Remember when you were young and you could come inside from a long summer walk and your feet would be all dirty and sticky and you could care less and you’d plop down on your bed and just not give a crap?
Is it possible to be carefree and a grownup? Or is that an oxymoron?
I’m not necessarily talking about cleanliness taking a nose-dive in order to be carefree...although God knows, anyone who thinks it’s okay to wipe snot on their sleeve probably doesn’t have high standards with regards to hygiene. Honestly, I still think that’s a male-thing. I do believe that boys touch a lot more gross stuff than girls do. (You can let your imaginations zig-zag with that one….you have my permission to take it any way you wish. I know you're going to anyway...)
When did I start looking at big grassy areas as a breeding ground for deer ticks instead of a place to look for buttercups? And….hel-lo? You want me to what? Sit down in said grass? Like, without a chair…or a cushion…or anything?? Have you any idea how many ants and… other assorted crawling insects would find their way into my girlie parts before you could say, “Now, isn’t this nice?........Kathryn??..........WTF?!.........Is that some new kind of dance?.....Because honestly it does not make you look very attracti-…..What?!?.....You feel something crawling where??!?!......”
I worry a lot about poison ivy, too. This may stem from the reality that no matter how many times I Google it and try to memorize it’s appearance, I am evidently incapable of retaining a mental image long enough to avoid stepping in it any time I stroll somewhere other than on blacktop or cement. Maybe we should pin a photo of it to my shirt…like they do with kindergartner's names on the first day of school. (Like it would seriously make a difference) I mean, look at it! If I can’t tell a basic weed from a perennial/centennial/triennial flower, how the hell am I supposed to differentiate this from all the other crap that grows out there??
The last time I inadvertently got poison ivy, I was a walking, oozing reminder of why some people should never leave the house. Much less do gardening of any kind…and no-one wanted to stand too close to me, for fear of catching whatever-the-hell-it was I had. I was a pariah….an outsider…exiled to the ointment aisle at our local CVS until I began to resemble something vaguely human again.
When you’re a kid, you don’t worry about poison anything. Unless you’re thinking about how you could poison your stupid little brother…but that was just for fun. You didn’t care if you got caught in an unexpected summer shower…it felt great! You’d raise your face to the sky and let the warm rain trickle away some of the grimy dirt and sweat…arms outstretched as if to say, “Bring it ON!” Now, I worry that it’ll ruin my hair (which it undoubtedly will), the waterproof mascara is a given and I panic as I attempt to recall if what I’m wearing is dry clean only.
Part of me longs to be that carefree kid again. That kid who doesn’t give a damn if the floor was just cleaned…or the bedding was just washed…or if I let a gazillion bugs into the house because I forgot to close the front door.
But then, there’s that other part of me….the hopelessly sentimental, optimistic adult…who wishes I’d win the lottery so I could hire it out...to be someone else’s problem altogether.