Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Kahlua Would've Been Way More Legit

I'm a botanist so I know all about arbitrary yet deeply-ingrained distinctions between like groups of things. You think I'm talking taxonomy right now, but I'm not: I'm talking about how wildlife biology is way sexier than botany, but, like, whatever, because there are always actually dorky things like bryology and entomology for the botanists to look down on and feel alright about themselves.

So I'm sensitized to this sort of stuff, and I try to temper my botany problem by only doing super cool stuff in the rest of my life. Like camping. Camping is cool, right? I mean, you're dirty, you're cooking like a caveman, you're having sex with your socks on - you're just 100% hard-core when you're camping. But this past weekend - much like the sad point in my life when I believed that all biologists were created equal and foolishly chose botany as my specialty - I was unwittingly sucked in to partaking of camping's "special" cousin, Girl Camping.

Girl Camping is the entomology of camping. Sure, there was a modicum of filth and some wood combustion involved, but while these things lulled us into believing we were credible campers, RV-ers and backcountry-ers alike took one look at us, glazed completely over and started talking about caribou amongst themselves.

How could they tell at just a glance? The signs were as obvious as wearing a hand lens rather than binos around your neck: we drank lite beer; we ate fruits and vegetables with every meal; we held brief tailgate safety meetings prior to embarking on any hikes.

We said things like, 'I'm going to the bathroooooom, who wants to come wiiiiith meeeee!' (A lot.)

Many newspapers were harmed in the making of our fires.

And the killing blow: coffee time. Sure, your average RV camper might be brewing up a fully civilized and cushy pot of java on their stove in the morning, but that's nothing compared to Girl Campers. We had 4 kinds of coffee (percolator, French press and two types of instant), 3.5 varieties of sugar (plantation raw, artificial sweetener, and three packages of granulated - one cubes, two regular), and 9, nine!, types of whitenening agent: skim milk, 1% milk, almond milk, half & half, full-fat cream, Coffee-Mate, two bottles of Bailey's, International Delight fat-free French vanilla, and some kind of non-dairy, non-soy, gluten-free and vegan nut-based stuff called MimicCreme.

Srsly, MimicCreme? Is there anything Girl Camping-er in the entire world?

*sigh* No one is ever going to take us seriously at conferences again.

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