Lowering the Bar: a Happy Schadenfreude Post

I haven’t showered since Monday. Just thought you’d want to know so you can feel completely awesome about all you’ve accomplished this week. Any amount of personal grooming puts you ahead of me. It’s like my special present to you. No need to send a thank you note. You’re welcome, friend.

I have 26 chigger bites on my legs. They itch like a mother. Like the mother of a mother. I asked around to see if any of my friends have a vat of acid I can borrow to peel the flesh from my bones as that sounds preferable to the continuous itch, but they’re all being selfish vat-of-acid hoarders and not sharing. I might need new friends. In the meantime, I’m alternating between 4 types of anti-itch creams, scratching deep rivulets in my legs, and throwing back shots of Benadryl which makes me crabby. My family likes me best when I’m crabby, though, so that’s working out well.

My daughter’s birthday is tomorrow. She’s going to be 11. I plan to throw her a party sometime before she’s 12 because I believe planning ahead and being organized are some of a mama’s most important skills.

My anniversary is on Monday. Eighteen years, folks! The Big 1-8. I think this proves that Greg and I are very, very stubborn. Also, we’re exceptional at romance. For example, Greg just sent me an e-mail titled “Anniversary” that goes, “Want to try to do anything this weekend? Or later when you itch less?” See? Romance! It’s not dead. Just hidden under chigger bites. And occasional constant exhaustion. And leg hair.

My Christmas tree is still up. I’m considering having the kids cut paper snowflakes so we can decorate it for January. Also, I think I’m going to call it a Winter Tree instead of a Christmas Tree so I can justify my procrastination, but I’m afraid that’s a little short-sighted since it’ll still be up in March.

That is all, folks. Just a friendly note to let you know either a) you have more of your crap together, comparatively speaking, that you thought you did, or b) if you don’t have your crap together, you’re not alone.

Happy Schadenfreude to you!

😀

P.S. I’m not wearing any pants.

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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
23 comments
  1. I’m not wearing pants today…not yet at least. I’ve got an appt in 45 minutes though, so they should make an appearance soon. 🙂

    1. I also feel like I need to note that they LITERALLY fell off as I walked in the door. Thank goodness I didn’t have company!

  2. I was SO proud of myself for taking our tree down in a timely manner this year. Last year there were actual cobwebs around the top by the time I got around to it. So this year I was SO proud; I took it down the first weekend in January. Well, I say I took it down, but really I took it outside and it’s been on the back patio for two weeks, still in the stand (but undecorated, at least). Once a day my 15 yr old son says, “Mom, the tree still looks so fresh. Why’d you take it down so EARLY this year? Can I bring it back inside???” LOL. I am half-expecting to come down one morning and find it back in the living room, lit and decorated.

  3. Try tea tree oil on your bites, works like a charm.

    Thank you SO much for sharing that your tree is still up. I’ve been beating myself up all weekend for not finding time to get mine taken down so knowing I’m not alone makes me feel much better.

  4. […] RSS ← Lowering the Bar: a Happy Schadenfreude Post […]

  5. I second Julie’s recommendation. Clear nail polish on each bite to suffocate the chiggers. Pre-nail polish, take a long bath and drown the chiggers. 🙂 The combination of the two should get them all. Sorry for all the itching! (I loved reading about your trip, fun!)

  6. I have showed. However, I have discovered a large thatch of hair behind my left ankle which apparently I have missed while shaving for the last 5 years or so , so now I have a troll leg.

    I do not see a problem with not having the tree down yet. You live in the cold north. If you wait until all needles fall off you can just throw it into the fireplace for warmth, thereby proactively recycling.

    I think that giving the 5 children scissors to cut snowflakes is a bad idea. Soon there will be hair cutting going on than then in February or March when you try to get around to doing the Christmas photos we all intend to do, whichever children are not crying for the photo will still have bad homemade haircuts growing out.

