This story actually was when we were dating. I met my husband when I was nineteen years old. Early in our relationship, He showed up at my place of work and said, “Do you like road trips?” *I am much like a dog and when a car is leaving I fucking want to be in it. I am not picky where the destination is. So “Ummmm Yes, I love road trips!” was my answer.
He then says “I have everything we are going to need in my truck, so let’s just go!”
It is very clear to me that my boyfriend is unaware that I am no fucking Beyoncé I did not just wake up like this. Unless you have my fifty pound bag of makeup and hair care products in that duffel, you do not have everything *WE need! I need a little more than you! But because I am nineteen and afraid to disagree I smile and say “Okay!”
I hop into the truck and we head off. This was the days before cell phones so taking a nineteen year old off into the woods was easier then. As we are driving I literally have no idea where he is taking me. He promised me a road trip and being the dog that I am I was happily sticking my face out the window watching the scenery go by. As we get further up a mountain I start to worry that the reason he has all *We need, is because only one of us is getting out. I worriedly look around his truck and notice all of the things he keeps in it. The knife in his console. The ball of twine. The tarp and the shovel. That weird scratchy army issue green wool blanket. “he has never been in the army. why do you need the army blanket sir….if that even is your name?” I am thinking. I might die and I just hope that he doesn’t bury me alive.
“I want to be cremated!” I tell him. “When I die, I want to be cremated.”
He looks at me and says “Okay!” because we just met a few months ago and still trying to get to know each other. Death plans don’t typically come up this early in the relationship.
My boyfriend then stops at a gas station, which was also the meeting place for all of the other people invited on this “road trip”. I get out and collect with the other girls, because that is what we do. The one girl said “Are you excited to go CAMPING!”
But it was in slow motion and the word was all drawn out “CCCCAAAAAMMMMMPPPIIINNNGGGGGGG!”
Mosquitos biting my ass all night? Oh fucking sure sign me the hell up to be on the all you can eat Becki Buffet. I honestly want to go back to when I thought he was going to murder me than now knowing it’s going to be fucking camping. How do I tell this really adorable man that camping is not my thing? I grimace and look at this girl who is sizing me up and I am all like “Oh Yay! Camping. Fun! I love camping!” I look down at my outfit and only clothes for this trip and it is my work clothes and heels. Yup this is sure to be a good time.
So I wouldn’t say that I am not outdoorsy. Some people who know me might say that, but I wouldn’t. I like to hike and I love looking at the stars. I absolutely love being out in nature. But I am an asthmatic with scoliosis and at the time, just a year and a half ago got out of my back brace, so sleeping amongst the mold spores and allergens on the hard earth is not my idea of a good time. I like to be outdoors when there is a nice hypoallergenic bed I can go to sleep in. But how do I say this to the guy I just met. I mean I was still going along with him when I thought he might murder me. I am obviously not going to say “Yo, I am not really the camping type.” Seriously if you are signing on as victim of homicide is it okay to go back and say “I draw the line at camping?” I am asking for a friend.
Now that I know what the hell I am signed up for, I start to tell myself it won’t be that bad. I buy an industrial size bottle of bug spray and off we go. This is the last stop before we get to the camping area. We get to the top of the mountain, hill or whatever the structure we were on and we pitch our tents. The girls get all ready to cook dinner over the wide grated grille that the camping place provided. The funny thing is these camping girls are just as prepared as I am. They even knew where we were going. They have no pans, or tin foil, or even a fucking spatula to flip the burgers. I stand there looking at this monstrosity as they are flipping dripping meat with a stick. My boyfriend comes over and he is really trying to act like he has done this before and he crouches by the fire and is doing his best to stick flip the burgers. He steps back to admire his work when I lean over and whisper “Your foot is on fire.”
He panics a bit and starts to stamp his foot.
“Stop, Drop and Roll!” one of the camping girls yells out to him.
Oh for fuck’s sake….these assholes have never ever been camping before. What the hell? The only camping expert is me and I fucking hate camping. I look at my boyfriend and I say to him “We need to go back to that gas station.”
“Okay! Did you forget something?”
“Yes. We have to go back.” We let the rest of the campers know that we are heading out, my boyfriend and the rest of these folks are twenty-one and old enough to drink. So now we are on a beer run as well.
I go into the store and I grab tin foil, a spatula, another can of bug spray, some aspirin, a pot, bottled water, more food and my boyfriend went to another store to get beer. When we get back to camp I get the food on the tin foil on the grill and I cook dinner. My boyfriend looks at me and smiles because now he is thinking “I knew this camping trip was a good idea. She likes camping. She knows so much about it.”
I am mumbling about how a nice hot bath and clean sheets would be perfect about now. I finally get the meal cooked and everyone had their fill. We stay up laughing and joking around the campfire. Then some fucking asshole decides it is time for ghost stories. NO! Stop that! Bad person! Very very bad person now you go into your tent and think about what you have done. Except I can’t say that because I am new in this relationship and I have to be sweet and agreeable.
“Hey, did you know that there was a mass murder around here about ten years back?” it started.
