What Cats Do When the Mice Are Away
April 20, 2006
Happiness is the sublime moment when you get out of your corsets. – Edith Wharton
There are two things that happen when I tell my guy friends what I
did last weekend. First, their eyes light up. That's when I pause to
let it sink in—watching the light bulb go on as they imagine the
possibilities. And I might even give them an enigmatic smile, you know,
for dramatic effect.
Then they'll inevitably voice what all men think women do, once out of earshot of our male counterparts.
"So did you talk shit about guys the whole time?"
Well, not the whole time. In fact, the six of us girls who spent the
night in a cabin in Wainapanapa last Friday hardly talked about guys at
all. Surprisingly, we did have other topics of conversation. More
meaningful stuff—the intellectual fabric of philosophers and world
leaders; the moral discussion of feminists, geneticists and cab
drivers; the spiritual discourse of yogis, rabbis and defrocked
"Who tooted?" was the question most asked at our all-girls retreat.
"Wasn't me!" and "If I did, I'd stand up proud!" were the oft-used answers.
But mostly, we just ate—and drank—a lot. It was grrrreat!
I arrived last, as usual, cutting out late from work on Friday to
make the curvy "front way" solo trek to Hana at night in Sasha's
borrowed lounge-on-wheels, "Montclair."
Although I had a hard time not imagining how different the trip
might've been in my old, now-charbroiled Jeep, I did enjoy Montclair's
plush interior and hi-fi stereo system. I also would've greatly enjoyed
knowing how to turn on the four-wheel drive option, as I careened
backwards down a steep, muddy driveway of an unoccupied cabin en route
to the girls' re-assigned (but apparently nobody could call to tell me)
Once I finally found them, the girls greeted me drowsily (it was
7:30 p.m.) with red wine and platefuls of spaghetti, chicken, potato
salad, cookies, brownies and colorful plastic Easter eggs filled with
jellybeans. While I gorged, they regaled me with tales of their
After suffering through a stern gatekeeper, a pervy tourist dad, and
being seen in public with Jen and her pants that made her look like she
had elephantiasis of a non-existent nutsack, the girls eventually made
it to a serene freshwater pool nearby.
They said the pool was part of the Wainapanapa Caves where, legend
has it, Princess Popoalaea hid from her abusive husband, who ultimately
found her and killed her. Dead.
"That was mean," said one girl, shaking her head.
"It must've been an arranged marriage," said another. "Thank God we don't do that anymore."
"I dunno," said yet another girl. "I'd appreciate the help—it might
eliminate some of the legwork! You know, like, 'Oh, you think he's good
for me? Okay. I've picked some doozies before, maybe you know better.'"
We all sat on the deck, watching the moon, listening to crickets,
doing voiceover narratives for the congregating geckos and scouting the
grasshopper we were sure was "frontin'"—or, hanging out on the front
door, waiting for his chance to hop into our kitchen. Then Jen lit a
candle and started waving it around the periphery of the cabin wall
"Now it is clean!" she decreed with all inebriated seriousness.
"Oh, I already blessed the bathroom with incense," said another girl.
"Yeah, we know about that," said someone else. Everybody groaned.
"Well, it had been three days!" said the bathroom-blesser.
"That's not right," someone said. "You've gotta eliminate that shit."
The next morning, Jen made fake coffee, we discussed making a trip to Starbucks, and resumed our feasting.
"Nothing like the smell of breakfast to entice the boys! Hey, sound distressed—that'll attract 'em!"
"Oh, help me! I'm lonely and desperate and cooking bacon… naked! Hey girls, stop kissing me and throwing those pillows!"
"There ain't nothing good about what's going on in this room."
Then somebody told a joke.
"What did one butt cheek say to the other? –Stick together and we can stop this shit!"
Typical girl stuff.
Samantha Campos would like to
switch the answer to last week's staff box question ("Best piece of
music ever recorded") to Tricky's 1995 album, Maxinquaye. MTW
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