Hail to all! I have returned from the woods with nary a tick bite uponst my body! Yes, it's true - the POD has returned from her sojourn to the woods (otherwise known as her "no choice about it expulsion to 72 days in wilderness therapy camp").
Of course, in order to spring her from her Grizzly Adams hell the fam-damily had to join in for some outdoorsy fun. But perhaps I get ahead of myself. Let me start at the beginning of my tour of the seven circles of hell (are there seven? or nine? I’m sooo not that literary).
As you may or may not recall, I took POD to camp just after Memorial Day. It was not good. It was not fun. It was similar to taking old Fido out a country road and dropping him off to die.
I then endured weekly conference calls with the POD’s therapist and my ‘rents. Therapist was okey-dokey. My ‘rents asked such pertinent questions like “Is her skin breaking out? Does she need acne medicine? Is she losing weight?”
Those might seem like normal concerns for a camp dweller but the POD wasn’t really in “camp”. Camp in this case is a euphemism for “living in the woods with one set of clothes, only showering 5 times in 72 days, carrying a 40 pound backpack on long hikes, sleeping under a piece of plastic every night, eating nothing but beans and rice and making your own fires with two rocks” camp. So one hopes that you can now appreciate the sheer idiocy of parental concern for the POD’s weight loss or the random zit.
Needless to say, summer was filled with much teeth gnashing on my part. But need for root canal aside, summer drew to a close. The ‘rents arrived a couple of Saturdays ago for us to prep for the trek to North Carolina to fetch my campfire girl home. And thus it began.
On Saturday, Captain Nutty (my mother) had more than her usual two grey goose and tonics and ventured into the land of the three-drink party.
On Sunday, Captain Nutty repeated word-for-word every single, solitary story she had told me under the three drink spell the night before.
On Sunday, Captain Nutty got mad at me when she asked “Did I tell you….?” And I responded, “yes, yes you did….you told me last night….you told me ten minutes ago….perhaps it’s time to adjust your meds.”
On Sunday night, we arrive at some Bed & Breakfast a mile away from the POD’s base camp. I spend my time avoiding the granola-crunching, “guess what mystery juice I made” owner hippy of the converted 1972 house he’s charging $120 night for my resting pleasure .
On Monday, we join about 20 other parents who kids are being sprung from wilderness hell for a “parenting seminar”.
On Monday, I spend my day shushing Captain Nutty for blithering on and on like Oprah on crack (and for the record, she really doesn’t like to be shushed).
On Monday, I try not to be embarrassed by the fact that everything the Consort (my stepfather) says sounds like it came right out of a motivational poster that hangs right next to the “Hang in there, Kitty!” print in some middle management dweeb’s office.
On Tuesday, I had to hike. Hike up a very big hill. And it was hot. Like Africa hot. And the hill was big. Like steep. And big. Did I mention the big?
On Tuesday, I spotted the POD! Gave her big, huge hug. And then kindly pulled away as the over powering smell of an unwashed communing-with-nature body swooned the senses. I mean WOW. Wish y’all had smell-o-vision wow. Like I’ve washed her clothes 3 times and they still smell wow.
On Tuesday, I watched the POD start a campfire with sticks and two stones.
On Tuesday, I made a mental note to purchase more fire extinguishers for home use.
On Tuesday, I slept on the ground. Under a piece of plastic. With bugs. With snakes. With things that wanted to crawl across my face in the middle of the night.
On Tuesday, I felt every single minute of my 36 years. I felt all those minutes in my lower back. In my midnight delirium, I sang praises to the gods of Holiday Inn and Marriott.
On Wednesday, I did not complain one single time about lower back pain as I feared the POD might turn on me with feral eyes and scream “72 DAYS!! 72 DAYS!!!”.
On Wednesday, I brought the POD home and we learned more of our ‘rents plans to enjoy “happy happy family fun time’.
On Wednesday, the POD and I began the countdown as to when the ‘rents would leave.
On Thursday, I longed for the sweet release of alcohol.
On Friday, I longed for the sweet release of drugs.
On Saturday, I longed for the sweet release of death.
On Sunday, the ‘rents left for parts northward.
On Sunday, the POD and I assumed our usual positions on the couch and played Pokeman on our Gameboys. ALL. DAY. LONG.
And all was right with the world once again.