Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Not in my nature

I'm watching the news right now. Which I don't usually do. I actually hardly ever watch the news. On account of all the "make you kill yourself because the world sucks" stories. Like the one the other day where a group of teenagers beat the crap out of an elderly cancer patient for no reason. (!!) And if it's not that, it's like, a kitten and a squirrel holding hands. And come on, who has time for that? I have things to do! I mean, there are so many episodes of Friends on my DVR.

Anyway. There were a bunch of tornadoes in Dallas this afternoon. Thus the news on my TV. Since I wanted to be prepared this time and all. Because nature? Has not been good to me lately. I think nature knows that I'm an outsider, that I don't belong. And it wants me out of its territory. I don't run in the woods or peacefully co-exist with insects like my lovely friend Jessica.

No, I stay inside where God made me. Inside is where steam mops and scrapbooks and air conditioners and electric blankets live. Inside is my happy place. Because when I go outside? I get poison ivy. And mosquito bites. And rashes.

This weekend, as we were walking across a field to Jack's grandparents' house, Jack sidestepped a weed and started to warn me about something. "Look out for..." he started, and then realized I had just walked right through whatever the thing was that he was warning me about. "...bull nettles," he finished.

"Bull whaa?" I asked, and suddenly I felt a sharp stinging on the side of my foot. "Ooowwwwww!!!"

"Yeah," Jack nodded, knowingly. "You just stepped on a bull nettle. They hurt."

The stinging was spreading and I looked down at my flip-flop-clad foot to see some red spots populating the arch of my foot. I looked at Jack quizically as the fire in my foot traveled to my ankle.

"What is a bull nettle and why does it sting and owwww oww ow oww and what is happening and I don't understand and Jack it hurts my foot hurts owwww!!" I whined. Clearly I will not have a med-free labor and delivery someday. "Why won't it stop? Make it stop! What is happening!? Make it staahhhhhhhp!"

"Well," Jack replied, matter-of-factly, "I could pee on it."

I froze.

"Pee on it?" I responded. "As in, urinate? On my foot?"

"Yeah, it'll make the stinging stop," he said. "My cousins and I used to do it all the time when we'd get into bull nettles growing up."

Suddenly, my foot didn't hurt quite so bad.

"Um. No thanks," I said, trying not to think about how many of his family members my husband has urinated on, and how many have urinated on him. "I appreciate the offer, but I do not want you to pee on me. In fact, you can just assume that the default answer to that offer will always be NO."

"Suit yourself," he shrugged.

When we got to his grandparents' house, they found some ammonia-based cleaner and sprayed it on my foot, and like magic, it immediately stopped hurting. Which was great. Especially since nobody had to pee on me. Who knew that would ever be considered a win?

So the next day, we were getting ready to leave after Jack's golf game, so Jack was loading up the car. After he loaded his bags, he came back inside to get mine. As we were gathering my things, we heard a loud crack then crash, and Jack's dad yelled at us to get down while pushing us into the kitchen. They live in the piney woods area of East Texas, and their home is surrounded by hundreds of 40-foot pine trees. Sometimes, in a storm, one of the trees will fall, and since we were all standing by the window when we heard it start to fall, we knew we'd better get out of the way fast in case it was coming down on the house.

It didn't come down on the house.

"A tree just fell on your car!" my mother-in-law yelled from her office, where she was sitting at her desk facing the window.

We went out to inspect it, and yes, a tree did in fact break off 1/3 of the way up and fall right on top of my car.

A tree. Fell on my car.

Evidently the was falling horizontally, and just before it hit the car, it turned more vertically, so that only one side of the tree hit the back end rather than the entire trunk hitting the top all at once. It didn't break any windows, but it smashed the driver's side backseat roof and door in quite a bit, broke the spoiler, and left a pretty sizable dent in the trunk as well. It wasn't pretty.

Obviously, this was Jack's fault.

No really, I have a reason. If he had been better at golf, he would have been home earlier and we would have already been gone at that point. It's an axiomatic connection.

Kidding. Sort of.

But actually, it could have been a lot worse. Like I said, if it had hit the way it was originally falling, there was no way we could have driven it home. None of the windows broke, and though the guys at the body shop said that I shouldn't have been driving it because the back window could have blown out at any time, it didn't. Everything is covered under insurance and we probably won't even have to pay a deductible on it. My parents are on a cruise right now, so I could borrow my mom's car immediately for work, and insurance will cover a rental car after they get back for as long as it takes to fix it.

And most importantly, Jack had been out there just minutes before, and he was just about to go back out and load the rest of the stuff. He could have easily been standing right where the tree fell if the timing had been a tiny bit different, and the result would have been catastrophic. I can fix a car. There's no telling if he would have survived something like that.

So I'm thankful; I really am.

But at the same time, a tree falls on my car and my husband offers to pee on me in the same weekend? I can take a hint.

You win, nature. You win.
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