July 16, 2011

This Rugged Life

"Ideas for adventure today?" I'd barely even opened my eyes this morning by the time I sent this text message out to a friend.

I'd taken last weekend more or less off to recover from my camping trip two weeks ago, but I'd been gearing up for some LA exploration this weekend - despite Carmageddon - in honor of an East Coast friend's visit.

So when my East Coast friend had to cancel at the last minute, and all the city advisories warned me to stay home, I felt an even more urgent need to brave the LA highways which were promised to be backed up, gridlocked, insufferable because of the temporary closure of the 405 Freeway. I had to get out.

It was the kind of day that - five years ago - I would've gone to the mall.

It was the kind of day that - two years ago - I would've gone to Coney Island.

I can't just stay inside on the weekends anymore. Even when I want to, I can't usually sleep in past 10 a.m. I can't just go to brunch, get drunk, lie around, eat/drink/sleep, and watch movies. It's no longer in my DNA.

Once you've survived Attack of the Killer Bees and lived to tell about it, you just can't settle for channel surfing (hence my lack of a TV now six months into living in LA).

In fact, I've become downright rugged in my older years, preferring to sun myself out in the hot wild rather than shelter myself inside a dark, air conditioned cave.

It's quite a remarkable transformation for me, having grown up in a sterile, antiseptic household run by an agoraphobic, OCD mother who overstocked on cleaning supplies as though preparing to survive her own armageddon. She wouldn't allow me to go to bed without a bath, and she wouldn't allow herself to go to bed with any dirty dishes in the sink, or a stitch of dirty laundry in the house.

I've gotten over that. And then some.

I'm supposed to sit on this plastic chair with a hole cut in the seat to pee in a hole in the ground?


But when my in-town friend suggested we spend the day at Hurricane Harbor, the Six Flags water park in Santa Clarita, just a short drive up the 5, my outdoorswoman sensibilities suddenly retreated.

"I just got my hair done yesterday and I don't want to get it wet," I replied, with a laugh. "I'm allowed to be a girl sometimes."

Unthwarted, we compromised on Magic Mountain, the the much drier neighboring amusement park, where I could wrap my hair in a headscarf to protect it from getting coaster-blown and over-misted.

I guess I haven't given myself over fully to the rugged life.


Related reading:
What Have I Become?
Exposing Myself
Feet to the Fire
How (Un)Civilized!

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