Breaking the (Dress) Code

- by Kristine Smith

I read previous posts as I tried to figure out what to write about, and was entertained and educated, sometimes simultaneously, which you’d think could cause injury if done without warming up first. I’m not sure, however, that I will be able to follow in the same vein, because my mind is on other things. For I am leaving on a jet plane in a couple of days, and I still need to pack.

Packing is an–it’s an unmentionable thing. I hate to pack. I hate choosing clothes, figuring out how to fold them without making them look like something I found wadded in the corner of my closet. I hate schlepping the suitcase in and out of the car, into the hotel and into the room.

Repacking–shoving the worms back in the can. I don’t like that either. In fact, I like that even less than packing. The purpose of my trip is business–I’ll be attending Denvention, the 66th World Science Fiction and Fantasy convention in Denver, Colorado– and seeing as it’s the writing business, books will likely be involved. And some of those books will find their way into my suitcase, which will complicate the packing picture that much more. I have in the past left old shoes, bottles of shampoo, convention registration packets, expendable clothing, and even books behind in the hotel room because there was simply no more room in the suitcase for more stuff.

Packing shouldn’t be this complicated for an adult with a large suitcase. This trip, for example, is only about 6 days long. Two pairs of slacks and half a dozen light shirts or t-shirts. A nice jacket. Undies and socks. And shoes. Shoes.

Shoes are the kicker. Because I have bad feet and worldcons are held in convention centers and that means walking. A lot of walking. All around the convention center. Back and forth between hotels. And nothing will amplify the structural weaknesses of a heretofore perfectly comfortable pair of shoes than a long hike on a hot humid day in a strange city. Because the shoes know you’re stuck. You could run into a shoe store that you happen to pass on the way to the convention center, but the shoes know that you want to save your money for that fetching pair of earrings you spotted in the dealers room–did I mention that science fiction/fantasy convention dealers rooms feature clothing and jewelry as well as books? I didn’t, did I? My bad–

–where was I? Oh yes. Packing. Shoes.

I’ll likely be taking 4-5 pair. Comfy ones for walking, a pair for evening, and a knockabout pair for the hotel room. Half my suitcase will be given over to shoes. We won’t even talk about the skincare products.

Seeing as I am a science fiction writer, I have an sfnal solution to this. Handy closet transporters. No one will ever have to pack anything ever again. Using your encoded room key, you will be able to go from your hotel room to your home and back as easily as if they were adjoining rooms. Not only will you never have to worry about packing, you won’t have to worry about watering your plants, or whether you turned off the oven or forgot the off-white cami that matches the shirt that goes with the pants…

Closet transporters. I’ll get right on it…as soon as I finish packing.


  1. Love your plan!

  2. Where can I get one of those magic keys? That would be the neatest thing in the world, next to an anti-gravitational purse that is bigger on the inside than on the outside.

  3. A TARDIS purse is definitely a must!

  4. Closet transporters! I want one!

  5. Hmmm, I thought the closet was transporting to the hotel. I like that even better because then I wouldn’t have to water the plants or empty the dehumidifier or any of the other house duties. Yet I wouldn’t have to plan ahead what I’m going to wear a week ahead of time. That’s the part I hate. Who knows what they’re going to be in the mood to wear in a week?

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