On Not Having a Cabin

It’s easy to envy folks who have hideaways in the woods. Instead, we should be praying for them.

Laura Buchholz

It’s May, the time of year when people who have cabins start going up to their cabins, and then come back and start talking about what it was like to be at their cabins. As a non-cabin owner, a person hears a lot secondhand about what that experience is like. For example, one may hear about the spiritual rebirth afforded by swimming in cold water, the detoxifying effects and deep slumber made possible by clean air, the newfound (if questionable) ability to “think,” and of course the luxury of being able to peal out of the driveway and flee the squalid masses.

As with any good PR campaign, however, there are certain things that cabin owners may be loathe to reveal about their double lives as cabin-owning gentry. I am here to reassure those of you living in exile from The Cabin People that all is not well in the woods. So if for whatever reason, you were born under a black hole and will likely never have a cabin in your life, console yourselves with the following unassailable facts:

Getting ready is more fun than going

See: prom. Also see: REI. Shopping for cabin gear, as the REI corporate executives surely know, is often way more fun than the actual trip to the cabin. This is because everything at this point is pure possibility. It’s also because you haven’t yet encountered the mosquitoes and snakes and ticks and bears and sunburn and poison ivy and rare tropical diseases that are an inevitable part of the camping experience. Let’s not even talk about the logistics of having to brave a dark, frightening outhouse, sweet-talk a moody septic system, or – God forbid – use little plastic spade to bury your byproduct. Also, you haven’t had to set up a tent yet, which everybody knows can lead to divorce. Buying the tent is more fun. Why not just leave it at that?

Murderers

Anyone who has seen any horror movies in the past 30 years understands that the woods is where the crazed murderers live. Most of these demented killers have axes and chainsaws on their person at all times, should the right opportunity arise for them to practice their craft. These backwoods madmen also tend to wait to do their murdering until people take off their clothes. I’m not saying you shouldn’t go swimming, or ever change clothes, or try to have Intimacy In The Woods, but – OK, yes I’m saying that. Never take your clothes off at the cabin. It’s not worth it.

Raccoons live in your cabin now

There’s no way around it: You will have to negotiate with the raccoons when you open up your cabin. After all, they’ve been there all year, while you’re only there a couple of months. And even if you do manage to convince these masked rodents to leave the cabin, chances are they will simply take the opportunity to move into your real house while you’re gone.

There’s no way around it: You will have to negotiate with the raccoons when you open up your cabin. After all, they’ve been there all year, while you’re only there a couple of months. And even if you do manage to convince these masked rodents to leave the cabin, chances are they will simply take the opportunity to move into your real house while you’re gone. There will probably also be unknown teenagers having sex parties in your house while you’re at the cabin. Your house will be filled with raccoons and teenage sex parties. Can you really afford to leave?

Unreliable Wi-Fi

For many people, this is even worse than the murderers. It can be especially awkward if the only strong, unlocked signal you can pick up at your cabin is called TheMurdererInYourShed, because that murderer CAN JUST TELL if you’re stealing his wireless, thus giving him even more incentive to come over to murder you with his axe/chainsaw/whatever when you are changing pants.

Black mold

It’s probably somewhere in your damp, musty cabin, and it wants to kill you even more than the murders do.

Putting the dock in

If you enjoy such activities as asking your friends to help you move, and immersing your groin in ice-cold water for three to five hours at a stretch, this one won’t be a problem for you.

Neighbors

People who have cabins often like to pretend that they don’t have neighbors, but they do. If you’re a cabin-owning neighbor-denier, these people will get to you. It’s either going to be the people who park seven cars on whatever lawn they otherwise would have had, or the people who would really like you to mow in a diagonal pattern, and let you know this every time you seem them at that tiny little grocery store called “Hank’s Cheese & Despair,” or something like that.

Hank’s Cheese & Despair

Do you like SpaghettiOs, graham crackers, canned peas, and lite beer? I hope so.

Congratulations on having a cabin!  Don’t worry about us, we have plenty to do back here at home in the summer months. For example, there are always movies, drive-in beaches, the library, Dairy Queen, and supervising one of those crazy sex parties at your house with the raccoons. We can Instagram some pictures if you want us to keep an eye on things. Hope you get a good signal out there in the woods. Because murderers don’t like to share.

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