We went up north, not too far, and hiked all weekend. It was really lovely. Saturday, the weather was perfect, and it turned into a perfect evening camping. Not hot, not cold, no bugs, quiet campground. What more can you ask for?

Sunday was hot and humid. We hiked and got caught in the rain, but it was a warm and pleasant rain. Afterwards, we went for an Indian food lunch, and then headed home.

It inspired me to want to camp at least once more before the end of the summer. I started thinking about a group trip. Nicole happened to email me today, and told me about how she and her new beau are planning a camping and hiking trip in the same place. I had told her about our trip last week, so she checked out the area, and they made plans to go together.

I asked her if they were interested in going with a group, but that I completely understood if she wanted to keep it as a romantic weekend away. She said that they want to go up alone (oooooooooooh), but sheíd be happy to do a group trip later in the fall.

Besides wanting to be alone with the new boyfriend, I also think that part of it is that she doesnít want him to be too exposed to other friends, yet. Otherwise, if he doesnít last, then you have to keep rehashing the past, when people ask about him.

So, that got me to thinking. Why not a hiking and camping trip for women only? Itís something that I always thought would be fun, but have never gotten around to organizing. Iíll have to think about the logistics some more this week.

Today, after all of the hiking and camping, Iím wiped out. Iím also teaching yoga tonight. Tomorrow afternoon, I have an appointment with the oral surgeon. It seems like Iíve been having appointments on top of appointments, lately.

Last week, I went to another laser hair appointment and I had a coupleís therapy appointment. The laser hair people are were so nice that I went away trying to come up with a new body part for them to laser.

You know whatís cool and disturbing at the same time? During the laser hair removal process, I can actually smell burning hair. Itís very, very faint. Itís not like they disappear on contact. Thatís not how it works, but I swear, I can smell it. Adam makes fun of me for having a nose like a bloodhound. Itís really a disadvantage. It seems like Iím always choking and gagging over some smell.

I was telling Adam about my laser hair removal visit, and then explaining to him the difference between a spa, a med spa and a dermatologist. When I mentioned the smell of burning hair, alarmed, he asked, ďDoes it hurt?Ē I responded, ďWell, it feels kind of like being poked with a needle, but compared to getting something waxed, itís really nothing.Ē

After he picked his jaw up off the floor, he said, ďItís amazing what women will do for appearances.Ē Then after a pause he said, ďI donít think they want men to know, though. They make it into a mystery.Ē

So, I told him my take on it, which is that women arenít trying to be mysterious. Women have been taught that our natural state is disgusting. We have these standards of beauty shoved in our faces our whole lives, and rather than even seeing them as a high standard of beauty, we see them as a minimum standard of beauty. Weíre taught that flaws are unacceptable. Any flaw is disgusting, and that we best take care of those flaws in private, and never ever admit to anyone (especially a man!) that we were born that way. So, weíre not trying to mysterious, weíre just ashamed of our bodies.

Itís to the beauty industryís advantage to keep that stuff a secret. Once itís out in the open, it stops being shameful and becomes just another part of reality.

Of course, for the majority of us, itís impossible to reach that standard of beauty, so we fall for that shuck and jive in varying degrees. If something is impossible, at some point, you have to accept itís impossible, or implode.

I wonít pretend that Iím above it all. As a matter of fact, I might even be considered one of the worst victims.

I often swing back and forth between being grateful that I got to feel really beautiful for awhile, and feeling resentful for the head trip that it sends women on.

I donít think about it too much, anymore, beyond, you know, personal hygiene and keeping in somewhat decent shape. Iím still not above going on chocolate/cookie/cake/ice cream binges, though.

On a different note, last Thursday, Adam and I went to go see The Help. Itís my opinion that this is one of the very rare occasions where the movie is far better than the novel. As I wrote in my goodreads review, I found some spots of the novel to be patronizing and even offensive. There were a couple of little nitpicky things I could say about the movie, but overall, I think they did a fantastic job of adapting the story. Since the movie is available, I almost think that reading the book would be a waste of time, and I donít think I have ever said that about a novel/movie duo before.

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Monday, Aug. 22, 2011 at 4:43 PM