A spring Orvis catalog came in the mail yesterday. Usually print catalogs are trash carefully delivered to my door – from the mail carrier’s hand to my recycling bin. This time the economically-advantaged adventure vibe sucked me in. Vests with useful pockets. Ripstop trousers. Manly jewelry that signals rugged adventuresomeness. I’m trying to decide if men buy that for themselves or receive it as gifts.
Page 16 stopped me dead. Above the expedition pants and vintage military belt there’s an evocative picture of a luxury lodge at a game preserve in Namibia. I can’t take my eyes off of it. I can see a comfy bed, white pillows, chairs, reading lamps and I think I see a bathroom tucked discretely in the back. I bet there’s staff, too.
I live in the wilds for weeks to months most summers. My expedition pants are ancient Carhartt’s (because I think they stopped making women’s work pants) and WideEyedSpouse’s old khakis. My belt is the same leather belt I’m wearing right now, but soaked with eucalyptus oil so that pleasant smells waft from my always-on rain gear.
My lodge is a battered Eureka bombshelter tent. It has a thin insulated air mattress, a cleanish sweatshirt as a pillow, a flashlight, and no toilet. My lodge does have a spider bat – my trusty halibut knocking stick that’s like a tiny baseball bat. I use it to take out the monstrous subarctic spiders. On rat infested islands it is also the rat bat. Unless they chew through my lodge floors I consider the rats to be warm companions, but sometimes the squirming and squeaking gets annoying and I need to administer warning knocks in the vicinity.
I am sitting here at my kitchen table staring at this lodge picture. Staring at the fancy pants. Thinking.
Dear Orvis, I am writing to ask if you are interested in sponsoring…