So, that camping trip that I told the internet about, despite my husband’s warnings of bad juju and unwell wishers? It almost didn’t happen. I was at the brink of blaming my big mouth and locking myself in a room without access to ANYTHING because yet again something wasn’t going to work out. I was utterly overwhelmed. I mean, have you ever felt that rushing wave of absolute desperation and emotional exhaustion; when it seems like everything that can go wrong, does? That letting go into a pit of dark spiraling? That sinking drop stomach flip roller coaster almost-upchuck? That’s what I felt when my husband told me that he was going to have to go back to work three days after getting home from his 26 day shift; subsequently having the potential to ruin my birthday camping trip and apparently, my sanity.
It sounds terribly melodramatic and irrational, but when you’ve had the kind of upsetting year and a half-ish that we’ve had, even the smallest disappointments can seem worthy of full-on, albeit unwarranted, depression. In our almost three years of marriage, we haven’t been able to get our feet on the ground enough to really do much for ourselves. Our savings, decisions, and time have mostly revolved around my stepdaughter, and while neither of us regret that for one second, it certainly hasn’t been easy peasy lemon-squeezey. To give a bit of perspective; this time last year we were being told by a new judge that none of our evidence or witnesses mattered because a kid should be with the mother DESPITE EVERYTHING. -And that is a seriously loaded EVERYTHING.- It takes awhile to come back from things like that, and it makes you want to find someone or something to blame.
Fortunately, the camping trip was saved in the nick of time by old faithful: talking it out. We made the decision that his job just wasn’t cutting it (26 days in the middle of the ocean is bonkers), and magically, as rare as a rainy day in the desert before global warming, he was offered another job the next day! So we were in the clear: clear, open, mountainous camping spaces! WOO! HOO! (Which is almost exactly the sound that Chilean foxes make. No joke. We heard a few of them while we tipsily froze our asses off in cheap sleeping bags. Best birthday ever! WOO!)
We weren’t allowed to have the campfire barbecue we had planned because Chile has been going through a destructive and seemingly unending bout of forest fires this year, so we survived the three days on flour tortillas, cheese, onions, peanuts, granola bars, and wine. Unsurprisingly, the meat we brought did not survive the trip (fortunately there are no menacing creatures in Chile, just a lone lost cow that we mistook for a creepy man stomping through the campsite until we flashed a light on her). Conversely, we were very surprised that one bottle of wine did survive. I didn’t look in a mirror once in three days, and neither of us were phased by the lack of cell service. All in all, it was a birthday success.
My husband’s new job started the day before his birthday less than a week later (yes, our birthdays are six days apart). We had planned a big “Dirty 30” kind of celebration with all of his friends, but we had to cancel. He had to leave the day before his birthday, he traveled all night on a BUS, and he spent the actual day of his birthday travelling in a sketchy, tiny airplane to the middle of the pacific. I didn’t hear from him until three days later, and even then he could only talk to me on whatsapp for five minutes. He told me about the lady on the trip who spilled water all over his computer bag that contained the hidden birthday surprise I had made him out of PAPER. Though, understandably, he was more worried about the computer, it was, all in all, not so much of a birthday success.
After that week of ups and downs, I have defiantly come to the conclusion that all of the jinxing/juju superstition business is all in our heads. Our minds really are powerful things, and if we want to believe that the world has it out for us, then it will. The camping trip certainly had its hurdles, most of them hunger oriented, but because we were so happy to be there at all, they didn’t matter. Similarly, his birthday party cancellation wasn’t the result of talking about the plans too much, but rather an inconvenience that we calmly worked around; he’s just going to have his party a few weeks late when he gets back from his new job. Attitude is everything. – And that’s a loaded everything.-
The funniest thing about this whole juju experiment, aside from cows and dirty 30 surprises being drenched, is that one of my husband’s friends showed up at the house for the birthday party. Somehow he had read the cancellation message, but misplaced it in his mind? I wonder if he thinks he jinxed the party. I’ll have to ask him next week, and I’ll let the internet know.
Out cute, yet somewhat stinky campsite.