Jake’s justification is simple. He says that he expects me to be……..”whiny.”
Now I’ve tried to explain that his perceptions are dead wrong. While Jake expects me to be a difficult camping partner and views me as inflexible, I know an other me.
Once, way back when…..I was a plucky, gritty gal who hiked the land and canoed the waters….all over the northeast. Back in those days, Joe looked like he belonged on a mountain, with a full beard and long hair. And he went backpacking and rock climbing and made homemade wine. And that other me had to keep up. So I learned not to faint when I saw a snake on the trail and I became a master at fire starting…..and I even peed in the woods once or twice.
So I decided to make my point to Jake by sharing a few examples of adventurous times when I handled a difficult outdoor situation with ease……examples that show the rough and tough version of me!
- Once, Joe and I drove deep into the woods of Maine on a winding gravel road, looking for a particular trail where moose sightings were very common. Now moose can be dangerous when startled……but I wasn’t afraid. We were out there in the middle of nowhere to seek Bullwinkle….not to hide from him! (I sound pretty tough here, right Jake?) Plus, it was pouring rain that day, but I still didn’t mind…..I had quality rain gear and an attitude like Bear Grylls. But strangely, we never did see a moose on that hike. And contrary to Joe’s accusations, it wasn’t because I was talking loudly and occasionally singing as we hiked. We all know that singing will scare away most animals, including moose, so I would never do that. I just sing spontaneously in the woods because I am happy.
- Once, I had a Girl’s Adventure Weekend at the hunting cabin of a friend’s father, which just happened to be infested with mice. The cabin and its surroundings looked like the set from every camping trip gone-wrong horror film. We gals swam and washed our hair in the river each morning and we hiked each afternoon. In the evenings, we drank….alot. (Jake- I know the plot here continues to sound like a horror movie waiting to happen, but I wasn’t worried. We were rugged girls on a gritty adventure…..the polar opposite of whiny.) And for the record, the one thing I did NOT do that weekend was to obsessively analyze movie scenes from Deliverance, Friday the 13th and the Evil Dead. And I certainly didn’t lay in bed at night, praying that the inbred hillbillies, deranged serial killers and monsters in the movie world are just make-believe.
- Once, a rambunctious and nuisance raccoon was harassing campsites at the state park where we were staying with a group of friends. So when that renegade raccoon came into our site, I knew we needed to act. One of our group calmly grabbed a lantern and swung it toward the critter. Like a slow and steady pendulum, that swinging lantern drove the raccoon back into the woods and out of our camp. (Jake- are you thinking that the person swinging the lantern could have been me? Your dauntless momma….the hero of our camp?) Alright, the hero was actually our good friend Eric. Sadly, I was prevented from helping due to the fact that I was standing on the picnic table screaming. But it was me who warned Eric of the beast’s almost certain rabid state…..I do what I can with my gritty abilities.
Reevaluating my many camping experiences……I see that Jake’s concerns could have a touch of validity. But even my most weak-kneed camping moments did not involve whining. Screaming….yes. But whining….no.
And those camping environments where I was most uncomfortable; these were environments that would unsettle many a camper. Raccoon and moose and an escaped killer with a hook for a hand…..who wouldn’t be unsettled?
So on this trip, I will be out to prove to Jake that I am a pleasant and reasonable camping partner and I am certainly NOT whiny! So I am going to tap into that rugged, gritty, and adventurous gal who spent so much time in the woods way back when.
But I do need Jake to give a clear definition of whining before we go. I wonder if whimpering, sniveling, or grumbling will count?
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