Yesterday much of America dined al fresco
given our long standing tradition of Labor
Day picnics. However I must admit that I
purposefully avoided congregating with a
crowd of hungry folks in damp bathing suits.
Let alone being stung by yellow jackets or
buzzed by errant horse flies. Instead I sat
in the house with all of the windows closed.
Happy to avoid all picnic grounds pulsating
with a plethora of ragweed pollen. Enjoying
anything but my time in the sun. Whether
I'm rebellious, cantankerous, or lazy is up
for discussion. I simply refuse to hang out.
My aversion to outdoor group gatherings is
based on a lifetime of external exposure. In
my youth I dreaded our annual Church picnic.
My parent's fundamentalist cohorts traveled
en masse up the Hudson to some frigid spring
fed lake. Setting up camp in a picnic ground
crowded with ants, protruding tree roots, and
splinter filled rustic seating. Post arrival one
group set up a Scrabble board and proceeded
to play until dark. Others went dove right into
the water which displayed a lack of clarity that
was questionable at best. Then ate, sang hymns,
listened to a sermon, and finally went home.
I've never been the outdoors type. As proven
by my one and only disastrous church boy's
camp out. At thirteen I was a hormonal hot
house flower. Hence the very idea of exposing
me to the elements was foolhardy at best. By
the time we hiked up to our isolated campsite
and ate hot dogs and beans I was "done." My
legs and back hurt. And I had no intention of
going back from whence we came. So I threw
a hissy fit. Kicking and screaming in pain until
they literally carried me out. Ultimately I had
achieved my goal. Therefore this pup won't be
pitching a tent anytime soon. NEVER AGAIN.
My mother loved to camp. Hence like it or not
every summer our family spent several weeks
along the shores of White Lake in Tamworth
New Hampshire. Mom enjoyed nothing more
than sitting under the pine trees or taking a nap
in the hammock. Whereas my idea of camping
was a Holiday Inn. Looking back I have NO
fond memories of northern exposure. Instead
of enjoying myself I sulked the entire vacation.
Along with attempting to set our campground
afire. Any excuse to get the hell out of there.
Since then I've never camped again. Well, that
is except for a few times in a gay bar...
Out and about
Don't get me wrong. I adore dining al fresco.
However in Rome, Provence, or on a proper
brick terrace with all of the trimmings. Just
because one is out and about doesn't mean
they must compromise their standards. Thus
paper plates, plastic utensils, and drinking
anything out of a can are not for me. If you
insist on rouging it then please, count me out.
While you're getting eaten alive by mosquitos
I'll be comfortably sipping on a Manhattan
on my front porch. Viewing nature from a
comfortable distance. And yelling at random
deer who consider our hydrangea a salad bar.