The last time I tried to go camping I decided to drive out alone late on a Saturday evening to where my brother and our mutual friends were.
Except Google maps took me to a dead end on a dirt road with no cell service. By the time I hit the dead end it was pitch dark out.
‘THIS is how horror movies start’, was all I could think. And later, ‘fuck you Google.’
Luckily no axe murderer appeared in the truck behind me and I didn’t let myself cry until I had cell service and could see signs of civilization. So no camping for me that summer.
The next chance I had to go camping was a few months ago. I said yes to this opportunity for a few reasons. I really liked the douche bag that invited me and surely I wouldn’t get lost this time because I wouldn’t be driving, he would. I felt better knowing there wasn’t a chance of reliving my dead end nightmare because he had taken me up to the camping spot for the day the weekend before; no dead ends. I was excited.
Except he never came to pick me up.
In fact, I never heard from him again.
I went through various stages of anger as the days went on with no sign of him. I went from making excuses for him, to disbelief, to thinking ‘maybe he’s dead,’ to hoping he was dead, to planning on killing him myself.
But this story isn’t about him. It’s actually about a neck injury I endured the week after scheming about killing him. And about my theory that the Universe just doesn’t want me to go camping.
It’s the best conclusion I could come to. One other possible theory: Perhaps I’m meant to stay single for another Calgary stampede. I do love a rowdy July.
So about my neck injury. I wish I could tell you something serious had happened to me, or that I was in a really difficult & impressive yoga pose, or at the very least had fallen down the stairs. But no-I hurt my neck so badly that I had to take time off of work because apparently shaving your armpit in the shower is actually quite dangerous.
The worst part is that I was unnecessarily shaving my armpit. But my thought process went like this:
‘They’re still perfectly smooth’
‘But I probably won’t shower tomorrow and then they won’t be in condition for going out tomorrow night’
‘If I see that idiot tomorrow night I’m going to give him a piece of my mind and look really pretty doing it’
‘Better shave them now.’
Then I almost threw up.
Somehow I managed to put a shirt on and arrive at work without shoulder checking. Sitting hurt, walking made me cry, talking was frequently interrupted by flashes of pain. My coworkers insisted I go home, rest, and think of a better story as to how I hurt myself.
My friends are wonderful; I was very well taken care of. I even received homemade chocolate chip cookies with a note that said, Rx: take 3 cookies daily until neck pain subsides which obviously I overdosed on that afternoon.
But the best diagnosis I got came from my energy healer friend. She fixed me up with magnesium, some energy healing magic, a bean bag, and the root of my problem:
“Honey, has anyone been a real pain in your neck lately?”
That ASSHOLE, I immediately thought.
I have heard many, many times that stress causes illness. But never have I actually recognized it working that way in my life. I’m a generally stress free person. Until I start dating cowardly camping ditchers.
It does seem fishy that I hurt my neck that badly by turning my head slightly to the left to perform a task that most females do every other morning. I run, I work my butt off in spin classes, I take power yoga classes, and I party like a rockstar.
So how I cracked my neck shaving my armpit is beyond me. So I’ll take her assessment of the situation as correct. “This guy was nothing but a pain in your neck, literally”.
When the neck pain finally subsided and I still hadn’t heard from him I got a little too drunk with my roommate and impulsively got an eharmony account. I swore off Tinder.
This was a bad decision. Don’t let those well-crafted commercials convince you. I went on the worst dates of all time. I would have rather relived my first date with that French guy who wouldn’t stop calling me baby. That says something.
This series of bad dates ended with a bang when I got stood up for the first time. I was at my hairdressers house; we were hanging out on the front porch. This guy was meant to pick me up from her place at 7:00. 7:30 rolls around and he’s not responding to my text so I call a cab.
My hairdresser tries to make me feel better. “Maybe he died too.”
On the way home I decided three things.
1. eHarmony had already paid for itself; I had been taken out for enough dinners and drinks and coffees to make it worth it.
2. The All Mighty Universe doesn’t want me to go camping.
3. And it wants me to stay single.
I paid my cab driver and felt kind of sad that only my hairdresser and him got to see my cute date outfit. But I also felt at peace with my conclusions. After a string of bad dates and a neck injury, I was ready to pack it in for the summer and dust off my cowboy boots.
But as I approached my building a handsome man was running across 11th Avenue towards me.
“Hey! Is Sunterra closed? I’m starving and there’s nothing in my fridge.”
“I hope so; I’m hungry too.”
It was closed.
Two starving strangers stood at the doors of Sunterra. I blurted out to him why I was so hungry-he was the first person I told about being stood up for the first time.
“Oh no, it wasn’t Tinder was it?”
Then he asked me if I wanted to get a coffee. What the fuck Universe. We literally just decided no more dates. That included coffee dates.