Words cannot adequately express the gratitude that The Husband and I feel for allowing us to share in your little piece of nirvana once again this past weekend. Your hideaway, a mere few hours drive time from the city, has acted as a lifeline for my mental health on more occasions than a houseguest who hopes to get invited back cares to mention in a public forum. The natural beauty of the place never fails to leave me breathless, (and no-it wasn't my asthma kicking up a fight!!) and the lack of schedule or outside intrusions is truly life-affirming. Years ago you both made a conscious decision to prohibit televisions, radios, internet connections and the like from your home away from home, and while it is really difficult for us citified pukes to wean ourselves from the technology to which we have becoming uncompromisingly tethered, the peace and serenity that is felt by not constantly glancing at a watch or worrying about what is happening in the outside world is a template that all should follow several times a year. Then again, it is always amusing to watch 8 idiots wander around the cottage and the dock holding our cellphones aloft and askew, hoping to find that one perfect spot where a half a bar of available service might be bestowed upon us. Give us a break. Rome wasn't built in a day, either.
I have gleaned much from my many trips to the cottage over the years, but I thought that you both might be interested in hearing my top "what have you learned, Dorothy" moments. So, here we go in no particular order.
- The cottage is cozy but not small. We all have absolutely learned how to make allowances for the tight quarters. For example, The Husband and I are perfectly comfortable in knowing that only one of us can get dressed or undressed in our room at a time, otherwise it is like engaging in a very adult game of Twister, and the end result of that might be that nobody sees us for the duration. (Is that too private?) Packing only necessities is the key to a successful cottage weekend, unless we are discussing food-then all bets are off.
- Sharing 1 bathroom with 8 middle-aged adults is surprisingly easy. There were no pee-pee dance moments, nor were there any "who used all the hot water" bellows. I have had more issues over the years with 2 teenage boys, two cranky morning showers and a tank that is many times larger. I have come to believe that personal grooming habits enter into an odd space/time continuum at the cottage where nobody really cares if the make-up is properly applied, the hair appropriately coiffed, or if the daily shower happens hours past an expiration date. I am fairly certain that, given my appearance for most of the weekend-hair pulled back, baseball cap, sunglasses-many of my Toronto friends and family would have walked right by me without a second glance and I couldn't have cared less.
- Alcohol is a food group and drinking begins rather early and can take many forms. There is no thought of intoxication because, really-who gives a shit??? Chocolate, Doritos, cookies, pretzels, french fries and their companion foods do not possess calories, fat, salt, or sugar and, honestly even if they did, I ask once again-who gives a shit???
- I must reverse all previous misconceptions about cottage weather. For the first time in 10 years I didn't pack my gloves, my long underwear or my winter coat, and for the first time in 10 years I didn't require them. You both have been feeding me bullshit stories for years about the myth of hot, sunny, and humid cottage weather, but I finally was allowed to enter the magic land where the heat miser resides. I apologize for doubting.
- A few other scattered and random cottage epiphanies from the weekend. Privacy is a moving target and I still have not figured out what should and should not be labelled as such. Hip hop music can carry across a quiet lake and can blast at decibel levels louder than any club in the Entertainment District. I became intimate with Drake! Trivial Pursuit is a bloodsport and should only be played in full pads and helmets. Epithets and cuss words fly without thought during the games, so it is truly not for the faint of heart or those who think that f*@# and all of its derivatives have no place in the Queen's English. Apparently Mary Mallon incubated syphilis according to our cutthroat game. Finally, just in case anybody was wondering, women's rest rooms do not come equipped with urinals. (This is a story that requires some explanation, but must be kept under the veil of privacy. Anybody interested-email me offline!!!)