Here we go, okay, so your man just announced that he is bringing you on a vacation. Better yet, it is a fully-paid vacation. You don't have to pay a single cent. The men probably thought that you would be delighted, not having to fork out a single cent to enjoy a nice little trip. Time for a break, time for some fun.
Indeed, well, yesssss, it is happy news.
But then again, the wheels of the male and female minds spin rather differently. While he is probably looking through the flights, hotels and itinery, or getting his secretary to help make the bookings, the female minds immediately come up with a list of things to do and to buy before the trip.
Yes, believe me, there's a lot more to prepare than meets the eyes.
The Preparation Process
Let's see. Let's talk about a normal city tour for shopping and sight-seeing. First, the outfits. For people like me who do not wear newly-purchased clothes without first washing them, so I need to ensure that I have enough outfits for the entire trip, plus change of clothes for night events (if any).
Not enough clothes, or nothing suitable (for the climate)? Okay, let's get another tank top or two for the trip. Maybe another pair of comfortable walking shoes? Maybe that cute little tote from Kate Spade perfect for a shopping trip? Another jacket or two?
How about lingerie? Am I just going to be wearing tee-shirts? Do I have those sexy nighties or teddies? Errrr well, yes... will they do? Never mind, pop by La Senza or La Perla to see if there's anything else...
Skincare products? Ahhh, yes, where is the travel pack? We would not want to intimidate them with large bottles of serum, essence, lotions, face creams etc do we? Stock up on masks - it is very essential to ensure that the skin does not dry up and become sensitive after the flight or overseas.
Nails. Ok, check the nails. We have to look good for the trip from head to toe, don't we? Oh no, the toenails are chipped and bare - it will not do. A call to the manicurist is imminent.
All right. Medical supplies? Yes, can't risk either of us falling sick and not having adequate preparation, right? So let's stock up aspirins, charcoal pills, Po Chai pills (for tummyache), Clarinase for flu, eyedrops, phlegm pills (in case we eat too much heaty stuff, drink too little water and clog the throat with phlegm??), bonjela, antiseptic cream, insect repellant.... oh yes, and painkillers. One could never be complacent, so better to play safe, right?
Right - my friends always comment that I probably am well-prepared enough for a missionary trip in a war-torn town.
The damage? A few hundred bucks (excluding the Kate Spade tote mentioned above).
For beach resorts, toss in all the above, plus a fresh Brazilian wax and at least one new bikini set please. Oh, and good suntan lotion, sunblock, a good book to read on the beach and aloe vera lotion to cool the skin after being sunkissed. Another couple hundred bucks well-spent.
For winter wonderlands, take out the beach necessities, toss in new thermal underwear, winter coats, mufflers, berets (to protect the hair?), gloves, boots (must have! - the best chance to wear them since we can't wear them in Singapore), sweaters and extra moisturizers. The splurges go up to one grand easily.
So, in a nutshell, a fully-paid vacation does not mean a free vacation, well, not exactly. Yes the looking-forward part is a positive torture, but there's more to it than meets the eye.
Females being females, there are always these core concerns that the men would never understand - our constant need to look good, feel good for them, the absolute need to race around malls to ensure that we are well-prepared for our upcoming trips (the latter is very stressful, in a good sense though).
On the day of the trip itself (finally!), we appear calm, composed and cool, and when asked, casually reply that,"Oh, yes, I packed my luggage last minute, like, last night itself?" - but in reality we are grinning inwardly at the secrets our men would never know - the time, expenses and efforts we put into preparing for the much-anticipated holiday.
You think it funny or exaggeration? Well, now you're enlightened. It's our way of showing appreciation, mind you. :)