ants in my pants

When someone asks me what I blog about, I often describe my blog as a collection of humiliating stories about myself.  And then I ask myself, 1) why do I take glee in telling such stories, 2) why do I seem to have such a plethora of such stories, and 3) why do others enjoy reading them?

I’ve leave the last question for you to ponder.  But for your schaudenfraude pleasure, here’s what happened on Wednesday night.

I was preparing for class, as usual.  Wednesday is always a frantic flurry of me trying to put the finishing touches on my lecture notes.  It’s a carefully-coordinated countdown of me getting out of the house without having peanut butter rubbed onto the thigh of my skirt, or milk spilled into the crevices of my work pumps.  If I get dressed too soon, I run the risk of getting the outfit soiled on my way out the door.  Best to wait until the very last minute.  Which, for me, is right when my husband comes home from work.

This particular Wednesday, I was scrambling into my grown-up clothes and then shoving things into my laptop bag.  I had taken this bag with me to Ojai for the weekend, then emptied it (so I thought) and then set it by the door. 

(Promotional photo of my actual bag that, for full disclosure, no one is paying me to talk about.  And that, for full disclosure, does not repel bugs. Though it is vegan and made of hemp, and more importantly, has an ipod pouch with an exit hole for your earphones.  A feature that excites me greatly and that in two years, I have never used)

Incidentally, it has been raining quite a bit in the last few days and I noticed a trail of ants leading from the front door into the kitchen earlier in the day.  This usually happens when it rains, and they usually converge on a piece of food that Karis has generously thrown off her high chair.  I usually see it, and spread a little cinnamon over it (did you know that cinnamon repels ants naturally?) and then sweep it up after the children have traipsed cinnamon through half the house. 

Also, sometimes I just ignore the ants.  What can I say?  I’m from Florida.  I have a high tolerance for bugs.  And ants that do not bite seem pretty harmless to me.

So . . . on this particular day I ignored the trail of ants.

Per usual, I threw my clothes on as soon as Mark came home, running out the door while weaving out of the way of small, dirty children seeking to soil my  clothes.  Like a Frogger game, only with kids instead of cars, I made it to the car without incident.  I threw my bag into the seat next to me and headed to campus. 

When I arrived at campus, I slung my back over the shoulder and started the hike to class, with the smug feeling of a woman who is DOING THIS THING . . .  this work/life/kids/balance thing. 

You know.  The feeling of a mom with combed hair and a dry-cleaned outfit.

Only, half-way to class I started feeling a little heebie-jeebie.  A little creepy-crawly.  And I suddenly realized an army of disoriented ants were crawling all over me.  They had descended upon an errant piece of Pirate’s Booty that had made it’s way into my bag over the weekend.  They had feasted in the warm recesses of hemp in the comfort of my kitchen, and then they proceeded to disperse all over my body on the grassy knoll between Parking Lot C and Heath Academic Building.

There were ants on my arms, in my hair . . . everywhere. But I had a class waiting for me, and that bag needed to come with me.  That bag held the laptop that held my powerpoint presentation that held my only hope of a cogent thought in front of 37 graduate students.

I upended the bag and removed the offensive piece of food, but the ants where still all over me.

So, I had no choice but to continue walking to class, wiping ants from my body and shaking my arms and legs the entire way (dutifully illustrating to any of my psych students in my path what a psychotic break might look like).  I arrived a little late and I had to start right into my lecture, all the while pinching and flinging ants from my clothing as my students looked on in horror.

Had I been teaching my addiction class, I could have weaved this into a lecture on the effects of crystal meth. 

Instead, it just served as a lesson in humility. 

And a good blog story.  At least there’s always that.


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