I pulled up in the after-school pickup line topless.
I couldn’t help it. It had to be done. My very survival depended on me having my shirt off.
For clarification purposes and to keep me from getting some sort of indecent exposure rap sheet, I wasn’t totally topless. Yes, I had taken off my top, but I did have on a sports bra. Not that I didn’t want to take that off, too, because I was itching like I have never itched before.
It was as if some sort of alien force was attacking me and my only chance of survival was to scratch as if I was buried alive and trying to claw my way out of a UFO coffin.
I tried, I swear, I tried, to keep my clothes on, but my back felt like if I didn’t scratch every inch I would die. I had tried to maintain some sense of decorum in my scratching frenzy. At first I used my fingernails, then I frantically dug my hairbrush out of my purse and went to itchy town.
All that offered zero relief because I was being semi-lady-like and scratching through my clothes.
At some point, I reached a critical juncture, I’m sure it was like some a fight or flight scenario where my brain said, “Girlfriend, you need to get that top off if this is going to do any good.”
So, knowing I had on a full coverage sports bra, I ripped my T-shirt off and experienced the sweet relief of some hairbrush-on-skin scratching.
I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but all of a sudden I’ve become ground zero for any sort of insect infestation. This from a woman who hasn’t had a mosquito bite in decades. I, until, two weeks ago considered myself a human citronella candle. No bugs ever bothered me.
Then, in a matter of days, I felt like I was the entree for a mosquito buffet. Until I found out what I was scratching weren’t mosquito bites. Thus began my quest to nail down what was giving me the worst case of the itchies ever.
There was a good 30 minutes I thought I had bedbugs, courtesy of my kids who live to annoy me. My son actually had me convinced, from the comfort of his college apartment, that he was certain his childhood home had bedbugs. Oh, he had me going for a while. It wasn’t until I did a Google search that I ruled those disgusting parasites out as the itch factor. Thank you Lord.
It was while I was at Target, buying a cart full of anti-itch products that I overheard a lady asking the pharmacist about a bug bite. He prefaced it with, “I’m not a doctor (quick side bar — how many times a day do you think a pharmacist has to say that?) but it looks like it could be a chigger bite.
So I got on team chigger until I finally received the diagnosis of oak mites. Yes, my flesh is being feasted on by mites. Yuck! The RX is to avoid pin oak trees. News flash: There are more pin oak trees than people in Leawood. That’s not a very practical solution to the problem.
This is why I was forced, against all my better judgment, to remove my top and itch with unbridled enthusiasm until I saw my daughter walking towards the car. I almost put my shirt back on, but then I thought I wonder if she’ll even notice because there’s nothing more self-absorbed than a teenage girl. So, I remained topless all the way home and she said nothing. I didn’t even get an eye roll.
This bummed me out a little bit, because it seems the only real interaction of have with my daughter these days is annoying her. So, right before I pull in the driveway I requested that she scratch my back.
That got her attention.
She made a face that looked as if she might hurl. Before she had a chance to ask me where my shirt was, I leaned into her, rubbing my sweaty, itchy back on her arm and said, “If you could go right under the back of my sports bra and scratch, that would be great.
She screamed and fled the car. It almost made enduring the agony of the oak mite worth it. As an extra bonus, I didn’t put my shirt back on for the rest of the afternoon. It was a two-fer. I had premium access to scratch and my daughter was “grossed out.”