Why Are You Scratching?

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Those who read my mindless blatherings well constructed, intelligent thoughts on a regular basis have by now formed a mental image of Dual Mom. I’ll even go out on a branch and assume my readers would not describe me as one who bites her tongue. Tentative, hesitant? Probably not a word often used to describe me. Yeah, I tend to speak my mind fairly frequently (often to the dismay of those in my company). I would even go as far to say that it probably would not be a terribly bad idea if I implemented my brain/mouth filter more frequently than I do. This of course would require me to get one of those fancy brain/mouth filter things because I don’t think my DNA currently has the components required to operate such an apparatus.

They say there is an exception to every rule. And in the matter of me being a loud mouth they would be correct. The exception to my speaking my mind and calling it like I see it....is when I am in the company of my older sisters. I have two. For the sake of anonymity we’ll call them Sister One and Sister Two. I know, my creativeness astounds me too. Sister One is 45, 8 years older than me. Sister Two is 38, 2 years older than me. Both sisters live on the other side of the country. I love my sisters, but.....ummmm....errrrrr I often wonder who it is my mother had an affair with because there’s no damn way we have the same parental units.

Every year, Sister One comes home during the summer along with two of her children. Family time is great, right? Sure, yeah ok. Whatever. They stay with me each year. So that would be two adults, and 5 children in a three bedroom home, for three weeks each summer. Just like a big party, right, good times, family spending quality bonding time, cousins getting to know each other, good times, right? Right? Yeah...notsomuch. You see the problem is Sister One and I both like to drink wine, and that’s about where our similarities END. I shave my armpits, this is optional for Sister One. I like to bathe every day, also optional for Sister One. I’m even such a freak of nature that I make my kids shower each evening (especially in the summer). Again, not a priority in Sister One’s life. As much as I hate housework, I love nothing more than a clean house and work hard to keep it that way. Sister One...yeah....moldy food on dishes doesn’t really concern her.

To say that we are different would be the motherfuckin understatement of the year. Keep in mind what I said about my sisters being the exception as you continue reading. Two years ago was my first summer in my new home. I had been living here for 9 months and I was still in the complete OCD stage where EVERY. DAMN. THING. had to be perfect and clean (glad I got over that stage). So my sister and her troupe arrive for their yearly sojourn. On the morning after their arrival, Sister One and I are on the deck drinking our morning coffee, listening to the birds chirp, catching up and it’s nice, right? I think to myself, “Self, perhaps this is the year where you’ll learn to accept your sister’s differences. This year you will actually enjoy your time with Sister One rather than wishing for the sweet release of death just to end the agony of her visit.”

And then I noticed my niece scratching her head.

I paused in my conversation with Sister One and watched niece scratch her head. After several minutes I asked, “Niece, you need to wash that damn head if it’s THAT itchy.” I had NO FUCKING CLUE people. I was so naive. Sister One looks at Niece and asks, “Daughter, come here and let me see your head.” She knew.....she KNEW immediately what was wrong. Niece had a HEAD FULL OF LICE. I dropped my coffee cup I was so shocked. I have three kids, we have been fortunate enough to avoid lice even though without fail, every winter there’s a notice coming home from school about outbreaks of lice. So literally, this is the first time I’ve had to deal with such an experience. I freaked the fuck out. Completely went apeshit crazy. Sister One is sitting there looking at me as though I’ve suddenly grown a second head and need to be put back on my meds and then proceeds to tell me she’ll pick up a treatment after she goes for a run. After you go for a run? After you go for a run? No bitch, you’ll take your skinny, dirty fucking ass to the nearest drugstore right this minute and you will buy EVERY damn treatment they have in the store; you’ll pick up six cans of Lysol and 12 bottles of bleach, and then you will wash the fucking BUGS out of your daughters hair and if that doesn’t work I’ve got a razor with her name written all over it.

I nodded my head. I nodded my head people. I said not a word and nodded my stupid fucking head.

