trying to find myself and humor in life

My “camping” experience

Anyone who knows me will agree that I am not “outdoorsy” by any stretch of the imagination. I like the indoors – malls, Target, the movies, my  house etc. – and make no secret about it.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t like going outside, I am not  agoraphobic. I LOVE to sit on the beach for hours or at a pool or even on a park bench and people watch but that’s about it. I am not into hiking, biking, skiing, rafting or camping. A stroll around a lake is fine but hiking boots, bugs and steep inclines are not my thing.

The husband is a true “outdoorsman.”  Fishing, mountain biking and kayaking are just a few of his obessions hobbies. That we ever got together is probably a miracle. I remember on our first date, after a couple of glasses of wine, me rambling on and on about my dislike for all outside activities.

When the husband told me about an upcoming camping trip, I did not even try to hide my disdain. May as well let him know from the start that I AM not a camper I thought to myself.

Over the years the husband has tried to persuade me to camp but I have never given in. Perhaps I am not being fair since my only “camping” experience was a girl scout camping trip back in the mid-1980s.

Ugh, I can still remember that weekend like it was last week. The troop leader and her husband were a little weird, very tree-hugger-ish, and I remember sitting in the front seat of the husbands pick up truck for what seemed like hours to get to the campground.

They had instructed us to buy and bring actual camping equipment (canteen, some sort of pot for cooking and a sleeping bag) and we slept in a gross cabin ON THE FLOOR. The bathroom was communal and required you to walk in the woods to get to it – yikes!

We cooked breakfast on a fire and I was reprimanded for having juice and not water in my canteen. It was cold and everything smelled like camp fire. It was then that I realized camping was NOT for me.

The husband, however,  has gone camping a couple of times with friends and even took the twins once. The twins LOVED it (go figure) which gave the husband dreams of our family renting a camper (as if I would sleep in a camper that other people have used) and taking camping vacations.

I thought about it (ever so briefly) but life is too short for me to spend a week in a rented camper.  I want the boys (all 4) to experience it though, so I told the husband camping will be their “male bonding.”

This past Saturday, the twins were invited to a “camping” themed birthday party for their friend and fellow Blue Flame M. The party was from 5-9 and families were welcome to camp in the backyard after.

Normally, this sort of party would worry me but M’s mom is my friend C (also fellow blogger, Senior Soccer Mom and occasional kettlebell work-out partner) so I knew it would be a good time.

I was not wrong!

From the minute we entered the yard, the twins were off playing and I was left to fend for myself – among the other moms, dads and adult beverages. Occasionally, I would glance at the pitched tents around the yard, but I never got a pang of campers envy.

The night air had gotten cold and the thought of sleeping outside did not appeal to me. I told the twins the tents were “props” so they wouldn’t feel bad (I was ratted out though).

There was music and laughter and marshmallow toasting around the huge fire pit. It was SO fun. All the parents were relaxed and enjoying themselves and the kids were totally entertained.

Hmmmmm, maybe this is what camping is all about? I thought to myself. I guess it could be appealing if you went with friends (or George Clooney) and just hung out around a camp fire?

All good things must come to an end and soon it was 9pm and time to pick up the little kids at my brother’s house. The twins whined but eventually relented (exhaustion was on my side). We said our good-byes and promised that next year we (i.e. husband and kids) would camp out.

On the way home I could still smell the camp fire in my hair (this smell hung around forever btw) and I thought that was my kind of “camping” adventure – wine, fire pit, friends and home in my own bed by 10pm!


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