    The fact that the children find you crabby when you takes benadryl is a good sign. Mine just think that crabby is my personality.

    I however would have shared my acid.

  7. You are awesome. And my tree’s still up.

  8. While I have NO idea what chiggers even are, I thought I’d throw this idea your way:
    lavendar oil has been a wonderful discovery for us…misquitos and other bites lose their itch with it. Just a thought for trying, so you could wear pants and all those presentable things for your sweet anniversary.
    Happy Anniversary!

  9. Put clear nail polish on the bites, it suffocates the little buggers.

    This post is great. I’m so glad you’re human. I shower two or three times a week most weeks. Just think how much your hair is enjoying the natural oils you’re producing.

    Hang in there. Thanks for taking what could have been shower time to come chat at your adoring fans.

  10. Love this post! We have our tree down, but the rest of our lights are still up. And I think I showered a few days ago…
    I guess I am ahead of the game! 😉

  11. I feel like there is some kind of way to solve everything in your post, like you use the Christmas tree for its pine sap and rub it on your legs, and it leaves such a residue that people think you’re wearing cute yellowish Guatemalan pants when you go out for your anniversary.

  12. Daily showers are totally overrated.

  13. Right now I love you so much for writing this…

  14. Hey its our anniversary next week and guess where we are going? Oregon Garden Resort – entirely due to your excellent recommendation! And a good deal on Living Social. Anyway I’ll let you know how it holds up for romantic getaways 🙂 Maybe post- chiggers?

  15. Usually we keep our tree up at least through February, which I don’t mind because I like Christmas trees, but is not such a wonderful thing, because we always get a real tree. We like to live dangerously around here. After the tree leaves the house, it gets propped up in the corner of our deck and I hang bird treats from it until we burn it in April or May. I think you’re on to something with the snowflakes. You can do hearts in February, shamrocks and Easter eggs in March, umbrellas in April…

    I’m not wearing pants, either, but I have showered today. Must be because I’ve only got 3 munchkins. That, or the fact that nothing happens around here until mommy gets her shower. So if the kids want to eat, they let me have my 15 minutes to shower.

    1. Burning it is the best! It’s really neat. I like the bird treats idea. 🙂

  16. Have you tried a tea tree oil salve on the chigger bites? It is very deeply penetrating, and can make the itchies go away. 🙂

    And thank YOU for making me feel better about skipping my shower yesterday due to chaos!

  17. Thank you for this. I’ve had the kind of day that reminds me of your airplane post. Only I had to get rid of pants for a different reason (insert sad face.)

    Go easy on yourself mama, you did just get back from international travels. Blame jet-lag! She doesn’t mind lol.

    PS-I read you could spray chloraseptic on the bites and it numbs the skin and takes away the itch. Good luck!

    1. Oh, I’d be careful with that idea. It’d be one thing if you knew from experience, but you said you heard that it works. Now think about when you go to the dentist and they put novacaine in your mouth and later your face itches and you scratch it but it doesn’t help because it’s all numb and you can’t feel the scratch! AAAHHHHHHH!!!!

  18. when I first moved to GA, I had 50 chigger bites on both legs at one time. I was in HELL I tell you!

    If youhave access to ChiggerX, it’s helpful. So is calamine. And those suckers can/will itch for like 2 weeks! And they get nasty looking once you’ve scratched them to death. Trust me, I know from experience.

  19. Clearly I love this whole post, but I especially love the PS because here in England that means you’re commando 😀 Hehe! Always an entertaining, if breezy, concept.

    I so much hope the itching subsides quickly and you have a lovely restful weekend. The shower’ll happen when it happens. Hope Aden has a wonderful birthday, and Happy Anniversary! xxx

  20. About the tree: Hey, I just remembered seeing decorated trees in Belgium any time of year–out in the yard, driveway, or on the roof–for celebrating a number of different events, including a newly finished house. Think of something to celebrate about once a month, and you’re all set! You can even move it around, inside and out.

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