Sister later tried to convince me my reaction was wayyyy over the top. And perhaps it was. But her jokes about picking the lice out of niece’s hair the way the apes do....yeah didn’t have the calming affect she was hoping for. Her nonchalance made me want to gouge my own eyes out of my head. She spent the next three days prancing around like she didn't have a care in the world. She's on holidays, after all. It's not her responsibility to clean someone else's kitchen after her kids leave it looking as though a fucking plethora of wild hyenas had emptied the contents of the fridge and cupboards all over the place. Letting her daughter go down to the beach in her barefeet and return to the house, tracking mud into every FUCKING room and THEN crawl up on Auntie's brand new sofa...yeah banner idea.

I spent the next three days doing laundry. In three days I did 27 loads of laundry. If that’s not bad enough, because I’m a freak and the idea of having bugs in my house made me want to rip my sister’s uterus out to prevent her from ever procreating again, I dried each load in the dryer for at least 2 hours....in the dead heat of summer. I scoured my floors twice a days with bleach, I followed niece around with a scrunchie, constantly telling her to put her hair up. I had visions of having to shear my own daughter, who at the time had gorgeous blonde hair straight down the middle of her back.

After four days of going completely out of my mind, I donned a hazmat suit and checked Niece’s head again and there were still bugs ( I am so scratching my head just writing this shit). At that point I purchased insecticide and started spraying my furniture. When my sister realized what I was doing she pointed out to me that insecticide wasn’t good for people to be around. Yeah, you know it....Dual Mom lost it. I turned to sister, holding the can in front of me and said, “Back the fuck up, or you get sprayed next”.

Sister and her troupe left the next day and went to stay with a friend for the remainder of their holiday. Sister did not come home last summer. I’m not sure if my reaction to her total disregard for my home was the reason, but I suspect it played a part in her decision. I can’t say I was broken hearted over not having her here.

So let’s hear it. Have you ever had to deal with crawly critters at your house? Do you have sisters you love with all your heart?


GunDiva said...
January 8, 2010 at 9:27 PM

I love my sister, but she is *ahem* boisterous. That's putting it nicely. I can't live with her; I even have a hard time spending more than an hour at her house. It's so LOUD. Her kids, her husband - all loud. It's like they're shouting just to be heard over each other. And the TV and stereo AT THE SAME TIME - all loud. Makes me batshit crazy. I hate noise, so there's just no way I can be in her house for very long. Heck, even a car ride can seem like an eternity.

As for lice - wait, gotta scratch my head - the merest whiff of lice in the kids' daycare had me scurrying to the nearest store for treatments. I kept a bottle of lice shampoo on hand just in case! Luckily, we never had them in our house! I would have reacted much like you did.

Or I may have taken a blowtorch to the house.

Anonymous said...
January 8, 2010 at 9:45 PM

You didn't overreact! I would have doe the same as you. I have bugs and filth of any kind.


Sharon said...
January 8, 2010 at 10:28 PM

My stepdaughter's had lice 3 times...in the thickest hair you've ever seen in your life. It was a freaking nightmare. And no, you did not overreact.

Haasiegirl said...
January 9, 2010 at 12:08 AM

i love that you say the word fuck. I really do. I mean..it makes me nostalgic and shit.


Anonymous said...
January 9, 2010 at 12:16 AM

I would DIE if there were ever bugs in my house.
Also, had no idea we were the same age!

Carol said...
January 9, 2010 at 12:23 AM

I get all freaked out from my fucking cat coming in with fleas - I would TOTALLY lose it if my kid or self had lice or fleas!!! Let alone a guest... I would have offered up money to put them in a hotel for sure. (Cat gets booted outside no matter how freaking cold it is!)

