Later this week (the 21st) would have been the 10th wedding anniversary with my ex-husband. In honor of the fact that we’re still friends and it’s been so terribly long since the events which I’m about to describe occurred, I’m going to tell you the story of what happened that fateful summer of ’03.
First of all, I need to tell you about the wedding. It was HOT. Who gets married in late July in Houston? Heat indexes alone were in the 110s or some such nonsense that day. In the video of our wedding ceremony, you can see me oh-so-subtly take my arm from his, wipe the sweat from my armpit and then nonchalantly continue with the ceremony.
We were never going to have a cool, 80-degree anniversary in Texas, and yet, two short years later, we got the bright idea to go camping… in Texas. David and I bought supplies. In the end, I believe that anniversary trip to San Marcos cost us about US $1.8 million in tent, ice chest, camp stove, sleeping bag, new car(!) and camp site registration. We were very-nearly-almost prepared for camping and tubing on the river.
We meticulously packed the car. We painstakingly unpacked the same car upon arrival 2 hours away from our home, and set up camp.David made sure to tell the check-in people that he’d been a boy scout and finally convinced me to trust his skills at this camping thing.
We met the neighboring campers in the motor home next to us.
David bragged (well, you did, didn’t you?) about his Eagle Scout background to the guy with the motor home. As he bragged, I noticed, but it did not register, that the pinwheel stuck next to motor-home-man’s temporary abode didn’t spin.
We made dinner and cleaned up, and the stupid pinwheel never moved. David bragged to pop-up-family to our left about his Eagle Scout background before we headed for a walk along the river.
I sopped sweat from my temples and torso like I was getting married, and David admitted he felt pretty hot, but the general sense of foreboding didn’t hit us until we turned into our two-person green nylon tent for the night.
All the windows needed to be opened. We lay on top of the sleeping bag, sans clothes, on our anniversary… and on opposite sides of the tent because it was just too dang hot for physical contact. To my right, I could see that taunting pinwheel, motionless.
An hour later, we decided to leave. I’m not sure if he was tired of hearing me whine, I was tired of hearing him whine, or he thought his plans for anniversary fun might be more well met in a building with air conditionining.
David couldn’t pack up, having bragged to every breathing being in the campground of his mad skillz and Eagle Scoutness. So, he backed the brand new car to the tent. We surreptitiously repacked the car and then, rather than taking our tent down, he shoved it in to the trunk and we drove away, three hours after arriving in San Marcos. As I looked back, I saw the pinwheel, unmoving, unspinning, just… stopped.
What’s the application? What have I learned?
Don’t vacation in hell, and if you do, please, for the love of icy cold drinks, don’t brag about how it’s going to be great.
Tell me I’m not the only one with a holiday-from-Hades story!