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Dawn's Column Mars And Venus On Vacation
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I'm getting ready to take a mini vacation. I recently had a conversation with my significant other and told him that I wasn't sure what clothes to take on our trip.

He was confused. "What do you mean? It's casual," he said.

Well I know that, but my casual wardrobe is more complicated than his. I pointed out that it's easy for him because his casual wardrobe consists of golf shirts, jeans or khaki pants, and shorts. That's it. All he has to figure out is what color shirt and pants to wear. His shirts are all exactly the same, except some have stripes and some don't.

In most cases, when it comes to a woman's wardrobe it's just not that simple.

I like the idea of packing light, it's a dream I have. Some people are real pros at it, but not me. I always seem to have more than I need of some items, and occasionally don't have something that I actually do need but left it at home because I thought I wouldn't need it.

Did you get that?

I try to plan for outfits that will work from day to night, but it usually doesn't work out. I also try to take shoes that will go with multiple outfits, but this shoe thing is not as easy as it sounds. What looks good with pants doesn't necessarily look good with a dress or shorts. This is another reason why my significant other is confused about my situation - men have tennis shoes, a pair of black shoes, and a pair of brown shoes. Simple. However, most women have several pairs of shoes per color. There are black closed-toe pumps, black high heel sandals, black ballet flats, black low heel sandals, and so on. It's only slightly less complicated for other shoe colors. And shoes always take up way too much room in a suitcase.

For a man, going out of town requires packing a small suitcase and a toiletries bag. Then he just grabs his car keys before heading out the door.

For a woman, getting ready for vacation involves way more than just packing. It typically involves a shopping trip because there's "nothing to wear." I'm also usually running low on hairspray or makeup right before it's time to leave. I need to get my legs waxed - it is summertime, after all. Since I'll be wearing sandals and haven't had a pedicure in a while, I'll need one of those too.

One of my colleagues recently took a trip and added a facial and a spray tan to her list before she left town.

Men have no idea what it takes. They see the finished product and they like it, but they don't have a clue as to the time and money spent in preparation. Then they're surprised when they find out the details.

It's probably best to not reveal the details.

We both agree that we want to relax on vacation. Once we've arrived at our destination, I've discovered, there are different expectations - even if we talked about what we wanted to do ahead of time.

On a trip to Tahoe last year, he and I had a big argument because we spent more time fishing than lounging on the beach. I'll bet you can guess which relaxing activity I preferred. Hence, the argument. Hey, I didn't go to all that trouble before the trip to look good for the trout! Crawling around on a rocky riverbank and sliding down the steep areas on my butt just isn't my idea of tranquility.

To the best of my knowledge, we're not fishing on this trip but I'm not sure.

Hmmm. Maybe he's decided it's best to not reveal the details.

Dawn M. Henley is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News, and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.