I would have never remained calm in the first minute of this realization. I am a clean freak thanks to my Mom. Clean and organized makes for a very happy June!!!

gayle said...
January 9, 2010 at 12:55 AM

omg my head is itching itching itching!!!! Many many years ago when my girls were in elem. school the youngest 5 years old had lice...never heard of it and treated her for dry scalp for weeks until 9pm one night I found a "bug" I about went CRAZY!! I call the doctor b/c at that time I didn't know what else to do and he said he would call something in... in the morning and I said WE CAN'T WAIT UNTIL THE MORNING and the dr said "lady no drug stores are open" AND I said I would get one to open so I call our drugest at home and he opened up and I bought everything he had. I had it, my oldest and youngest daughter had it all because we shared brushes. I so completely flipped out my husband was going nuts ...we were so young and had never heard of this...she got it at school(No one told me it was going around) and we spread it to each other. I work in a school now and my husband doesn't ever touch my brush:) This is bringing back nightmares!! You would be surprised at home many kids get it!! Mostly girls with long hair!!

No sisters!! Just sister in laws!

Oh I am still itching!!

Quixotic said...
January 9, 2010 at 1:14 AM

OMG, I just read this post our loud to my sister (thankfully not as diametrically opposite as you and yours) and we are both crying laughing!! Awesome post!!

Anonymous said...
January 9, 2010 at 3:56 AM This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Shell said...
January 9, 2010 at 12:26 PM

I have been scratching furiously at my scalp since I read about the lice. Ick. I would be freaking out completely.

Probably better off that she found somewhere else to stay!

Kat said...
January 9, 2010 at 4:29 PM

Oh BOY! You are a saint! I had a similar experience. Friends came and spent a night. She, however, did not know her boys had lice. They did not realize it had come from some scuzzy girlfriend of her brother's who happened to have moved into his room without her knowledge. She called the next day and apologized to tell me, and my oldest failed the lice check. I scrubbed, buzz cut his head and picked nits until my fingernails hurt. And I scratched my own head until it burned to get under the shower. My friend? She scrubbed and shaved her boys as well. AND then she shaved the shoulder length scummy hair off the head of her brother's girlfriend, shaved her brother's head, and then kicked the chick to the curb! Poor you to have to deal with this with someone who obviously didn't GET IT!! Yikes!

Aunt Juicebox said...
January 9, 2010 at 5:21 PM

Oh yeah, itchy head now...
My daughter had lice a couple times when she was little. My brother's ex girlfriend's kids gave it to her once, and I DID have to cut her hair off. It was thick and long and we spent hours trying to get them all out. The other time she got them from a friend of her grandmother's grandchild, and they didn't tell me the girl had lice until AFTER I called and said hey, Tee has lice, can you tell me how she got it after being at your house this weekend? Yeah, they knew she had it when Tee went over there. WTF?

My sister is a clean freak and a clean person and I don't have any problems with her in that respect. However I do wish she'd come visit me for two weeks every summer.

Queen of Feisty said...
January 9, 2010 at 6:37 PM

I have to say I love my sister dearly, but I also say that her muscle disorder is what caused us to be so close. She still lives with my mom and dad, and has never dated, and will never breed. So she is like a kid to me all the time.

On that note, I had cousins that were and still are like brothers and a sister. WHO had lice. And the day I started scratching my head in my moms very clean house after a weekend at the cousins house, and my mom checked my head and calmly said "lice"

I fucking freaked. Freaked the fuck out, I wanted to razor my own head (at the time I had blonde hair to my waist) and burn my sheets off my bed!

I screamed and cried, and screamed and did the icky bug on me dance. It was HORRIBLE. Thank god a huge store chain had been built right across the street, so my mom went right over and got me all fixed up.

Fucking cousins. Dirty Aunt and Uncle that is. But that would also be the dirty Aunt and Uncle that died a few years ago from Alcohol abuse. Rest in peace my lovely alcoholic lice covered relatives. I do love them but I keep them at a distance now.

Blah. shudder. shudder. scratch. scratch. blah.


Daffy said...
January 9, 2010 at 10:22 PM

I can't tell you how many times I've already scratched my head and shivered.

Freaking the fuck out was NOT over reacting AT ALL! ugh! That's just so freakin' nasty. I would've gone psycho Merry Maids too! Geez!

