So I am sure that many of you would question my sanity (or more realistically question My Knight’s sanity) if I told you we went camping again after the flooded festival. I would be there right there with you, but the truth is, we did venture out in a few more tent camping trips.
I continued to marvel at how anyone can think it is fun to sleep on the ground (or on an air mattress on the ground), tossing and turning in the inevitable dirt and sand that gets tracked into a tent.
I struggled to understand the relaxing component of packing as though we are going to move, then unpacking it all at the campsite, then repacking it for the trip back home and unpacking again. Hell, I struggle with fitting everything into one suitcase for a trip to Europe, and that’s just clothes. Ask me to pack utensils, cookware, towels, lanterns, batteries, bug spray….Not Relaxing.
And I will never believe that vacation should consist of cooking all my own meals, with bare minimum utensils and cookware, and then scrubbing the dishes clean underneath a water hose.
We saw some beautiful state parks, mountain streams, wildlife and campfires, but I kept telling My Knight the same thing: I want to stay outdoors all day, and then at night I want a bed, a toilet, and a shower–INSIDE–and I don’t want to have to walk through woods or dirt to go pee.
Be careful what you wish for, folks.
He started by asking random questions about the pop-up camper my family once had. I answered the random questions by telling him we were NOT getting a pop-up camper.
One Saturday, he asked that I be open-minded and take a ride with him. I answered with, “Sure, but we’re NOT getting a pop-up camper.”
He pulled into a campground owned by a friend of ours and asked again for open-mindedness. I smiled and assured him I would be open-minded as long as he understood we weren’t getting a pop-up camper.
As we wound through the campground and behind the fence into the boneyard at the back filled with parts and pieces and equipment, I was already picturing the pop-up camper I was certain he was taking me to. Nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to see.
It was not a pop-up camper. It was instead a 1986 Rockwood motor home with a behemoth monorail windshield and huge black mildew stripes cascading over its cracked and peeling burgundy stripes. I am a huge fan of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, but owning a camper to rival Cousin Eddie’s has never been an aspiration of mine. I was speechless (hard to believe, I know.)
My Knight asked what I thought. I immediately burst into hysterical fits of laughter, lost somewhere between shock, fear, nervousness, disbelief, and the blossoming thought that I must be on candid camera or Punk’d. I couldn’t even speak as I doubled over laughing.
My Knight started a sales pitch that I swear he must have rehearsed aloud for days.
MK: “You won’t believe what good shape it’s in.”
MK: “On the inside I mean. It has all hardwood cabinets. Come inside.”
He led me to the door and hefted me up inside. It was dark and narrow inside, but I could make out the thick pink curtains and the bright pink and blue floral patterns on the couch. I didn’t care for pink and blue when it was “dusty mauve and country blue”, the hot decorating trend in 1986, and I don’t care for it now. Especially when it is originally from 1986 and I am worried that we may have already purchased it.
MK: “Look, honey. A bed, a toilet and a shower, and they’re all INSIDE!” (And indeed they were. You could literally roll over in bed and reach out and touch the toilet. If you had good aim and were so inclined you could probably pee without ever leaving the bed! Again, be careful what you wish for!)
He started opening closet doors and refrigerator doors and delivering what I am positive was a rehearsed spiel.
“You have a full-size closet here, with a mirror and shelves, see? We could take the boys and go to campgrounds and they could ride bikes and fish and you could read and work on your writing. And the dogs could come with us and we wouldn’t need a dog sitter and we could go camping every month if we wanted to.” (As though that was EVER a desire of mine!)
I fell over on the couch and clutched my stomach as I laughed so hard that it hurt my sides. Tears had started to pour down my face (not sure if they were from laughing or the realization that I was probably going to be spending time inside this camper.) My mascara started to run and stung my eyes, which made them water even more as I tried to wipe them, but the entire time I could not stop laughing. Mascara ran down my face as I tried to compose myself and stop laughing. I felt like the air was filled with laughing gas from the dentist.
Then My Knight’s friend who owned the campground stepped up into the camper and asked, “So, what do you think of it?”
I was so embarrassed at what this poor man must be thinking as I rolled around on the couch laughing maniacally with tears and black streaks of mascara running down my face, but I could not stop.
He backed up My Knight’s sales pitch. “These here are hardwood cabinets. You can’t get that any more. Don’t make them the way they used to. And look at this.” (He opens a cabinet door above the window.) “See how that light comes on when you open the cabinet? That’s a deluxe feature. This was the top-of-the-line when it was made. Deluxe model! And look at this!” (He moves back to the light above the shower). “It’s a double light. You can turn on one side or both sides depending on how bright you want it. I don’t even have that kind of feature in my camper.”
They both looked at me expectantly and I had no idea what they were expecting. And it didn’t really matter because no matter how hard I tried to be calm and sane, I could not stop laughing. It was like when you’re a kid in church and something is funny, and then even though it’s not that funny, you just can’t stop laughing because you know you aren’t supposed to be laughing.
“Wait until you see this,” he said, and clicked a button by the door. A step slid about halfway out from under the door before it jammed and made a whirring sound. He gave it a slight kick and it slid the rest of the way into place.
I lost it. I am sure this poor man thought I was on some type of meds, or needed to be. I couldn’t stop laughing and I couldn’t compose a sentence. We left without me ever saying a word.
The next morning I asked My Knight to take me back to see it now that I knew what I was going to see. I wanted to be more open-minded and less insane.
It was raining out, and if at all possible, it looked worse in the rain. We stepped inside to find that the roof leaked over the “master bed” and water poured down the windshield (um, on the inside) and My Knight’s hand could reach inside the hood and come up through the dash. I don’t think it was supposed to do that.
I looked at him as though he were insane. He looked back at me like a kid begging for his first puppy.
My Knight: “I really want this, honey. I really think we could fix this up and it would be great for us to take the kids out and we could spend time together. I have always wanted a camper and now’s our chance.” (I have NEVER heard this man mention wanting a camper in all our years together.)
I looked back at him without laughing (or crying).
My Knight: “If you came to me and told me there was something you really wanted and you asked for my support, I would do all I could to support you.”
Now what girl could refuse such a gallant knight’s request? Not this girl. Ladies and gentlemen, we are the proud owners of a 1986 Rockwood motor home. We affectionately named him Harvey the RV. And he cleaned up well!