An Open Letter to the Mom On Vacation Who Would Really Rather NOT Use the Communal Showers, Thank You.

“This is really pretty.  And I could really use a hot shower.”









Dear Mom up there in all those beautiful mountains:

You’re on vacation.  It’s fabulous.  Everything looks like a post card.  There are rustic chipmunks frolicking about, and the air is redolent with the smell of REAL ACTUAL pine trees, not cleaning solvents.  You are here in this wonderfulness, all outdoorsy and wholesome, for a whole week.  You even used your Swiss Army knife to whittle a stick at one point.  You WHITTLED by the fire, people.  Basically, you are a walking REI catalog.

There is, however, one small problem.

You fear the shower.

Nooooo, not like in an Orange is the New Black kind of way (and if you have no idea what I am referring to here then God bless you), or in a EWWWWW, GERMS –  THAT EBOLA BADNESS HAS STAGGERED ITS WAY INTO THESE SHOWERS I JUST KNOW IT,  kind of way…

No.  You fear the shower in a… Uh,  I just don’t want to really have to deal with the awkward eye contact and mumbled “good morning, let me show you my jammies and morning hair but hopefully nothing else cuz this space is rather cramped and steamy” kind of way.

You know all those Dove commercials that are all, “let’s just celebrate being beautiful women, OK?  Let’s just be comfortable with ourselves, no matter what, and just embrace our skin, right?”  Yep.  Right.  They never talk about embracing their hair.  In the morning.  When it looks like this:

That’s just not right.

Pretty sure that’s where we women draw the line.  We’re all, “We love each other! We’re beautiful!  Our bodies are amazing! Some of us had babies come out of ’em!  It hurt but we’re cool!  Group hug!  We are wonderful!  Our extra skin is wonderful!  All the folds where folds shouldn’t necessarily be are wonderful!  In fact, our– WHOA HECK.  YOUR HAIR IS OUTTA CONTRALL WOMAN.  BACK THAT RIGHT ON OUTTA HERE.  We are judging you.”


And while we’re at it, there’s a couple other things you have been, shall we say, challenged by on this trip:

1.  Purple crocs.  It’s all you packed for leisure wear.  You are reminded that crocs are terrible things.  They make any outfit – swimwear, jammies, jammies paired with morning hair (see above) just bad.  It’s possible you could get away with the crocs if you were, say,  a blonde, leggy au pair from Germany.  But, as it were, you are a mom from Kansas with rather short legs and absolutely no ability to speak German.  In fact, the last time you were in Germany (a million years ago, pre kids, as is everything in your life that involved a passport and verve) you bravely took on a few words but kept mysteriously slipping into an accent that sounded a lot like the Swedish Chef from the Muppets.  Nicht gut.

So, every morning, as you leave your dreaded showers and squeak, squeak SQUEAK home in your slimy crocs, you really wish you had just packed some flip flops. And some dignity.

2.  Mountain trails with your sweet toddlers will mean copious amounts of antacids and prayer.  Why? because for some reason each toddler will walk on the exact EDGE of the trail, 90% of the time, all the while chattering and skittering about like a squirrel on espresso.   I mean really.  REALLY?  Is it absolutely necessary, wee one, to walk RIGHT UP ON THE EDGE OF THAT TRAIL? THE ONE WITH THE 500 MILLION FOOT DROP OFF?  Has no one taught you the laws of physics and gravity yet?  Well, no, I know no one has, really, yet actually done that.  But STILL.  Look OVER THERE.  NO TRAIL.  Just AIR.  And no, I am NOT exaggerating.  It’s the MOUNTAINS.  There are no kiddie trails here.

3.  After each wonderful hike, all natured up and such, going back to the cabin to create a healthy and tasty meal on a grill with some foil, a fork,  Cheetos, and some soggy hotdogs is, at best, daunting.  But if you just put a lot of CHEESE on all of it, you still can win.  Because cheese?  Dairy. So = healthy.

4.  Marspellows on da grill fix everything.  Grumpy?  Have a s’more.  Marital problems because, vacation?  Stuff your feelings with this golden toasty goodness.

By the way:  I am of the firm conviction that if people could just sit around a campfire and make and serve s’mores to each other with a starry sky overhead – we would not have to worry about all those cease fires and such in the news.  In my humble opinion.  (Hubs is rolling his eyes.  He is now talking using words like, “Oversimplification” and “Starry eyed”  and I think, “Hippy Magic.”  I would offer him the Mom Platitude about how “don’t roll your eyes, they’ll stick that way” but my mouth is full.  With da marspellows.  Food of da Gods.

5.  There’s all these pharmacies here that have green leaf signs out front.  It’s confusing.  And that’s all I am gonna say about that.

6. It is possible to fit three roomfuls of stuff into a one room cabin.  It’s just that… your brain is done after that.  So, once you have figured out how to store your cutlery neatly rolled up in your underwear, and all the bug spray is slipped into the hiking boots, which are holding up the box of shampoo, the bible, and five packs of Slim Jims,  your brain kinda shuts off and you just want to watch an episode or two of Hoarders.

7.  There are some bikers who are here.  Two cabins down.  There’s a lot of handkerchiefs tied on heads.  Not in a cute, Cindy Lauper kind of way.  Oh, and beer.  Beer is alllll over their perimeter.  If there are any slugs in the area they should avoid cabin 23.  It’s a death trap.   You catch your husband eyeing their big shiny bikes with what you think might actually be envy.  Of course your boys are in total awe.  There really is nothing left to do but invite them for some food with cheese on it.



I think it’s safe to say, dear Anti-Communal Shower Mom Who Is Really REALLY Trying to be a Good Sport About All This –

You deserve a junior camper badge.  And yes, it’s perfectly Ok to squirrel away the bag of Reese’s for your own consumption at a later point, like right after you sqeaak, squeeeeaaak, squeak past the bikers and you realize as you get back to your cabin that though you had wadded up all your clothes in your towel, you managed to drop your bra right outside their cabin.  Retrieving it was fun.  You wondered if they were gonna regard this as some sort of secret gang signal and you were now initiated into their heavily tattooed fold.

It’s possible.  Your hair would fit right in.


Get your own biker name!  Click here.





  1. Ohhhh, camp showers….I think you just triggered my PTSD! This post is just gonna rock me to sleep tonight….

    Welcome home from vacation! While I truly hope you had a beautiful and magical and memorable time, I also kinda hope there’s more blog gold to be mined from your trip. Keep them stories comin’!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s