I have two sisters although I am the middle one. Fortunately both sisters live within 20 minutes of my house. I couldn't live with either one...well...maybe my older sister. My younger is more of the mold on food...dishes from the entire week on the counter kind of girl. One time while at her house I thought someone was hiding behind the shower curtain in her bathroom. Turns out that I karate chopped a MASSIVE mountain of laundry. No shit...the shower curtain came down with my roundhouse and there was a pile 6 foot high. Guess they just kept buying more clothes instead of doing the laundry.

Martinis or Diaper Genies? said...
January 9, 2010 at 10:47 PM

I will throw my child in the trash if this happens in my house.

My sister and I are like eh though.

Alex said...
January 10, 2010 at 12:51 AM

My daughter went through a phase at school where every few weeks she'd get the disgusting little things. I'd treat her hair and BAM just because some other feral couldn't exterminate their kids head, she'd get them again.

Just the sight of anyone scratching their heads sends me into a panic attack.

Anonymous said...
January 10, 2010 at 10:45 AM

My head itches now! Hey, your reaction was PERFECT, it enabled you to have a peaceful summer this year! Sometimes going apeshit pays off! Trust me...I know where you're coming from!

AZGypsie said...
January 10, 2010 at 12:08 PM

How about body lice? My daughter (a teen) came home with from a friends house with body lice. I wigged completely. After determining that she was not intimate with anyone at that house, we figured she must have gotten them from sitting on the filthy furniture (it was a flop house with a bunch of young kids renting it). I scalded bedding, invested in massive amounts of medications (which I also added to the laundry like soap). Just makes my skin crawl to even think about.

blueviolet said...
January 10, 2010 at 4:36 PM

I can not believe that it happened while at your house so that you had to go through the whole treatment plan there. I would have freaked out completely!

Anonymous said...
January 11, 2010 at 3:35 AM

I could totally write an essay in response but am too busy scratchin' my head...

I am totally with you but I have OCD. I think I would've had to burn the house down, either that or wear a surgical gown...maybe both!

WolfePartyOf5 said...
January 11, 2010 at 5:24 AM

My sister drives me effing nuts all the time. We are completely different. She home schools, I public school, her kids are bad, mine are good, her kids has lice like every freakin day of her life. She also acts holier then thou and that makes me wanna kick her ass but I am a good Christian woman so I will refrain at this point, but the day is coming.....

Laura said...
January 11, 2010 at 10:58 AM

I've been lucky enough that I've never had to deal with an outbreak at home. Though my ex MIL is not only a teacher, but she was a foster parent as well. I remember her being very casual about lice as well. To her it was just another thing on the "To Do List". I was more like you I was scratching just reading this post.

MindyMom said...
January 11, 2010 at 11:32 AM

Thanksfully, in my 18 years of parenting, I have never had to deal with lice. (knocks on wood)

However, I have dealt with toxic relatives staying in my home for extended periods of time, the last of which was two years ago and it was so bad I have since cut ties with said relatives.

NEVER again. Never.

Vinomom said...
January 11, 2010 at 12:10 PM

Your sister sounds like MY MOM. And I have three sisters much younger than me. Their lack of personal hygiene blows my mind. I haven't gone home to my mom's house in several years, but when I do I can't eat there. I eat out the entire time because I don't trust anything made in their kitchen.

Thank god my daughter has never gotten lice, but I had it twice. The 2nd time I was 17 years old. Seriously, who gets lice at 17 ? It was so humiliating. Thank God you guys didn't get it from her. I remember my mom and grandma picking nits out of my long hair for hours. Ugh.

kys said...
January 11, 2010 at 10:32 PM

I don't have any sisters and thank the Lord nobody here has ever had lice.

I would have kicked them out at the first sighting of lice. You were too nice, IMHO.

adrienzgirl said...
January 12, 2010 at 12:44 AM

Oh good Lord. Reaction was totally appropriate! OMMMMMMGGGGGGGGG!!!!!

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