Several years ago, Brother and his friends were at the local watering hole when they met an incredibly nice guy. He was from Myrtle Beach-- a place where we practically grew up. This guy had a large boat docked at Barefoot Landing. Brother got his cell phone number with the promise of a fishing trip next time we were up there.
The guy loaded everyone up in his suburban for a "sober up" at Waffle House before depositing them back at Brother's house and heading off into the night.
The next day, Brother called Mom and told her all about this nice guy he met.
What was his name, you ask? Oh... it was Chris Stanko.
Not ringing a bell? How about I let you know his real name: Stephen Stanko.
The guy who murdered two people in Myrtle Beach, traveled to Hometown to hide in the masses, and was arrested two days later after a nationwide manhunt? Yeah... that guy.
And Brother had his cell phone number in his pocket.
He called Mom (he calls Mom a lot) and said something so profound, so valuable, so important-- that I feel compelled to share that here: "Mama, I really hope that Wife learns a lesson from this."
Me: "Yeah, don't talk to strangers. Learned that one in first grade."
There are lessons we learn when we are kids that are assumed to only be there for our youth. If you don't talk to strangers, how can you make friends? That being said, these basic life lessons should always be in the back of our mind.
Why do I mention this?
Is she going to regale us of a life lesson she taught her first grader?
Um... no. I wish.
Remember being young and the doctor said not to put things in your nose or in your ear? Probably not-- I certainly don't. It's one of those things that adults teach children, eventually becoming part of the subconscious. I don't need to tell Birdie that she can't fly-- she just knows. Bennie? Well- she likes to run around and jump off tables screaming "TUPE-ER GIRL!"
Don't put things in your ears. Don't put things up your nose. Keep toys out of your mouth. These are things we tell kids who can count their age on less than four fingers. At some point, it becomes unspoken...
Until you are 35.
Last night, my ear was hurting. I have had ear pain off and on my whole life- it's not unbearable, it's mostly just really annoying. I discovered several years ago that a single drop of lavender oil cures it immediately.
We are slap out of lavender oil.
In the cabinet, I see "Sweet Orange" essential oil. Oil's oil, right? Some people cure swimmers ear with minced garlic and olive oil. At least this was not going to be the start of an Alfredo sauce. A drop in... a drop out. I sit back down on the couch next to my snoring husband. Within about forty five seconds, my ear started to burn. It was about this moment that Husband awoke from his slumber and I started to see stars.
Fast forward past seeing stars and the moon, uncontrollable crying, getting dumped in the bathtub to rinse out my ear and Husband not quite understanding (a) what has happened, (b) how the oil got in my ear, (c) where the oil came from, and (d) why we have the oil in the first place.
This would be a great place to tell you why we have the oil... I use it in the kids' homemade play dough.
Off to the emergency room we go- I, writhing in pain, barely able to speak am trying to hiccup out my social security number.
"Mah-mah-mah name is Wah-Wah-Wife and I need to to to to see Dr. D on the PEDS side"
"date of birth?"
"M'am, you are 35. You are not a PEDS patient."
"I knowwwwwww," I howl.
"When was your last menstrual period?"
"I don'tttttttt knowwwwwww. It's my EARRRR, I puh-puh-puh this in it,"
"A clip? You put a clip in your ear? Why did you put a clip in your ear?"
No longer able to talk, I pass off the bottle. The two nurses look at the bottle, look at me, back at the bottle, and back at me. One pulled down her glasses to read the fine print.
"What's this for?" she asks.
I cry. (Not at all because I have no idea what the purpose of the oil is other than it smells nice in play dough.)
The other nurse turns around from her triage chair and looks at me. I close my eyes and cry harder.
My blood pressure is through the roof. Husband follows the sounds of my cries and uses his badge to get the room where they have hidden the idiots who think essential oils are perfectly safe. He confirms what I said about being a PEDS patient.
"Sir, she's 35."
In my heart, I want to scream- NO KIDDING I AM 35. But, I clearly did something that a 3 year old would do, maybe a 5 year old. Can you just release me so I can go be with my people and play with my dolls?
At this point, I have blacked out from the pain and "come back to" in the PEDS waiting room. There are six other families waiting over there-- a little kid about Bennie's age, happy and cute, a high school senior in a wheel chair, a newborn with an oxygen tank, and another small child. They were all licking their wounds silently.
Me? Oh, I was sobbing and making a spectacle. Clearly, setting the perfect example of how to handle these sorts of things. My hair had dried from the bathtub and was standing straight up from where I had been pulling on it. People there for their opiate fix looked at me as if we were comrades. I was thirsty, but couldn't swallow. I was crying, but out of tears. The nurse brought me a popsicle. Husband told me to at least attempt to be quiet.
I breathed through my mouth.
Finally going back, Husband and the doctor talked about what happened. I ate my popsicle and pretended that I was not interested in Mickey Mouse on the TV.
"How did the oil get in her ear?"
"I think she put it there."
The doctor looks at me over his glasses. Why do people feel compelled to look at me over their glasses?
It turns out that Sweet Orange oil is a dermatological agitant and should never-- in no uncertain terms-- ever be applied around the eyes or ears.
Today, Husband was driving back to the hospital and noticed the little bottle of Sweet Orange oil and his morbid curiosity got the better of him. He wanted to know how bad it actually hurt. As he drove down the street, he opened the little bottle at a red light and put a lone drop on his finger. As his finger hovered by his ear, he could feel the heat coming off of it. Before he could even get a hint down his own ear canal as he drove- a horn honked from behind and brought him back to reality.
Wife couldn't even see last night she was in so much pain. Is it really wise to be doing this while behind the wheel of a car? I'll wait until I get to the hospital and try it there...
Great Great Dead Aunt Irene is out to get me.