Recently, I went camping for the first time.
It’s not an aversion to nature that’s kept me away, it’s just that nature and I have never been properly introduced. I was raised in a concrete jungle by a woman who was quite convinced I would become pregnant if allowed outdoors.
So, I remained indoors doing what proper little Latin girls do: scrubbing toilets and training to be subservient to neanderthal husbands.
Things like learning to ride a bike and camping were not included in my “How to be a Wife and Mother” training. And it’s taken a while for me to get around to these outdoorsy activities on my own.
For one I’ve been busy learning other things – adult things – things that would make my mothers hair fall out if she knew, I knew how to do them. And two, I spend most of my leisure time with gay men who are more apt to be frolicking in da club than the woods. (yes, there are exceptions. See Radical Faeries.)
Despite being a latecomer to the world of camping, I was genuinely excited to experience this rustic rite of passage.
But, my gays ….. not so much. When I mentioned my intent to undertake a weekend in the great outdoors I received some interesting responses.
I’ve never been a prissy girl: I love power tools and have no trouble using the “C” word. But, my flip flops do have 3 inch heels, mosquitoes do think I’m DELICIOUS and I do have a severe disdain for dirt and all things dirty. Perhaps that’s what made my decision questionable to some and downright hysterical to others.
Frankly, I was taken aback by the reactions. You’d think I was planning to scale Mount Everest wearing nothing but a bikini and a midget strapped to my back with the feedback I got.
Undeterred by the snickers, I made sure to pack a shit ton of bug spray and we were off. The “we” was my gentleman friend and I. He is not much of a planner, so I was left to handle the details, fully aware of the folly that is a camping virgin, planning a camping trip.
Undeterred by my inexperience, I made like Santa Claus, composing an exhaustive list and checking it twice, even thrice.
But, the list could not prepare us for my naivete. Did you know that places exist where cell phones don’t work? ………. I didn’t.
That is until we reached the campground: hours late, tired, hungry and not knowing exactly which camp site was ours. It would have been hilarious if we hadn’t have been so cranky.
Back in the car we went. We drove 25 miles to find a spot where we could use our phones and then 25 miles back to set up our site in the dark.
Note to self: Verify camp site number BEFORE you leave the house.
The tent went up just fine. But, when we pulled out the borrowed air mattress we both almost cried. It had a plug and we had no outlet.
Note to self: Check air mattress BEFORE you leave the house.
Luckily, the nice young couple (who we suspected to be good Christians) at the campsite next to ours had an AC/DC doodad that allowed us to use the 12 volt outlet in my car and saved our sorry asses from having to sleep on the cold hard ground.
It was tense. We set up, we ate, and we went to bed. A rough start to be sure.
But, the next morning we were up with the birds and ready to enjoy our woodsy jaunt. We hiked. We met colorful locals. We hiked some more. Such a good time was had that the gentleman friend and I decided to stay an extra day.
That would show the naysayers back home. Not only did I camp successfully, I camped overtime. HA!
Our final morning arrived and while enjoying each others “company” in our tent we became acutely aware that our neighbors had come to regret lending us that AC/DC doodad and thereby affording us a cushy, comfy surface to fornicate on.
We had been on our best behavior, holding back on the copulating while they were present. However, the night before I had eaten one of those “funny” brownies and hit the box of wine a little hard and maybe, just maybe I had gotten a little over exuberant.
They told us to get a room.
I thought we had, albeit with a zipper and an obvious lack of sound proofing.
They told us that they expected such behavior from toothless, classless rednecks but not educated middle aged persons such as ourselves.
Middle aged? Ouch!
They told the gentleman friend that I was obviously too ashamed to come out of the tent.
Ashamed? HA! I have no shame. I lost that a long time ago, along with my gag reflex. I’m just not used to dealing with sexually repressed religious zealots in a non-urban setting that’s all.
They told us to have a “swell” life and they were off. Thank God.
Note to Self: Choose a campsite AWAY from the cockblocking Christian Coalition.
Birds do it. Bees do it. Why can’t we do it? …. in the privacy of our own tent. We packed up and headed back home, laughing about our adventures all the way. As we got close and I could see the tall buildings in the distance my nipples got hard and I knew that even though I had enjoyed camping very much and I’ll definitely do it again …. my heart AND my hooha belong in the city.