I was very recently frustrated and stuck for two and a half hours at the Apple store, trying to buy a new phone when mine decided rather suddenly to give out after two fine years together. A rather aggressive fellow in front of me voiced his similar frustration, proclaiming, “It hasn’t been the same since Steve died!” He was probably on to something, but we just all stepped away, because as I always tell my kids, you can think it, just don’t yell it in a public arena.
While I waited to spend my money, the official store greeter and I bonded over the ‘crazy’ customer (not sure who is crazier—that guy for yelling or me for waiting two and a half hours on a sunny day), books, and summer plans. When I told her of my upcoming trip with my son, she immediately started listing things I just had to bring.
“It is barren out there. Just barren. Barren. Nothing for miles and miles,” she told me. “Be sure to bring water and food, and toilet paper.”
In my head I was imagining the Oregon Trail and the Donner Party. I really hoped a Wendy’s or two had popped up along the way.
“You are camping, right? Camping out West? Beautiful, just beautiful,” a random man standing in the nearby vicinity chimed in.
No, not camping. Not out West, not in a tent or a Winnebago. No camping happening. Pretty much ever. I didn’t even like it when I attended a seminar at Brown University and had to stay in their dorms. The bathrooms were out the door, down the hall, and around again. Showers were communal and dirty. I kept thinking, who pays to go to this University and be this uncomfortable? I don’t do ‘roughing it’ well. So, sorry to disappoint, but no camping.
“Like what?” I asked. Some clarification was necessary on this rather daunting instruction.
“Everything!” she replied.
I don’t think my Prius can hold everything, I worried to myself.
“Bring a variety of layers and shoes,” she added.
To match the stylish outfits one packs for a two-week road trip—a trip that allows for only two washing machine stops, max?
“You only need one good pair of shoes,” another customer advised.
“Sandals?” I ask.
The same man who suggested camping looked at me with disgust.
“No,” he advised. “Not sandals.”
“You have gone to AAA for maps, right?” the greeter inquired.
I told her no.
“I belong to AAA, but I have a GPS in the car and on my phone.”
“Well, what if your car won’t start and your phone is stolen?” she questioned.
“Then not having a map will be the least of my worries,” I tell her, much to her chagrin.
No camping. No maps. Yes, to the sandals and the toilet paper, and as much of “everything” as I can pack!