I’m all about a great adventure and don’t consider myself a foofy, high-maintenance kind of girl. I have, after all, spent nearly a week wearing the same clothes and not showering while trekking in Nepal. I proudly smelled like a wet yak and shamelessly posted pictures of my pathetic, unclean self on social media. I can function without my hair dryer, lipstick or shoes that coordinate and compliment my outfit. I don’t, however, like camping. And yet, I went camping.
Okay, let’s not get carried away. I was hardly sleeping on the ground in a tent, which would be only slightly this side of barbaric. I think the amount I pay monthly for my mortgage, escrow, property taxes and homeowner’s association dues prohibits me from abandoning my comfortable and costly home to play at being a homeless person. Regardless, I actually spent a week “roughing it” in a cabin just outside Garner State Park recently. Quit rolling your eyes! It was absolutely primitive – there was NO INTERNET!
While it was actually very relaxing to be unplugged for a few days and be off the grid, to be so far from civilization that you could see tons of stars at night and marvel at the absence of street noise, there were still some very real challenges. I’m not talking about having my marshmallow catch fire (I happen to like them blackened but not converted to charcoal) or dropping my hot dog in the dirt while making the transfer from stick to bun (and I had mastered culinary perfection with that hot dog, too, gosh darn it).
I think it took only hours for my youngest son to cover a large portion of his 6’3” self in poison oak. Of course, I couldn’t Google “unexplained weird rash,” so I had to assume alien possession or that it was an expected reaction to a teenager being exposed to fresh air without the protection of his cell service or video games. About the time he started resembling a leper, we found a bottle of calamine lotion, which only made him look like a leper tinged a fetching shade of pink.
Scorpions, chiggers, camp fire smoke inhalation, and a shower head that could only accommodate a dwarf midget if he was on his knees. And this was supposed to be fun?! Honestly, there are homeless people who fare better.