Not So Great in the Great Outdoors

I’m not an outdoors kinda gal. I prefer to enjoy the great outdoors in more of an observatory capacity.

My definition of a good day outside is a day spent sipping margaritas in the safety and comfort of a screened-in porch which lets you enjoy the beautiful sights and sounds of nature without the constant worry of bee attacks.

I feel this is a very valid concern as sugar-rimmed margaritas are practically bee beacons. They’re half sugar and all delicious so of course bugs are going to be all over them. I can’t really blame them for that. That’s the beauty of the screened-in porch though–it keeps the majority of the bugs where they should be –the heck away from my margarita.

Another benefit of a screened-in porch is it keeps a thin layer of screen between me and any wild animal. I’m not a big fan of wild animals like birds, raccoons,  squirrels, and rabbits. I don’t do well in the wild (or even camping in a tent in someone’s backyard). Generally, if there is even a remote chance that an animal could touch me or any food I had intended on eating, I do not want to be in that place.

My track record proves I can’t handle even routine encounters with “wildlife” with any kind of grace. This is not something I’m proud of. It’s simply a fact. Time and again, I’ve proven that nature and I don’t mix.

Here are some examples:

  • I once screamed hysterically and then started to cry at the mere sight of a opossum. It was at least five feet away from me. We were in the middle of a well-lit, city street.  I was separated from the creature by a car door and the opossum had made no move to attack me. It hadn’t even hissed at me. It was just sitting there doing nothing as opossums are apt to do. Oh, I know what you’re thinking, “That’s kind of strange, but I suppose that’s perfectly acceptable behavior for a five-year-old.” Sure, maybe it is. I wouldn’t know. I was at least 17 at the time.
  • After my encounter with the opossum, I, for some reason (probably peer pressure) decided to go camping. For the record, I had a perfectly lovely time doing this during the day. But then, as it always inevitably does, night fell and a host of rabid, deranged raccoons descended our camp like crazy, hormone-addled, preteen girls on a shirtless Justin Bieber. It was carnage. Okay, so maybe it were just three non-rabid, non-deranged raccoons who stole our container of Gatorade while we were safely zippered into our tent. It was close enough for me. I was petrified. Had I been given a chance to drink any of that Gatorade before the raccoons stole it, I probably would have peed my pants.

I have no real, valid reason to explain this heightened fear of furry, woodland creatures. I just naturally distrust them. I think of them much the same way as I think of strangers’ toddlers in Wal-Mart. Sure, I suppose I can see how others possibly find them cute, but I prefer that their dirty, germ-riddled, little hands come nowhere near me.

I’m not just too germophobic for nature though, I’m also far too high maintenance for it. In order for me to remain outdoors for extended periods of time, I have to make exhaustive preparations.

First and foremost, I have to shield myself from the sun. This proves to be a laborious task for me as I have to make sure I’m thoroughly coated in the stuff. Since I have a skin tone which is roughly the same color as Wonder Bread, I sunburn  impressively quickly.  I once got a sunburn because I sat too closely to a window during an advanced algebra class. It was the worst. This, I felt, conclusively proved that math hates me as much as I hate it.

Now, this long list of grievances I seem to have against the great outdoors doesn’t mean I hate nature. I don’t. My love of Mother Nature is proven. I recycle. I’m too lazy to drive anywhere so I’m preventing the release of tons of harmful emissions. Once I even punched a guy for littering. I’m really not okay with littering. See, I’ve got nature’s back. I love nature.

I just don’t enjoy being all up in nature. I mean I enjoy watching football games too but that doesn’t mean I actually want to play in them. I prefer to enjoy them, like nature, in the safety and security of my own home, ideally in a comfy chair with a margarita in hand.Oh, and if this whole setup could be arranged in a screened-in porch, all the better.

Did I mention those things are amazing?