Loyal blog readers might recall the story of how the theater god and I met when I wiggled my bait on stage where we worked. Early in our relationship, when the Glow of the New overpowered everything else, I was eager to learn all there was to know about my honey. If it involved TG, I was interested.
Reading Tawna Fenske's (Agency Sistah Extraordinaire) blog post about her camping trip with her hubs, I got to thinking about my own past alfresco experiences with TG. Because, yep, you guessed it, TG loves the great outdoors.
Huh. Well, he sure chose a strange profession, considering. *blink*
Be that as it may, when I found out about TG's avid passion for Mother Nature, I was willing to give it a go. I mean, I liked some things about being outside. Horseback riding, for one. And...um...well, horseback riding. But honestly? If they'd made air conditioned indoor riding trails, I'd have finger-waved* buh-bye to Mama Nat early on.**
Alas, the new love of my life liked being outside whenever he wasn't holed up in a dark theater. So when he asked if I wanted to go tubing on the Guadalupe with him and a bunch of our theater buddies for our second date, I naturally said, "Tubing? Oh, I love tubing!" while secretly thinking, Tubing? What the hell is tubing? Sounds naughty.
In case you're curious, this is tubing on the Guadalupe (not us, of course, though our group did have a cooler in its own inner tube a lot like the one shown here; also, I'm pretty sure these are the same rapids, AND we wiped out just like these guys***) (Oh, and don't feel like you have to watch the whole video. Really, it's just for flavor.):
Since there was a shortage of inner tubes on our tubing trip, TG kindly volunteered us to share one. Wasn't that altruistic of him? And I'm sure it wasn't just so he could cop a feel when he "steadied me" after every rough patch of water.
We survived the trip, despite almost drowning when we flipped entirely over at one particularly treacherous point. Gah. Have I mentioned how much I hate getting water in my nose?
Hardly anyone got past that stretch of the river intact, a fact well known by the little boy--seriously, he looked about 10--with the snorkeling gear who stuck his face in the water every time a girl went past on a tube. Seems it was quite common for bathing suit tops not to...um, maintain their hold on the girls, shall we say...after an encounter with the tumbling water. And don't think that budding perv didn't know it!
For the prurient among you, no, my top did not survive the encounter, either, but TG was quick on the uptake, and pressed me quickly to his chest before the kid could get a good look at me. Wasn't that thoughtful of TG? And, really, it didn't take him that long to help me hitch my top back up.
Of course, after our date was over, I raved about what a good time I'd had. I mean, I'm a polite person. What was I going to say? Certainly not, "No way in hell are we ever doing that again." (Though we have not, in fact, been tubing on the Guadalupe since then, much to TG's dismay.)
But that doesn't mean I wanted to give up entirely on learning to share TG's love of Mother (-effing) Nature. So when he invited me along on a camping trip I said, "Sure! I love camping!" while secretly thinking, Camping? How bad can it be? Aren't there s'mores with camping?
Nope, I'd never been camping. I come from a non-camping family. I was briefly in the Brownies, but all we ever did was glue alphabet macaroni on Popsicle sticks to spell out the Brownie pledge. Nothing "fun" like camping. So maybe I wasn't exposed to it at an early enough age for it to imprint on my psyche.
Some things I found out about camping:
1. When your mode of transportation is a motorcycle, you don't have room to bring a lot of extras. Say, like, portable camping toilets. Or toilet paper.
2. Guys don't seem to mind the above nearly as much as girls do.
3. Maybe because they can pee standing up without getting their feet wet.
4. Squatting over the woodland floor brings you waaay too close to Mother Earth. AND the small, crawly creatures that inhabit her. As for clean-up: "Here, use these leaves. But whatever you do, don't use those leaves." Help! They look the same to me!
[Does this list seem overly preoccupied with the call of nature? Well, believe me, it seemed vitally important at the time.]
5. Don't eat canned beans for dinner and then zip yourself up in tiny 2-person tent with a guy unless you want to learn the real definition of "intimacy."
6. Mosquitoes in Texas could give the Cullen family a run for its money.
7. S'mores are just as good when you fix them at home, over the stove, in an air conditioned kitchen, as they are when you toast the marshmallows over an open fire while terrified a bear will show up at any second. Better, in fact.
8. It is absolutely mind-boggling what you do in the name of love.
After TG and I married and started procreating, I no longer felt a pressing need to try to like camping. I'd been willing to give a try, because I knew how much he loved it, and I thought there was a slim possibility that I might grow to love it, too.
Hey, it could have happened!
Of course, TG is still claiming it was bait-and-switch the whole way. Thought he was marrying an out-doorsy girl when in fact he hitched his star to an indoor-plumbing-loving wuss.
What can I say? Um, sorry about that, honey!
*Feel free to guess which finger.
**Granted, if I'd been capable of turning a sexy, golden-brown in the sun, I might have felt differently.
***TG tells me I am mis-remembering, that our rapids were much gentler, more akin to the "Lazy River" ride at the typical water park. But this is the way I remember it. And it's my blog, so nyah. :P