Back when I was married, there were a few things that Jeff and I couldn't do without killing each other. We couldn't assemble flat-pack furniture. Canoeing was right out, since we both wanted to steer and both believed that the other was incompetent to do so. (And frankly, he was. :-) We couldn't pitch a tent. Mostly we got along really well, but doing those things or anything similar would send us into fits of snipping at each other so fast your head would spin. As a result, all of my adult life I've been conditioned to believe that those things were hard, and were somehow inherently relationship stressors.
This weekend P and I went up to Big Basin with a few of his friends to go camping. We got there, hauled way too much shit up the hill to the campsite (city slickers, you betcha), and then got to work setting up. I covered my dread pretty well as we unpacked the brand new tent and attempted to figure out how to set it up. No, that goes down first, yeah, that's pretty level. OK, the poles go this way I think, no, wait, that's not right... they cross there. This one goes... oh, OK, like that. Now let's put the rain flap on.
A few short minutes later we had a stable tent set up and had set up bedding. Not one temper flared, not one harsh word was spoken, and we were even smiling. Wow.
Camping was good. The weather was a bit damp but it stopped raining before we got there. The company was excellent, the food was delightful if overwhelming-- dinner was Fred steaks, Semifreddi's bread, fresh mozzarella/heirloom tomato/basil salad, gorgonzola pasta salad, marinated mushrooms, and s'mores, of course. I demonstrated my camp fire girl/boy scout skills by building an excellent fire last night.
This morning we gracefully broke camp, had lunch, and then headed off to the ren fair. There are a few things that I really can't imagine myself doing-- nascar races, Southern Baptist revival meetings, science fiction conventions, and ren fairs. They're all places where it's pretty clear to me that I don't belong, but everybody else wanted to go so I was willing to give it a shot.
Bottom line: I was right that I don't belong there. It's not my kind of place, and they're not my kind of people. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but I certainly won't ever be making an effort to go back.
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