Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Campers....

I am a city girl. Manhattan, London, San Francisco, Paris. Love them all. I could spend my life bustling from one museum to the next. Expose my palate to a different nationality every night. I love the smell of bus exhaust. The sound of horns honking. The feel of trains jiggling china off shelves. I'd gladly surrender my driver's license for a public transportation pass and live in the city.

So when I announced my engagement 6 years ago, my boss quietly said, "Does he know.... you don't go.... outside?"

You see, I married the guy who was everything nature. He would rather have a rectal exam than experience the frenetic life of the city. A day off meant all day fishing, or hiking, or climbing. Every weekend spent sleeping on the soil in his trademark one-man tent.

Waking to the sound of woodpeckers. One with the universe. Eschewing basics like electricity, plumbing and hygiene. Before I wandered into his scene, Matt contentedly spent his time waist-deep in snow-melt rivers, chasing trout and breathing clean air. He had no clue what was about to hit him.

And neither did I.

There were compromises. Of major proportions. Where would we live? Was Matt willing to buy a suit? Would I tempt fate and sleep under the stars? The negotiations were long and intense, but in the end both parties were satisfied.

Matt goes off to feed his soul in the wilderness with the boys (and by boys, I mean grown-up responsible sorts who like to hang out with bears, drink whiskey by the fire and have farting contests). But he did buy a suit, and has learned to appreciate theatre. Being a professional chef has opened many doors for him in the culinary world, and I have become accustomed to the star treatment we receive in fine restaurants.

I meet my refined, metropolitan friends in the city (and by friends I mean the kind of chums who wear nice shoes, love Broadway and talk about the latest paint colors). But I bought some hiking boots and didn't die when I came upon my first snake. Running into bear scat doesn't even scare me anymore.
We have gone camping, and it's not all that bad. In fact, sometimes it's pretty fun.

But we did have to get a bigger tent.


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