Wednesday, July 14, 2010

From wiggling my bait to bait-and-switch, subtitled: "Sorry about that, honey!"

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., 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, 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


Steph Schmidt said...

This post made me extremely thankful my camping enthusiastic parents *always* brought toilet paper. Lifetime of girl scouts & I still can't tell the difference between the right & wrong leaves!

Rachel said...

Wonderful memories. Your stories keep me laughing out loud all the way through. I love them.

And I have to agree. Give me a horse on the trail any day, but other than that, I'll take my AC, thank you.

Anonymous said...

LOL I love this story!

We recently discussed going camping. It was my husband who wanted the portable camping toilet. I looked at him like he was crazy. I went on several camping trips with youth groups as a teen. I liked it. It's the husband and teens who start screaming, "Where's the cabin?!"

However, we've decided to wait until after the summer. Not sure how well a 2yo will do in this AL heat. And I'll admit, I'm a little anxious to give camping a go again. It's been over ten years, and I most certainly did not have six kids when doing it.

#5&6 HILARIOUS. Love the Cullen comment.

Unknown said...

Ha! great story...especially loved lessons learned #5 and #6 :)

Kelly Breakey said...

I am with you all the way on this camping thing. When we lived in Alaska we were invited to go camping. Did you get the part where I said it was ALASKA?

I don't think anyone who lived there was of sound mind. It was just too dang cold. Of course I will be honest here and say they planned their trip in the spring. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Alaska still snows in the spring.

If your guessing we didn't go...well you would be correct.

Linda G. said...

SM -- With the two of us on that motorcycle, we we're lucky to have room for the tent!

Meadow -- You sound a lot like me. Let the horse do the heavy lifting (er, so to speak), and then give me a hot shower and clean sheets.

Posey -- Obviously Fate got our spouses mixed up. I'd offer to trade back, but your six kids are scaring me off. ;)

Karla -- Yes, nobody warns you of what lies just beyond the romance. ;)

Kelly -- Brrr! Don't blame you a bit.

Thanks for commenting, ladies! :)

Anonymous said...


??? said...

Oh goody, thanks for reminding me of the perils of Mother Nature... I go on my own camping trip at the end of the month. I'm SO excited, can you tell? I've already decided to eat and drink as little as possible so I can avoid embarrassing myself and ruining my shoes.


Totally cracking up over the "Mother (-effing) Nature" comment!

I'm fortunate that Pythagoras and I both share a great love of the outdoors, though admittedly he prefers to climb UP mountains, while I'd prefer to camp at the base of them.


Linda G. said...

Sydnee -- Nah, it's important to stay hydrated. Just make sure you're barefoot before you pee--it's easier to wash feet than shoes. ;)

Tawna -- I might've taken to camping a little better had there been some semblance of plumbing nearby. And, you know, if the tent had been air conditioned.

Tiffany Schmidt said...

I think I need to go make Indoor S'mores RIGHT NOW.

And eat them while I read this and *gigglefit* all over again.

Linda G. said...

Tiffany -- Mmm. S'mores. Thank goodness they're not just for camping anymore! ;)

Hallie Sawyer said...

Hysterical, as always! Love, love, love your posts. Thanks for sharing your memories.

Linda G. said...

Thanks for stopping by, Hallie! Glad you enjoyed my experience with Mother Nature--I mean, it's good one of us did. ;)