Last month, my family went camping with several other families at a provincial park in Ontario. With the exception of last year, when my baby was born the day before this annual camping trip, we’ve been going together for nearly ten years.
The campground we go to is on a beach along the shores of Lake Ontario, aptly named Sandbanks Provincial Park. There are hundreds of camp sites in the park, and while it is mostly outhouses that are available for people to do their business in, there are several “comfort station” bathrooms scattered throughout the park. These have running water, flushing toilets, soap, and showers. They are also shared by at least 100 camp sites each.
You will pretty much never find these bathrooms empty.
At this kind of campground, there is a wide range of campers. You see everything from the tent-dwelling, campfire-cooking, outhouse-using families, to the Winnebago families. I hold no judgement for either end of the spectrum, because I will admit that I am gradually moving from the hardcore end to the glamping end. It seems to happen, when you have kids.
Something I encountered this year, however, gave me pause. One morning, while using the bathroom at the comfort station, I encountered not one, but two women flat ironing their hair in the mirrors. I had to pick my jaw up off the ground.
Maybe I’ve never seen it before because the timing hasn’t worked out. It’s possible I’ve just never been in the comfort station at the right time of day. I don’t use them that often, so the chances are lower that I will run into this type of lady. But Jesus fucking Christ, ladies. REALLY?
Okay, I sort of get it. You want to look hot for your boyfriend/husband, no matter where you are. Sex is important. Looking good is important. I remember those days. Kind of. Ten years into my relationship, with 2 little kids and a teen, I am not currently there, but I remember always wanting to look my best.
You probably only brought your pretty lingerie, right? The lacy stuff, the matching bra and panties in beautiful colours. And I’m guessing you brought some makeup, too. Maybe not everything. You left the eyeshadow and liquid eyeliner at home, but there’s no way you could go without mascara. And lip stain. And bronzer. Obviously. And just a few hair products. You know, to keep your luscious locks, well, luscious.
But here’s the thing: you’re camping. And it’s never okay to bring your flat iron camping.
I’m not sure if you’ve met the bugs yet. Maybe this is your first day here. I promise they will make themselves known to you soon, though. All the shit you’re dousing yourselves with — the defrizzer, the spritz of hairspray, the tiniest dab of that fucking awful perfume — has put a giant bullseye on your asses, and they will be stopping by later to bite you everywhere that your sexy lingerie doesn’t cover.
And you know what? I have a hunch that your boyfriends don’t give half as much of a shit as you do about your straightened hair. I bet they won’t notice if your frizz is getting a little out of control. I bet they won’t even notice if you tie your hair in a ponytail for 3 days straight. You know why? Because men don’t notice this sort of thing. Women notice this sort of thing. And usually only about themselves.
So do yourselves a favour and leave the beauty gear at home. Give that morning regimen a rest. Walk straight past that mirror, or use it just to make sure there’s nothing in your teeth. Let your face stay bare, and your hair do its own thing, and just enjoy the beauty that nature has to offer. That’s why you’re here, isn’t it? I mean, you can’t possibly be here JUST for the sex??
How about for the days on the beach, and the walks in the forest, and the sunsets and the nights by the campfire when you can look up and see stars through the canopy of trees. Nobody is looking at your hair, honey.