The other night I saw "7 Psychopaths" with the Sober Husband, a movie I thoroughly enjoyed, and the desert scenes left me feeling nostalgic for the days when I went camping in the desert. (Burning Man doesn't really count as "desert camping", as it is its own peculiar thing).
Before I procreated, I used to love to go on road trips to the desert and camp far from anyone else. My ex-husband and I developed a Thanksgiving tradition of driving down to Death Valley and exploring that wonderful, strange, huge desert.
I dragged along husband 2.0, the Sober Husband, on just one such trip, to the wilds of Utah, when we were first dating. We'd only known each other a few months, and we drove until we found majestic places with amazing views, where we didn't see anyone else for days. One day it snowed, and we holed up in our tent with a bottle of wine. On other days the weather was more typical for a desert camping trip, where it's hot enough that, if one chose to do so, one could comfortably hike naked but for sensible socks and boots, but at night, you want to huddle around a fire and snuggle up to a companion.
Coincidentally the children in Lola's class are studying California's ecosystems, and Lola has been assigned to study and report upon California's deserts, much to her dismay. She had wanted either the coast or the mountains, and she was disgusted to get stuck with the desert. Lola, an urban child, doesn't even like to look at pictures of deserts. "I like cityscapes," she says firmly.
As we walked out of "7 Psychopaths", filled with love and longing for the desert I proposed to the Sober Husband that we take the children camping in the desert for spring break. He gave me a look. "That sounds like a great idea, forcing something on them that you love and you know they are going to hate. That's going to lead to some therapy."
"Hey! I just went to Disneyland for them, and I didn't want to do that!"
He had to note that I had a point. It is payback time.
Today I raised the idea to the children, who were aghast. Lola pointed out that she barely escaped Hollywood with her life, as it was far too hot and the tap water was undrinkable, and cannot be expected to survive a night in a desert.
"And would you expect us to camp?" Iris said with disgust.
"Why can't you have open minds and a sense of adventure?"
Lola buried her head in her hands. "I expect to be unhappy."
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