gene runs strong on my mom’s side. I remember my grandma visiting once and when I showed her the $26 I had saved to buy a tape recorder, she warned me to hide it so that if someone broke into our house, it wouldn’t get stolen. I hid it so well, that money was lost for years. No joke, CD players were invented before I unearthed the cash.

My parents steadfastly avoided traveling outside their own zip code, except for summer trips to visit the grandparents. On those very, very rare occasions we stayed at a hotel, my mom would bring hydrogen peroxide and Lysol and CLEAN THE BATHROOM. My brother and I were forbidden from walking barefoot, which has given me an unhealthy phobia about walking barefoot anywhere, even in my own home. Although, if I’m honest, our floors are usually, um, not the cleanest. Plane trays were swabbed and Hail Marys said before each and every liftoff. So this is the luggage I bring with me on an overseas trip. Definitely not carry-on sized.

At the same time, I’m excited and feel lucky to have the opportunity for such a big adventure with my children before one skips off to college and the other two segue into that phase where parents are just embarrassing and they want to avoid, at all costs, being seen with their dad. Although he has upped his fashion game with the no-show socks.

No. 1 has long dreamed of traveling to Europe and so, since she picked an economical college and her dad found crazy cheap airfare (no joke — cheaper than flying to California), this is her “congraduation” gift. She’s done her research and come up with an ambitious itinerary that showcases all that Spain has to offer. Meanwhile, I’ve been preparing by drinking sangria and researching underwear that has hidden pockets for passports and other important stuff. Oooh, maybe the stash panties come in a seamless version. Now that would solve all my problems.

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