This Camping is For the BIRDS!
The thing I admired about my mom is that she understood clearly who she was. Take camping for example. We went camping once and she declared she would never do it again. ” Ohmigod” she said emerging from our tent dishevelled and undone. “This camping thing is for the birds. Why camp when I can stay in hotels. Or a private island. Ohh Tess, can you imagine” Yes, I could but I saw myself more as a carefree hippy girl than an urban Euro -chick who hiked in heels. “I prefer camping.” I said to her steely-eyed.
She Can Catch Squirrels with Her Bra! Wow!
My imagined-self is a self-starting handy girl who can whip out her no-frills high-tech tent, set it up in less than 6 minutes, start a fire from stones, sling a squirrel for dinner with her bra, make a natural bouillabaise from local weeds, whip up some bannack on an open fire, and sing Neil Young songs while strumming a 12 string guitar. Yes, this is the real me!
Go Get Me Some Kidling!
Well the truth is until three weeks ago I thought the word for “kindling” was “kidling” which Dave asked me to look for when we were camping so he could build the fire, after he set-up the tent (I don’t know how) and started the stove (last time I tried I burned my eyebrows off plus I didn’t want to be responsible for starting a forest fire). I am very good at taking things out of the car and placing them on the table and opening beer and wine and generally adding to the spirit of convivial, joyous outdoor life. Oh, I can also put pillows in the tent.
Blame it on Literature and The French Revolution!
So how do I explain the divide between my real self and my imagined courageous ‘courier de bois’ self? Well, I don’t think I’m alone in being somewhat different from how I imagine myself. It’s a human trait I think. But my imagined self is also fuelled by my love of literature where I can virtually feast on imagined realities. It took me years to complete my degree in History and English because I spent too much time re-enacting great moments in history and literature. The French Revolution took it’s toll. Trust me.
The good thing is that on our last camping trip, I overcame my fear of burning off my eyebrows and agreed to light the campfire stove. I’ll leave using my bra as a slingshot for catching unsuspecting squirrels for another day.