What foolish thing did you do with your Georgie Bush tax refund?
We spent $800 on camping gear at REI and we are going to test out the tent this weekend.
Okay, so it was my idea. I like the concept of camping. I like the concept of Nature charming the crabbiness out of the family. I like the notion of enjoying a marshmallow over the fire, and telling stories in the dark, and listening to crickets chirp and whatnots make whatever Nature sound they make, and so forth. I like and believe in the idea that Nature soothes tightly wound personalities, adult and child alike. I fully expect that we will arrive at the campsite wound up and all and I'm not expecting us to fully unwind but maybe just to loosen it all up a tad. You know, like a Slinky or something.
But as one who looks for what might go wrong in advance of anything good, it is perfectly apparent to me that expectations for the trip must be kept very low. We don't know what we're doing, we don't really know where we're going, and we definitely know that the car trip will be a pain because Crabtot loathes even the shortest, weentsiest ride to a different neighborhood. "I hate this car," she will bleat. "Taking too long!" she will yell after seven minutes. Even a sucker doesn't do much to improve the ride. She just shakes it at you and sobs when she gets close to the end. "Oh, dear!" she wailed last week on nearing the end of her sucker. "I've eaten it!" Then came the tears.
In all honesty I must admit to looking forward to the camping. Nature's bracing charm will reinvigorate me! It will remind our family that even though we don't own a house and fight too much and eat too much meat and don't ride our bicycles enough and don't back up our hard drives and so forth, we are still Earth's children and as such, entitled to a modicum of serenity and simple pleasure. I think.
Crabhubby was the hardest to convince on the camping score. He has delicate architect hands and likes camping trips where L.L Bean packs you in and out and some nice boy sets up trestle tables at breakfast sporting vats of hot Irish oatmeal dotted with fresh-picked huckleberries. However, he is now quite keen, so keen, in fact that he has polled his more seasoned camping colleagues for "must haves" and came back with this:
"I've heard head lamps are really useful."
"Head lamps? Are you out of your mind? That sounds completely retarded."
"No, really they're just small lights on a headband--"
"Headband? Are you mental?"
Call me crabby and clearly in need of Mother Nature's caress, but we all have our limits: and I draw the line at head lamps. I will never wear a head lamp. Even if I had to quit blogging and, say, the earth was falling apart and it was all apocalyptic and there was, like, only one job and that job was mining. I would still refuse the head lamp. Even if it's night time and I am in a search party looking for someone who has gone missing on a mountain. Sorry, I will look hard and long but I won't wear that head lamp.
Today at the bloglet: please join me in casting your vote for or against baby shower registries in part 2 of my Baby Shower Wars mini-series. I warn you: it will get ugly. If you end up disagreeing with me, please, don't hate me. Remember me as I once was. Remember us as we used to be.
Also chez bloglet, the facts of life:
I'm all about telling kids the truth, even when it comes to uncomfortable questions, such as those about babies and where they come from. You have to tell kids the real deal right from the get-go: babies come from magic baby seeds that you swallow, and then when they're fully formed, they fly out of your belly-button...Go to You Know What magazine to read more.
Any of you been camping en famille? Did you or your spouse wear a head lamp? If so, how did it feel to look so incredibly naff?