Parenting and family, served with a shot of vodka
About three years ago, I watched an episode of the Real Housewives of Orange County during which Vicki and the crew went “glamping.” It was the first time I’d ever heard the term — short for “glamorous camping” — and it was also the first time I felt like I could relate to the plastic ladies of the OC. Their trek to the wilderness didn’t involve erecting tents and peeing in the woods and near-misses with grizzly bears. Instead, they enjoyed cabins with electricity, huge goblets of wine, comfy wooden furniture likely hand-whittled by Amish craftsmen, and a controlled campfire set in a fire pit.
They went from being one of the most ridiculous things on television (and by ridiculous, I mean my favorite!) to being my soulmates for the hour.
In short, I’m not a camper. And it’s on my mind a lot right now because yesterday The Hubs and Superhero, 6, took off on their first overnight camping trip. Like, in the real woods.
While I relish in activities we can do as a family, the sheer mention of camping had me like:
So it probably goes without saying that three-year-old Sweet Pea and I are enjoying the joys of civilization, appliances and the mall this weekend.
Now, I love things associated with camping, such as nature hikes, river rafting, drinking beer and making s’mores. I’m not prissy about my hair getting messed up or getting a bit dirty.
But once it’s time to sleep or pee (or God forbid, crap) in the woods? Sorry, y’all. Can’t do it. Bathing the in river doesn’t count as clean and I want a mattress.
Here are my ideas of tolerable camping situations: In a 25-foot Winnebago; Disney’s Wilderness Lodge; staying in a cabin like the Real Housewives; pitching a tent in my backyard, where I have an out at any time.
And to be clear, yes, I have tried it. Growing up in the outdoorsy Northwest, it’s impossible not to do it at least once. But I learned pretty quickly that it wasn’t for me, even with fun-loving friends an endless supply of adult beverages.
I’ll spare you the details, but I’ve camped two times in my four decades of life. Both times, I wound up sleeping in my car.
All my nature-friendly comrades laughed and laughed when I retreated from my tent to my ride. Shits given by me = Zero. They should have felt fortunate I didn’t fire up my VW Jetta at 1 a.m. and leave a few homies stranded.
I admit it. I’m a total wimp. And after that second time, I didn’t go again.
When my pals arrived back from their
tick-infested wonderland camping extravaganzas, they told me I’d missed out. That I really should try it out just one more time. I said I would, but in the same way you tell your health-nut friend their quinoa and tofu casserole was something you’ll be making at home sometime.
But in fact, here is a list of the times I regretted opting out of a camping trip:
If you’re a hardcore camper, I salute you. You were just born with wherewithal that I wasn’t. I’m aware I’ll probably be the first to perish during the zombie apocalypse and I’m okay with that.
After all, I’ll have my dear husband to teach the kids how to make it the wilderness.
As for me, I’ll head up the party planning, art projects and dance parties. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, right?
** Is there anything you refuse to do as a parent?