“NO, I heard that was just a myth. There wasn’t a murder. There was a happy birthday party and someone exaggerated the details a bit!” I say because I really don’t need to be creeped out on top of camping. Sleeping in the woods is enough they don’t have to be haunted to make the experience less desirable and more terrifying.
“No! There was a mass murder and the guy was never caught.”
“Oh I believe that he would have gotten caught, they have the best law enforcement around up here. They have to because of the isolation and shhhiit!” oh for the love of all things holy I just played into this fuckery, well then get on with it. Tell your fucking ghost story.
The story is told and now I am jumpy, mosquito bitten. I look at the bottle of bug spray to be certain that I am not spraying legit mosquito feed onto my precious skin. Everyone else seems fine and they have no bug spray on them. Where is that skin so soft when you need it? I mean for all the baths I have had in that shit I should have mosquito repellent as one of my super powers by now. I should be the super hero “Avon Girl” with the skin so soft greasy hair and mosquito repellent skin. But that is not how it goes for me. I bought some tea while I was at the store so I make a pot of hot water and ask if anyone else wants tea with me? They do not because of the beer.
Time for bed and when we crawl into our tent it is facing downhill and pitched on a gigantic jagged rock. My boyfriend has had some beers and is able to sleep. I am up all night because of the stupid ghost story and the scratching and also the fact that the blood is rushing to my head and did I even get the decaf tea. I put my head to the other end and eventually go to sleep. Next morning I wake up early and go to take a shower before my boyfriend wakes up and sees that I am not Beyoncé. I hike all the way to the ladies room and there they all are. All of the women that do not want their men to see what they actually look like. By the time I get into the shower there is only cold water. I take my ice shower and I realize that I don’t have shampoo, conditioner or soap. I holler out “Excuse me, does anyone have any shampoo and conditioner I can borrow?”
This nice lady hands over some Prell. If you don’t know Prell then let me explain it to you. It smells amazing. It has shampoo and conditioner in one. I use this stuff as a third wonder as well because it is also my soap. I get out of the shower and yup, no fucking towel. Another nice girl offers me hers. I towel off and put on my clothes from yesterday, which was my work clothes because I didn’t know that I was going camping. An older woman looks at me and offers me twenty bucks because she thinks I am a runaway. I don’t blame her, I have no makeup on and I look very young for my age. So to her I am around twelve-years old.
“Call your folks I am sure they are worried about you!” she tells me and gives me a hug. I don’t disagree because it seemed like sage advice. I take the hug because I could use the warmth after my ice shower.
I get back to the camp and it is hot and humid and my hair is going to grow. I have magically growing hair when it is humid. Remember the episode when Monica was in the Bahamas? Friends? You know I am old….just humor me. Well that is me. I find a piece of twine in my boyfriend’s murder mobile and I make a make shift pony tail.
Everyone starts to rise and I have the pot of hot water and instant coffee going. I hand styrofoam cups to everyone who wants it. Yes styrofoam cups…we didn’t know about global warming then. They all smile and say “Are you ready to go hiking?”
I look down at my heels….from work….and my dress slacks that are covered in soot and my pressed shirt that is filthy and I am like “I didn’t bring anything to hike in.”
My boyfriend smiles because he thinks he is smart. “Don’t worry I brought you these!”
He pulls out his mother’s sneakers as if women are one size fits all. I am about to tell him that they are not going to fit…when I remember that we are still pretending that we are perfect. I put on the gargantuan shoes *because my shoe size is 4 in women and actually a 2 in children. I am now clomping around in his mother’s size 7.5 shoes on a hike. I don’t have deodorant on and I am certain that I am the one who’s going to attract bears. I smell like an actual pig, that has bathed in Prell.
We stop off at a place to eat and I look at the menu. On there is Belgian Waffles with berries and whipped cream. I am all over that shit. I chose wrong and I now realize it because I look like a small child with no make up, my make shift pony tail and these shoes that are far too big for me. Why did I order the child breakfast? The waitress even put a smiley face on the plate. Clever. Very Clever waitress. She tells my boyfriend that it was really nice of him to take his “little sister” out for breakfast.
He doesn’t know what to say because its weird now. What is he supposed to say? Oh no I am dating the child? So he smiles. For the rest of the day we got “Does your little sister want anything?” “How is your little sister doing?” and “Do you kiss your little sister with that mouth?”
The camping trip finally came to an end. My boyfriend asked me on our drive back “So do you like camping?”
“No! I actually never want to do that again.” I admitted. He and I both laugh and decided that camping wasn’t for us.
My now husband and I take many adventures together but we have never camped again. My children have only heard tales of camping and they are pretty certain it’s not for them either. I feel bad for tainting them but camping for me is just one big mosquito buffet of Becki blood and sleeping on rocks. I know some people know what they are doing and that is great. I just don’t enjoy it.
Moral of my story: If you are going to go camping, make sure you are prepared. Also don’t surprise someone with a camping trip that is a horrible idea. Camping is something that should be planned, especially if all you have to wear is your work clothes and heels. If you do surprise a person with a camping trip give them an opportunity to pack a bag and tell them that they will be needing essentials like clothes, deodorant and a way to back out!
Until next time 🙂