Sunday, May 8, 2011

Hot Mess

So, this week I added another layer to my already awkward sunburn by spending three days on sunny Catalina Island. For those of you have never ventured out to these celestial shores, be prepared to be awed . . . and ripped off. It's 80 clams to rent a golf cart for three hours, cash only, as is almost everything else on the isle. However, it is so beautiful and feels like you're crashing the set of LOST rather than walking around LA County. With 4,000 people residing in Avalon, land is scarce, so everything, including the cars, are miniature. For the first time in my life I felt like I belonged.

Any who, instead of staying in a local hotel, our group opted for the road less traveled (literally) and spent three days camping out. Now, I grew up camping and can build a fire with the best of them, but in my years as a grown up, I have somehow garnered a reputation for being, dare I say it, middle maintenance. Just because I like to wear dresses, drink Starbucks, and brush my teeth on a regular basis does not make me one of those girls, right?

My maintenance level recently became a topic of conversation at lunch with some of my colleagues, and I decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to prove them all wrong. All I packed for our three-day romp in the wilderness was a pair of shorts, tee shirts, socks, undies (or course) and a toothbrush and toothpaste. No make-up. No cell phone charger. No frills: au natural. Side note: the ironic thing is that those who made the most fun of me were the ones who brought the most stuff.

It was nice to be free of the burdens of this man's world, until around three o'clock on Wednesday afternoon, about the same time that our tour bus pulled into the airport. . . which was full of LA County firemen. Around thirty, to be exact. And, bonus, there's apparently some sort of law that requires firemen to not only be brave souls, but very attractive ones at that.

Normally I would be thrilled to be surrounded by so many strapping young men who can wield an axe and rescue me from a tree (just in case), but my lack of showering and my outdoorsesque garb squelched my usual go-get-'em attitude. I was a mess, a hot mess. "Hot being the operative word," one of my lady RAs told me. Still, my timidity would not be overcome, and though I did a good amount of eye-flirting from underneath the brim of my baseball cap, I failed to let my womanly wilds take flight.

I guess it's one of life's cruel jokes, but at least I proved my point.