Packing is infinitely more fun than unpacking, for one important reason: possibilities. Thinking about going somewhere—for work or play—is a glorious exercise in imagining your best self. You'll be stylish. You'll be organized. You'll be comfortable.
Just like non-trip you, only better. Much, much better.
Lena Dunham is not a good packer. She sucks at it, actually, according to her:
"I am the woman who went to a Mexican beach with five bikini tops and no bottoms (plus a pair of prairie boots).
I am the woman who returned to my Midwestern college in the dead of winter with no pants, tights, or underwear and had to go to a lecture in a wool skirt and knee socks, commando.
I forgot to pack my bridesmaid's dress for a wedding, my cardigan for the holy city of Jerusalem, and my high heels for the Grammys. I've had to find pharmacies in which to refill my psychiatric medication in cities around the globe."
So you can imagine her terror this week when she found herself alone in her bedroom in front of her empty suitcase, preparing to pack for the most important trip of her life: the one where she'd give speech at the Democratic National Convention with her buddy America Ferrera.
Here's what she took (you can read her whole post about it here on Lenny Letter).
"— Three outfits. (One for roaming the convention floor, one for an afternoon event with America and Chelsea Clinton, and one for the big speech. America and I consulted on our dresses to ensure proper coordination, so we don't come out looking like two Spice Girls who aren't on speaking terms. I was very tempted to wear the same one as Melania and say, "She stole a speech, so I stole her dress," but I will refrain.)"
[HERE IS THE DRESS SHE CHOSE: Gabriela Hearst Adriana Dress in Ivory ($898). You can shop more affordable off-the-shoulder dresses from ASOS!]
"— A box of Hillary-centric baubles created by my friend the artist and designer , the man behind the iconic boutique Einstein's. Cuz you can take the girl out of the '80s East Village, but you can't take the '80s East Village out of the girl."
— Yoga mat (for stretching and/or planking).
— Eucalyptus and lavender oil (given to me by my , who insists they can summon alertness and relaxation respectively, and who has been known to play "Trap Queen" during Shavasana).
— , by Stevie Smith (it's very calming to read verse, even if it vaguely hints at mental-health crises and general feminine lost-ness).
— Black two-piece spandex outfit by Jess Oberlin (pajama-ish enough for napping while in transit, but sensual enough that I'll feel good getting off the bus in it or flipping the bird at a Trump sign).
— Eight La Croix seltzers, passion fruit (not fucking around here).
— Eight Ito En bottled green teas (you don't know my life!).
— Two pairs sunglasses (besides the speech, my primary mission at the DNC is not to lose any more sunglasses).
— Underwear (I'll believe this when I see it; this would be a new level of respectable adulthood I may not be ready to achieve).
— Socks with Hillary's face on them. (Purchased for me by my boyfriend online. It was one of the most oddly considerate acts I've ever been on the receiving end of. Did I need them? No. Did I want them? Like, totally, but who knew? Are they polyester? Definitely!)"
And here's how it went: she nailed it.
Even apart from what she and America said, which was brilliant, Dress from:
Here's what went down behind the scenes before they got on stage:
And here is a transcript of the speech Dunham and Ferrera delivered, to a standing ovation:
Lena Dunham: Hi, I'm Lena Dunham and according to Donald Trump, my body is probably, like a two.
America Ferrera: And I'm America Ferrera and according to Donald Trump, I'm probably a rapist.
LD: You're not Mexican.
AF: And President Obama isn't Kenyan, but that hasn't stopped Donald.
LD: Now I know what you're all thinking: Why should I care what some television celebrity has to say about politics?
AF: We feel the same way. But he is the Republican nominee, so we need to talk about him.
LD: The un-funny fact is, this man would have you believe that our differences are more important than what unites us.
AF: The truth is that this country was founded on the belief that what sets us apart – race, language, religion, sexual orientation – should not dissolve what binds us.
LD: Which is why we're proud to say, "we're with Hillary!"
AF: As a child of Honduran immigrants, I am profoundly grateful for the access and opportunity that exists in this extraordinary nation. I was educated in public schools; my talents were nurtured through public arts programs and occasionally I needed a free meal to get through the school day. Not everyone looks at the millions of young people like me – children born into struggling families, children born to immigrant parents, children who are immigrants themselves – and sees an investment. But Hillary has spent the last 30 years proving what she sees in us. Not our color, gender, or economic status, but our capacity to grow into thriving adults able to contribute great things to this country.
LD: I'm a pro-choice, feminist, sexual assault survivor with a chronic reproductive illness. Donald and his party think I should be punished for exercising my constitutional rights, and his rhetoric about women takes us back to a time when we were meant to be beautiful and silent. Meanwhile, 22 years ago, Hillary declared that women's rights are human rights. And she made it possible for my fellow sexual assault survivors in my home state of New York to have access to safe, immediate care in any emergency room. Hillary knows that access and opportunity are the American promise – not transphobia, Islamophobia, xenophobia, and systemic racism. She knows that hatred of all kinds is ours collectively to change, not to ignite for the craven purpose of seeking power.
AF: Donald's not making America great again, he's making America hate again. The vast majority of us cannot afford to see his vision of America come to be.
LD: Luckily, we the voters carry the future of this country. We don't accept hatred as the norm in our communities – why would we accept it in the Oval Office?
AF: So to everyone here tonight and out there watching at home, here's your chance to join Team Hillary.
LD: Do you want equal pay for equal work? The right to make decisions about your body? Paid family leave? As our queen says, "deal us in."
AF: Text DEAL to 47246 and we will make you a card-carrying member of this team. Let's forcefully reject division.
LD: Let's say with one voice that we all have worth; we're all part of this country.
AF: Let's put Hillary in the White House…
LD: And declare…
LD & AF: Love trumps hate!