Anyone who knows me in real life knows they never see me out in public unless I have on the basic makeup, hair decent and real clothes on. However, this week has been tough! I woke up this morning hoping I’d feel better but alas, another storm headache hanging around.
So, after a few hours of work I went to get myself ready to go to town and mail another box of donated shoes to China. I slapped on my face, made my hair presentable, then stood in front of my closet looking for something decent but comfortable to replace the ratty old sweats I was wearing.
After a few moments I realized I just didn’t want to give up my nice, cozy China circa 2003 knock-off Abercrombie sweats, even for an hour. I debated then told myself that no one would possibly notice little old me behind a huge box of shoes anyway. So I kept them on, added some cute earrings just in case, and slipped out to walk Riley. In his undeniable urge to seek out which neighborhood dog had the audacity to pee on our land, he dragged me all around the barn and into the high grass before I finally got all of his 13 lbs of pure muscle under control and back to the house. Worn out from his efforts, I looked down and saw that now not only were my sweats ratty and frayed, they were also now wet at the bottoms. Oh well, if I was going to jump off the deep end of ne’er thee care, I was going all in. I climbed into the car and headed to town.
On the way there, I thought I felt something crawly on my leg. Then I remembered that I had been dragged through high (wet) grass and was convinced not only was it something with multiple legs, but was the dreaded Lyme-infested tick coming to get me and add to my daily bouts of physical discomfort. We’ve thus far this summer pulled approximately two dozen ticks from either the dog or our furniture, and I was sure I had number 25.
I tried to calm myself as I felt a pin-sized lump through the fabric of my China sweats and held it down. Not only was I speeding along on a 4-way at 65 mph, but now I was doing it while isolating the mysterious lump in my pants so that it wouldn’t crawl around and spread more of its Lyme juice on my body. I debated pulling over but then saw a vision of a news clip stating ‘woman freaks over bug and gets run over’. I decided to wait. Then I heard my irritating little buzzer telling me I had emails start coming in and it drove me crazy that I couldn’t check them because being the safety queen I am, I had one hand on the wheel and one hand on the lump, leaving no hands for my handy dandy smart phone. The inability to check my emails added to my escalating tension.
Finally I pulled into the post office, relieved that I was off the road and no longer a potential hazard to those around me. I maneuvered into the only empty parking space in the entire lot, eager to put my car into park so I could somehow look in my pants.
Of course, my luck would have it that the van parked to my right had a cute air con fixit man sitting in the driver’s seat giving me the eye. There was no way I could possibly look in my pants with him watching me. I may be 40(ish), but I’m not dead, ladies.
So I waited.
So did he.
I gave in first and got out, retrieved my box and did the walk of shame right in front of his van window in my shabby, baggy, knock-off sweats.
I was so glad the box covered my face. The tick could wait. I wanted my adventure to be over.
In the post office I got in line and filled out my customs sheet. All the while my mind played a cartoon of an ugly, blood-fattened tick slowly creeping up my leg. Finally, after six people ahead of me, I got to the counter of the slowest post office clerk in the history of slow post office clerks. When he finally finished up and handed me my receipt, I sweetly thanked him and bolted from the building, sure the Lyme carrier was now well on his way to my precious nether region and I’d never find him again.
I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw the air con guy had left. In his spot was an empty pickup truck. I looked around and saw no one paying me any attention. I opened my car door and using it as cover, stood between it and my seat and quickly untied my sweats, opened them widely and looked in.
I didn’t see Mr. Tick so I opened them wider. Now I know that I felt something crawling. I know I did. So I reached into my pants and felt all the way down to where the tick was when I held him against his will all the way to town.
I found that lump and cringing at what I had to do (that was usually the job of my responsible bug-fighting Big Ben), I pulled that tick out of my pants. I had him! I was so relieved! At least until I heard someone clear their throat and looked up to find an elderly gentleman only a foot in front of me waiting to get into the car beside mine, and smiling at me as I pulled my hand out of my pants. I smiled back and casually let go of the waistband of my pants. With a shiver I looked between my fingers to see that Mr. Tick had turned into Ratty Sweats Mr. Lint Ball.
I looked back up at the man and nodded. “Good afternoon.” I pretended like he absolutely had not just caught me—a nice, southern lady—with my hands in my pants.
I also hoped he’d never read a fiction book in his life and would never match my face to that of Kay Bratt.