This weekend we went out to Krause Springs with my infant daughter (a long post on motherhood is brewing within me). We were only out there for 4 hours. My friends who are much more ambitious than I am camped out with their baby. I was tired and hot and bug-bitten after only 4 hours; they had been there 2 days and overnight. Some people are campers, and some people are, emphatically, not. I am one of the nots. I am not a camper. I have been camping numerous times. I have been to Burning Man which is extreme hardship/luxury camping. I am NOT a camper. Last night I examined the reasons why from the sweet-smelling safety of my cashmere pillowtop, memory foam bed. Yes, I am a Princess.
Sure, the human race was nomadic and everyone lived in tents for millyuns and millyuns of years. Camping was THE way of the world, and obviously that shit got tiresome because the heighth of civilization is having a house and hot running water. Almost every civilization on Earth has said fuck camping as a way of life, I would like to live in a structure that keeps bugs out and allows me to accumulate more stuff than I can carry on my back. I don't understand what's so nostalgic about getting back to nature. Nature is full of things that sting and bite, and ALL of them find my bloodtype to be particularly delicious. I am certain that somewhere back in prehistory my DNA's prime progenitor said, "FUCK THIS CAMPING SHIT."
The way I see it we could easily revert to our nomadic ways. Someone fires a missile at someone and nuclear war ensues, cities crumble, the world becomes some terrible version of a Mad Max movie, and bam, we are right back to camping. I for one would like to enjoy every single moment of the luxury of having hot running water, air conditioning, and comfy beds before the apocalypse comes and I am forced to camp, forever. Because, if I have to camp and there is no alternative, fine, I will do so and not complain. But, if there is no need for the camping, and this is just roughing it out of some perverse sense of fun or collective social guilt, then fuck that noise. I'd rather not have to make a huge mess, drag all of my shit somewhere lumpy and uncomfortable, pack all of my trash out, and dig a hole in the woods with a shovel everytime I have to shit. Then drag all that crap home and wash it. This is not convenient for me. This is making a hobby out of inconvenience. Have you ever had to do a crevice check for ticks on LSD? No? Then, shut up about the glories of getting back to nature because I am scarred for life. I think people who enjoy camping are masochists. I would like to say that going outside is my personal religion. It is a reverent and sacred experience that should be done sparingly and with full respect towards the things that live outside because we no longer do and are just visiting. Visiting. Briefly.
I, personally, consider a vacation to be an event filled with sybaritic luxuries I cannot afford on a daily basis not an event filled with uncomfortable inconveniences that I could quite easily avoid. This is not the definition of a vacation to me. Vacations to me are sitting in a tropical location on a beach while lovely young men bring me fruity rum drinks and massage my glisteningly oiled form. That is my idea of heaven. Besides, the best part about camping is the shower afterwards. Think about that shower. You've been camping for days and feel gross from head-to-toe. You are finally home and take the most exhilarating and refreshing cleansing period of your life in a hot, steamy celebration of man's finest achievement, running water. Throw in some Dr. Bronner's peppermint soap, and I might just have an orgasm thinking about it. Anyone who has been to Burning Man, where you are camping in an alkaline lakebed of a desert for DAYS with the dust and the sweat and the general party nastiness and the sex crust (I personally refuse to break the bio armor and engage in sexual activity at Burning Man), will tell you that the shower afterwards is a little slice of heaven. After 4 times of going for the sake of art, community, expanded consciousness and heavy drug use, I have spent thousands of dollars. Airline tickets to get out to the Nevada desert, rental cars, gas money, tickets to the event itself run you about $500 for two, food, water, costumes, illicit drugs, alcohol, gifting, that is thousands of dollars for the sake of what is one damn refreshing shower. I may not remember everything that happened out in the desert, but I always remember the shower afterwards because no matter where it is, in the seediest motel or the ritziest casino, it is hands down one of the better showers of your life. I have decided that I can save myself a lot of time, aggravation, and money and just enjoy every shower here at home to its hedonistic fullest. Clean, hot, running water is a privilege not a right, people. One day we may be doing without such luxuries, and on that day I will look back fondly and have the experience of every tantalizingly terrific bubble bath and shower to remember like sweet, sweet pornography as I fight the irradiated mutants for cans of dog food and gasoline.