In what seemed to be a miracle (because it was) my parents and my in-laws both offered to take one child for the same weekend which, if you do the math, would leave us childless for two days. As you can imagine, the pressure was enormous and we both started sweating profusely: “What are we going to do?! A spa?! Clean out the basement?! Paris?! Install the toilet in the powder room?!” And that’s when it happened. Almost in slow motion it came rolling off my tongue, “Let’ssss….gggoooo…caammppiinng.” CAMPING?! wtf? My husband has never looked happier. He’s convinced the blood of Davy Crockett somehow runs in his veins and would happily spend the rest of his life in a canoe. As for myself? I prefer to spend a vacation exercising my mind. I’m not afraid to take the time I need to decide whether the esthetician is using too much lavender oil on my feet, or whether it’s the perfect amount.
But I said it. And since I convinced him 12 years ago that I was “adventurous” by (mistakenly) riding my bike down a set of stairs I felt I needed to keep up the facade. The only problem was, wilderness camping involved doing the two things that I hate most: Lifting heavy stuff while on holiday and pooing in a hole. So at this point the best I could hope for was to lighten my load by bringing little clothing and praying for vacation constipation. And really, it couldn’t be that bad, camping is affordable and my husband asked me to marry him while on a camping trip. Romantic and cost effective, my favourite combination.
So with packs and canoes strapped to our backs we headed into the wilderness for two days of communing with nature and each other. That’s when I began to think: “I can be the girl who rides her bike down a set of stairs. Hell yes! Come my lover, let us hang our food barrel in a tree! Though I realize that I’m basically sleeping in a bear’s version of a ziploc bag–I do not care. I can fight a bear!”
Oh wait–was that a wolf howl? Oh no, I have to go pee. I’m not sure I can fight a werewolf. Bill Compton is a vampire and he was almost killed by a werewolf.
Let me be clear. I do not wait patiently for my Sunday fix of “True Blood”. Nor do I record it to watch it at a more convenient time. I’m not that kind of girl. I simply wait until it comes out on DVD a full year later and watch it obsessively one episode after another until I start to feel like I have nothing else going on in my life except for “True Blood Season Three”. (Do not tell me what is going on this season.)
Which is why when I found myself crouched next to a tree urinating at 2am all I could imagine were werewolf eyes staring me down and vampires flying in from the sky to drink all of the blood out of my bum. There has never been a time I felt more regretful that I dismissed my kegels. Why do I have to pee so many times in one night?! So the third time when I found myself outside the tent and swear I heard someone whisper “Sookie”, I went screaming back to my husband who, despite reassuring me with gales of laughter, spent the rest of the night on vampire watch.
And this is what I learned: someone with an active imagination (me:Allana) should only go camping with someone (him:husband) who is willing to protect them from the nightmare scenario they’ve conjured up in their brain. You know, the one in which they get their head ripped off by a Creature Of The Night.
In the end, it was still more romantic than cleaning out the basement. Because believe me, our basement is terrifying.