“Will there be bears?” I asked.
John shook his head and explained that they would be spending their boys’ night a few minutes from our old bearless suburb across the Bay, and probably 100 yards from the main road on which you can find a CVS and Round Table Pizza.
“Do you have everything?”
“OK, well….be careful out there.”
“You be careful, and have fun. Don’t worry about trying to do too much, you can sleep for hours if you want to.”
John had provided the opportunity to go camping with them, and I was admittedly less than pleased. I think you could describe the look on his face as half confused, a quarter surprised, and a quarter not-at-all surprised as I explained that I was unhappy with the invitation because now I was put in the position of having to feel bad about saying no, and I would rather just not even be asked in the first place. It made sense at the time.
My friend Margie has a cheeky little napkin hanging on the bulletin board in her kitchen that says, “I love not camping.” I point at it when we visit, and quote it often, and I quoted it again when he asked.
Oh how I want to want to camp. It seems to be a popular thing for people to do and the snacks would be right up my alley…I hear there’s often chocolate and marshmallows AND bacon.
But after realizing the weekend’s arrangements were likely best for everybody, I was excused from going, and from the jobs of monitoring stick usage, dirt abatement and maintaining a 40-foot perimeter around the campfire. The guys loaded up their tent and stove and other supplies I did not recognize. John pointed out the ingredients they left me on the counter for my own “in the house” s’mores, and headed off into the beautiful sunshiny weekend for a night in the wilderness.
We waved at each other enthusiastically and I dashed up the stairs, ready to tackle my list. Of course I had a list; I wanted to use this time wisely.
I had just under 24 hours and a few simple things to do:
- Clean out and organize all rooms, closets, bookshelves, and areas that could possibly contain LEGO’s and/or baseballs
- Fully prepare for the start of school, short of packing lunches two weeks in advance
- Give self manicure and pedicure
- Catch up on DVR’d shows (that, my friends, is a legitimate to-do)
- Plan meals for the week, nay, the month
- Read backlog of magazines
- Return backlog of emails
- Think about exercising
- Finish reading The Help then go see The Help in the theater, and of course…
- Re-start, finish, and finally fall in love with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
I am almost positive that I had NOT written:
- Make and eat entire box of pasta salad
- Run out of things to read on the Internet, because you have simply read it all
- Don’t read any books at all– I mean it, NO books
- Watch Hoarders, then feel yucky after
- Watch romantic comedies until your eyes hurt, and feel way worse than you did after watching Hoarders
- Argue with the cat about her incessantly stealing the drain things out of the sinks
- Take picture of the cat with the drain things, because even though it’s so annoying, it’s kind of cute
- Argue with the cat about her trying to remove the vent grate with her tiny little claws at 2:00 am, which unfortunately is shortly after you will finish watching a Drew Barrymore romantic comedy, and not one of her better ones.
- Paint nails and allow to dry while laying motionless for the length of DVR’d Gossip Girl season finale
- Rediscover long-dormant and impractical love of French house music
- Use minimal math skills to evenly space out consumption of the three Hawaiian sweet rolls that are in the kitchen
- Become overwhelmed at how many areas in house contain LEGO’s and/or baseballs
Though that is most certainly the list I did not write, it is the list I diligently completed while the boys were frivolously frolicking about in the woods.