August 19, 2013

Camping 2013

August ended up being a tough month.  Immediately after coming home my dog got sick and had to stay in the hospital.  Recovery has had its ups and downs but he was getting back to normal.  He relapsed yesterday, but thank the good vets at the animal emergency, he's already on the mend again.  I had this blog post already written, though, so you'll have something to read for now.  If there's another long silence, though, you'll know why.

Camping was lovely.  A few circumstances were different, such as our site being farther from the showers.  But hey, I’d had laser done this year, so I didn't need to shave as often, yes?  Well, unfortunately I got paranoid that more of my chin hair was starting to grow back, so after trying one day of not shaving, I changed my mind.  Sure, I felt a little defeated that I wasn’t going to shave every other day like I planned.  And then came something unexpected.  The weather got so hot that our family decided to move to a hotel.  Suddenly we had our own private bug-free bathroom, with a sink behind a locked door.  Brilliant, right? 

But no, I was already giving up on shaving every other day.  I wasn’t going to just go back to my normal routine that I follow at home.  I thought of something else that I could do this year that I could never do before: shaving at night instead of the morning.  And when the weather went back to normal and we returned to tents and campfires, I kept the routine going.  I would shave in the closer bathroom which had no showers, just a couple of toilet stalls and two sinks with only cold water that were out where all could see.  At night, though, it was much less likely someone would walk in, so my only audience was the moth population and the spider that lived behind the mirror.  It worked pretty well, and took a lot of the pressure off the morning.

It’s amazing how much hirsutism changes your life.  For the first time in the history of my camping trips, I could wake up when I felt like it.  And instead of worrying about when I could sneak away to shave and not miss out on anything, I could sit and enjoy the mountain morning, chat with everyone, share in the communal breakfast.  It definitely helped the experience. 

This trip also surprised me by showing me how much emotional strength I have built since I was a teenager.  This was highlighted by my step-sister, who is not in any way hirsute, being unable to cope with camping.  I guess I had always assumed that if you’re not paranoid about your body hair, whether it be simply legs or also face/tummy/chest, camping is a breeze.  Turns out it can still be an ordeal for some.  When we checked out of the hotel and went back to the campsite, she did not want to stay, and ended up going home early.  I was shocked that someone found it more challenging than I did.  How was I, with my hair issues and self consciousness, and my nervous stomach problems, and my fear of insects (particularly spiders), able to have a wonderful time?

I suppose, and this is just my guess, that you have to really want to.  And if you really want to enjoy yourself, you’ll allow yourself to be challenged, try your best to be adaptable and to accept things as they come.  If I had gone home early with my sister, I probably wouldn’t have gotten sick that one night and would have avoided kneeling retching in a ditch in the pitch darkness.  But I also would have missed out on so much more.  I dislike being sick as much as I dislike arachnids, but I lived through it and came out the other side much more relaxed.  I really didn’t think I was that laid back.  I certainly never used to be.

I tried paddle boarding this year, which is fun but a lot harder than it looks--or maybe that’s just me.  I’ve never had exceptional balance.  That swimsuit, by the way, you can purchase (in all sorts of colors) from Modcloth.  They’re very modest, but very trendy right now, so you can look retro while hiding your treasure trail and that bikini line that breaks out in a painful rash when you try to shave it.  I love that swimsuit and would highly recommend it to anyone.

But my favorite thing of all was just lying in a hammock and reading, with nothing but quail chirping around me.  It’s something I could have enjoyed just as much whether I’d had laser hair removal done or not, but I can say it was worth it just to have my mornings like a normal person.  I guess in a sort of way I got my wish.

Also, I found this book on my travels.  What?