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Friday, February 19, 2010

"So what kind of girl are you?"

Recently I was out on a first date and conversation went there. Yes there. "So what kind of girl are you? Would you rather vacation for a week camping in the desert or in a 5 star hotel?" Honestly, is that even a question? Is that even a fair question? Maybe it's a trick question? I wanted to laugh as I pretended to contemplate my answer. "Hmmm...well...that's a tough decision." I knew his answer was camping- I would just tell by his condescending tone of voice when he said "5 Star Hotel" and the way he looked all blissful when he mentioned "camping in the desert", as if he was remembering fondly his boy scout adventures in Joshua Tree or something.

(Side note: This date struck me as the kind of guy who was a boy scout a lot longer than he should have been. The key word is "boy" which means there is no reason anyone over the age of 10 should be participating in the scouts. Son, you've turned double digits, now it's time to opt out of the troop scene, as tough as it may be. But don't worry, you can still whittle and race little cars and help blind senior citizens cross the street, you just don't get a badge for it. There is a natural progression to life and it just becomes socially awkward to wear a scout uniform and little matching peter pan hat to junior high, let alone high school. Yeah- I'm 91% sure that this date wore his uniform through college. Enough said.)

Anyway back to the big question, obviously given the choice I would be absolutely crazy to pass up one glorious week of camping in the desert with a thick layer of dirt and dust covering me with no shower to get it off, causing me to go through 3 packages of baby wipes and 2 outfits per hour. Yep, my idea of fun is long days in the dry wilderness dodging lizards. (I wish I could get a restraining order against lizards prohibiting them to come within 250 feet of me. This all stems from a very traumatic event that happened when I was eight. My in-home piano lesson was interrupted by a gut-wrenching scream from my mom. My teacher and I quickly ran into the backyard and found my mom in a state of panic, hitting her thigh with her fist and shaking her leg so hard I'm surprised she didn't pull something. A large lizard had climbed into her jeans, up to her thigh, and she couldn't pull her pants down during this frenzy to free the lizard because my male teacher was a very interested spectator. Scarring.)

Yes, nothing screams "dream vacation" like crawling into a sleeping bag on the hard ground to begin a horrible nights sleep with little rocks and sticks painfully poking you all over, not to mention the attack of the bugs. I don't want to brag, but I am a bug magnet. Probably because I'm so sweet. (For some reason mosquitoes like to bite me on the forehead and face causing massive red welts that resemble the plague. These bites are so blatantly obvious and I feel self-conscious because there's no way to hide them and no way to stop people from rudely staring and gasping. Come on guys -mosquito guys that is- be considerate when you take my blood and think about the week of solitary confinement you are sentencing me to when you bite my forehead. Stick to my legs if you gotta do it, please.)

Besides, who needs 5-star heavenly beds, 10 pillows, and black out curtains? And who wants to sleep in and rest on a vacation anyway? It would be insane to pass up the opportunity to wake up 7 days in a row at the first crack of dawn with an obnoxious bee buzzing around the roof of a claustrophobic tent. (I once got stung by 3 bees in one day and another time I got stung so close to my eye it swelled up and I had to wear sunglasses to second grade, even in class. No, they weren't Chanel sunglasses- I was still sporting the ones with neon pink sides, but they were cool just the same.)

I don't even want to mention the thrill of having to go to the bathroom outdoors, especially once you factor in cactus and rattle snakes. I may have teared up (ok, you got me, I may have weeped) the last time I had to pee outdoors. It was an emotional experience that I don't wish to relive again.

What I'm trying to say is simple really. An absolutely unforgettable week in the desert would be a bit pricey. Of course not all in cash value but you've got to factor in the emotional scarring, possible future therapy sessions, West Nile and rattle snake bite and cactus wound treatment and doctor bills, over one thousand used baby wipes which will most definitely impact my carbon footprint and speed up global warming, and in the long run it would have been much cheaper and greener to stay at the Ritz.

I was trying to think of the plus side to desert camping, just to be fair, and I came up with the possibility of me bonding with a wild coyote over the week and then having a sibling to bring home to Mozie. I would enroll the coyote in obedience school, create a new life for him, and then he would probably end up with rabies which would cost me a ton in vet bills and even more in emotional bruising after having to put him down. Who am I kidding, there is no plus side to desert camping.

So what was my answer? What kind of girl am I? I was confident with my response. "Well I know it sounds crazy, but I think I'd have to pick the 5 Star Hotel. Only because it would be less expensive."

He laughed. But I wasn't joking.