You know that absolutely gut-bubbling feeling of uncensored thrill and excitement that makes you want to cry tears of joy? Perhaps you have not yet known such a feeling; keep living, it will come. I, on the other hand, chase that excitement like nobody’s business. It comes less often than I’d like (that’s what she said…or he said, depending on who you ask).

Cheeky jokes aside, there exists a very magical place where this gut-bubbling thrill visits me most frequently: that place is Camp. For personal and legal reasons, I will neither name, nor give you absolute specifics about this Camp, but if you know me well enough, you know about all about it because of the excited word vomit if spew upon my return each year. In fact, the purpose of my extended absence from this odd blog in recent weeks has been on account of the preparation, serving duty, and return/recovery from said Camp… also I had my very first root canal and have been feeling too wompy to write anything clever. I digress – you’re probably wondering why this Camp, among other “Good Old American” summer camps is more superior. Well, anonymous reader, I shall tell you: This Camp is full of the most wonderful people you will ever, ever meet, as well as the most wonderfully hilarious, charmingly spirited campers you will ever, ever meet. Without going into specifics about who exactly the camp caters to, I will leave it at telling you that these kids are the kind of people that make you 50 shades of thankful every day for every tiny little thing that your ‘normal’ human body is capable of. Perhaps I’m being a gushy romantic about it, but it is scientifically proven to be the greatest place in the history of the earth. I could write novels on it, but you’d never know until you were a part of it, sleepless nights and all.

Come to think of it, there’s a decent chance the lack of sleep thing has a helluva lot to do with how much I love it, and how absolutely gut-bubblingly funny that entire week is to me. That, coupled with the general attitude of everyone there, a handful of pants-wettingly funny incidents, and ironic 1:30 am fire alarms, sets off that happy-tears thrill that I chase.

For those of you who are absolutely clueless about this feeling, here are some other situations in which I have had a gut-bubblingly uncensored thrill:

  1. The very first time I realized I had made a real friend at college. I went to school out of state, so this was a very big deal to me
  2. Every time my cat makes direct eye contact with me.
  3. Days when I feel so confident in my hair that I semi-seriously consider running for Miss South Dakota USA.
  4. A reasonably tipsy front row experience for The Very Best with my very best friends at Pitchfork in 2009. The DJ brought us waterbottles…. Of vodka. And even though I third-wheeled harder than a tricycle at the bars later that evening, it’s one of my very favorite life experiences to date. (God, being 21 was so perfect and American.)
  5. That one time I lost my shit crying/laughing after my BFF & I went to ‘Kings of Summer’ in theaters. I started bawling/seizing with laughter as the credits started rolling. I could not keep my shit together, Carol. I can’t pinpoint exactly why I had a ‘Girl, Interrupted’ spasm: perhaps it was the epic weekend we had survived together, the weight of being newly twenty-five and unemployed/boyfriendless, or the fiery envy of being a woodsy teenage boy with very little real-world problems.

In any case, these tingly, gut-bubbling thrills keep me thirsty and poised to chase down adventure. They say you’re only young once, and I’m sure there’s an anagram for that somewhere, but I can’t imagine being in my eighties and feeling this thrill, so be it seven seconds or seven days, I hope you find and hold on to yours as well.