Always Be Prepared


My husband, Dave, has a 2006 Jeep Wrangler soft top. It’s a pretty nice jeep to drive around in the summer time except for the fact that it’s terrible transportation if you need to go to the grocery store because there is absolutely no trunk to stow the goods.

I had the jeep a few days ago and walked out of a store with a few bags in tow. I still had a few stops to make and didn’t want the packages exposed. It’s summer time folks–the jeep has her bikini top on and mesh doors attached with no windows. Even though I wouldn’t necessarily worry about anyone stealing stuff from my car in the lovely small town I live in, I still read the police blotter in the local paper.

Safety first, folks.

I opened up the little trunk area of the jeep and I cocked my head to the left at what I saw: A camo army blanket, a military green metal box loaded with I-have-no-idea-what, and three packages of MRE’s (Meals MREReady to Eat).

This was odd.

My husband is a Colonel in the Army. I get the whole “Be Prepared” thing,  but why the hell was he squirreling away MRE’s in the tiny trunk of his jeep? I didn’t ask because he has a solid reason for everything. I immediately thought that with the blanket and food in his trunk,  he was either preparing to have me kick him out of the house, which at least he’d have a decent meal on-the-go, or he was expecting the apocalypse.

At long last, Dave took a day off of work recently so we could see the sights in downtown Chicago. I know it had been a long time since we were downtown because I don’t ever recall seeing “The Bean.” I know–slap me. I grew up around here and you’d think I would have seen the damn Bean by now. Keep slapping: I have also never been to a Hawks game or Bulls game. It’s hideous. I should have my Chicago card taken away from me. However, I have been to a few Bears games and more than a few Cubs games. Don’t hate on me for not being a Sox fan; we all have our reasons to love the teams we love, and the passionate war that goes on between Cubs and Sox fans will last for as long as the Cubs and Sox are Chicago baseball teams, period.

We took the train and brought our camera with us. We’re amateur photographers at best, and didn’t want to pass up an opportunity to photograph the Bean, architectural wonders, and wondering why mothers let some daughters go downtown dressed like strippers, sans the pole. Check out the gallery below on this post to see the images I took. Well, I took most of them. Dave snuck up on me and snapped a photo of me; now you know what I look like.

Sitting on the train, I searched through my purse for a pen. I had an idea to write about something and wanted to jot it down on the pad of paper I always keep with me–no pen. Where was my pen? Dave opens up his army sling bag which stowed our trusty camera and showed me not one, but three pens and a highlighter. He offered me a plethora of choices to which I just shook my head.

“What?” This was his only response to me as he also showed me that he had a small pack of Kleenex, travel size Motrin (because he was traveling with me), his phone–which was packed in a separate easy-to-reach compartment on the strap of the bag, matches (because you never know when you decide to take up smoking or get stranded in a forest in the middle of Chicago and need to start a fire to keep warm), and a granola bar.

I’m envisioning him sitting on a mountaintop watching the sun set while he’s eating that granola bar….commercial fades…

It became apparent to me that he one-upped me as far as being prepared. However, I did not want this sudden contest to go uncontested. I opened up my purse and showed him what I had squirreled away: Burt’s Bees lip balm, lip gloss, a lip liner which I never use, hand sanitizer, hand lotion because ironically whenever I suddenly get in my car or–well, anywhere–my hands feel like they can crack like dried dirt on California farmland. I also had my meds with me which I need to take four times a day: Valium and betahistine for my vertigo. Envious, are you? Don’t be. You don’t want my condition in order to take Valium, trust me. I also had a hair brush, and my wallet which was ironically bigger than his wallet.

Why was my wallet bigger than his? No, no, no. I didn’t have wads of cash from stripping the night before; I left that up to the high school girls we saw. My wallet was bigger than his and always will be because I carry all the “reward” cards to restaurants and grocery stores. Don’t peg me as one of those people who can’t leave the house without the entire kitchen sink. Sometimes I travel light and only bring the faucet with me. However, since we were not close to home, I brought the entire kitchen sink because this was my way of being prepared.

handsanitizerWhen I compared the contents of both of our compartments, it was apparent that his was much lighter, yet more efficient. I will, however, make a case for myself that I brought hand sanitizer and he didn’t. I mean, how can you bring a pack of Kleenex and Motrin, yet completely be void of hand sanitizer?

I asked him about the MRE’s in the jeep. He said with almost an exasperated tone, “What if we get stranded? I know how you get when you don’t eat every four hours.”

He’s always thinking of me. I’ve never eaten an MRE in my life, but there may be a possibility that someday I may and I’ll gladly thank him for it because I won’t have to chew his arm off for sustenance.

See the images I took of the beautiful city of Chicago. Note the image of the girl in the mesh outfit. She was no older than 16. I missed taking the photograph of her entire outfit because I want to protect the innocent; or not so innocent.

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