Monday, June 6, 2011

The "Great" Outdoors

"The Great Outdoors"... seriously, what is so great about outdoors?  And camping?  Camping is on the list of things I do not do (yes there is a list -- yes I will probably show you the list sometime).  I did not grow up in the wilderness.  Playing in the back yard, yes.  Jumping in mud puddles, you betcha.  Sleeping in a tent, no way.  I saw a Maxine comic once that said "I will sleep in a cloth house when I start wearing wooden clothes."  I love you, Maxine.

I have slept in a tent all of probably two times in my entire life.  Neither were enjoyable, or my idea.  I didn't grow up with in a 'hunting and gathering' type of environment.  My dad has a mild distaste for water (and by mild distaste, I mean he hates it) and my mom loathes bugs and snakes (um, can you blame her?).  Camping wasn't exactly our niche.  Our family rarely traveled, but if we did, we stayed in hotels -- not expensive ones, by any means, but ones with beds, clean toilets and a place to plug in our curling irons.
Anyway, I tend to be quite the indoors-man, I guess you could say.  I mean, I love the ocean and sitting on the sandy beaches watching the waves all while holding an icy umbrella drink.  But I don't want to sleep on the beach.  I will pick the occasional weed in my back yard, plant annuals each spring that I forget to water, but I don't mow (yes that's on my list, too) and I am always glad come inside, take a shower in my nice clean bathroom (where I know no strangers have peed) and get in my own comfy bed.
I married into an incredibly outdoorsy family.  Don't get me wrong, they are truly wonderful... but very outdoorsy.  I mean the complete opposite of mine (it amazes me that my husband and I grew up so differently and are still so perfect for each other).  They hunted, we would have driven a wounded deer to the veterinarian at any hour of the day.  They raised cattle, we loved our cocker spaniels maybe a little too much.  They went fishing, we went shopping.  You get the drift.  My father-in-law once mentioned that we should plan a camping vacation.  'Vacation', I informed him, 'is not sleeping outside and pretending to be poor'.  Just in case you are keeping score, go ahead and give me a check mark on the snotty list for that one.

I know I should probably try to be more open to change, but I feel like there are some things that you are allowed to either love or hate -- camping being one of those things.  It hasn't been a source of tension between my husband and I (he knew my distaste for nature when he met me, although in a momentary lapse of judgement, I did once go hunting with him - when we first started dating -- thank the Good Lord he didn't see anything to shoot at) and he knows that he is able to do manly outdoor things, but I will not be tagging along.  He doesn't try to push me into being a different person than I am -- yet another reason to be so incredibly thankful for him.  The last time I went 'camping' was during my pregnancy.  We slept in rented cabins (thank you very much to my mother-in-law), but most of the weekend was outdoors.  I won't say much, but I will say this, I bawled much of the way home and vowed to never ever ever ever go camping again.
Last night, however, I did attend the evening portion of a camp-out for our church's youth group (which means we left our son with my visiting in laws and headed back home at 9:30).  I was a trooper and cooked my hot dogs over an open fire and sat in the grass (yes the grass) and played games with the kids.  When we got home, I found a tick on my husband and then couldn't sleep because I was very concerned that ticks were crawling all over me, looking for the perfect place to bury their ugly little heads.  This was followed by nightmares of ants in my hair and all sorts of bugs crawling in and out of various bodily orifices.  This isn't just a "Suck it up, Princess" kind of dislike I have for the outdoors, I mean 'roughing it' really bothers me.
I am certain that my son will be just as outdoorsy as my husband, which is great, because that will give them a chance for plenty of bonding time.  Together.  Sans Mommy.  I don't intend on being the high maintenance annoying woman in the woods who is miserable (and making others miserable, too) the entire time.  I just don't go, it's easier on everyone that way.  I suppose if you need to roll your eyes at me a little, well I'll just pretend I don't notice.
Be true to who you are.  Participate in activities you enjoy.  And remember... you're In Good Company.

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