Friday, May 23, 2008

I've Been Drinking Ants for Days

Drinking water must be around me at all times or I get weird. So I have a Brita pitcher in my bedroom in case I’m suddenly struck thirsty.

This morning, I brought the pitcher to the kitchen to refill it. When I opened the lid, there were about 100 ants crawling around. Some dead, some mating, some staring off into the distance, drunk off my water.

 I’ve been drinking ants for days and hadn’t a clue. It made me wonder how many other gross things are happening to me on a daily basis without my knowledge.

One can only ponder how disgusting life really is if looked at closely enough. Seriously, we have mites eating the waxy oil from our eyelashes, thousands of dead skin cells falling off our bodies every minute and don’t even get me started on the belly button, home to about 2,000 species of bacteria.

Researchers can’t even identify the different types of weirdness found in your navel. One person had bacteria previously found only in Japan even though he’s never been…weird, right? And gross. Just plain gross.

I remember as a child finding bugs in my oatmeal. When I informed my overworked mother, she was unconcerned to say the least.

 “Well, eat around them. They’re not going to kill you!”

No, they wouldn’t kill me. Nor would the ant parts I’ve been drinking or the mites eating my eyelash oil or the bizarro shit in my belly button. I rinsed and refilled the pitcher and continued on with my day, nonplussed.

Now let’s say my mother freaked out about those oatmeal crawlers, I probably would have issues eating them. But she didn’t. Thanks to my mother’s brass-tacks guidance, I drink bugs in stride now. What’s the big deal, right?

Parenting is cool like that. If we’re instilled with certain belief, no matter how small or trivial, it sticks to our gray matter and we take it with us to life.

“It adds character,” my mother said when I told her how I hated how one of my canine tooth sticks out slightly. Little did I know that it really meant, “We can’t afford braces so deal.” 
But I ran with the whole character thing and have embraced it ever since. Now I brush that tooth with a little extra special love.

The takeaway? There are gross things out there and we’re all terribly imperfect. If we can embrace our inner grossness and imperfections, self-love will follow. Or at least you won’t throw up in your mouth when you realize how disgusting you truly are.

You go tooth!


Jules said...

We have a lot in common. I cannot be without water at any point during my day or night. It is just a must have.

I also couldn't get my head out of a book as a child. I remember carrying literally 20 books out of the library and dropping them all over the floor in front of the librarian who looked at me as if to say "you nerd". The librarian!!!!

Susan L said...

I'm a big fan of water, too. I love to drink it, play in it, soak in it. I have a newly expanded pond in my back yard, and just came back from a painting holiday at the Outer Banks where I painted . . . water.

Anonymous said...

your mother was right! I love that canine tooth