where wildly different is perfectly normal
Keeping those stereotypes alive
Keeping those stereotypes alive

Keeping those stereotypes alive

keeping those stereotypes alive

As a general rule, I’m not a girly-girl. I like short hair over long, I keep my nails super short (because typing and fluting with long nails is an exercise in crazy-making; I almost chewed off a few nails the other night in rehearsal), and I prefer jeans over skirts…though that may be more due to preventing thigh chafage than personal style. I wish I had power tools and the time to play with them, I can carry heavy things with a smile (no, that’s not a grimace!), and if I knew how to fix my car without screwing it up to the point of a new car payment I would.

But I draw the line at creatures.

I hate mice. Despise. Abhor. They are little sacks of pestilence on creepy little claws, and apparently they love me to death, because they want to live wherever I do. Doesn’t matter how many times I tell them to bugger off, or how many ways I plug up their little entryways, they always return like the roommate from hell. As an aside, I had that Bridget Fonda short haircut long before Single White Female came out, but that didn’t keep people from backing away slowly when they came upon me on campus, lo those many years ago. But I digress. Mice love me, I hate them, and so I have to call the exterminator to act as a mediator. But not the easy or budget exterminator, nonono, but the Super Green Environmentally-Friendly “this stuff is safe enough to drink!” exterminator, so that my dear sweet dog does not commence the seizure-and-falling-down-a-flight-of-stairs routine of previous years. It’s a call I’ve been putting off, because we need other things around here, like groceries and pants. So I hate mice, and I’m enjoying the mental image of the little f*ckers trying to chew through the heavy-duty steel wool I’ve stuffed into every visible crevice. Mwahahahahahahaha!!!!

Don’t try to get me into the snakes exhibit at the zoo, either. Will not happen. I can handle lizards, they have legs, even if they might lose one once in awhile. But a creature that has no limbs and smells with its tongue? That’s just messed up. Tom and I once encountered a wee little snake on a hike, on our honeymoon no less, and let’s just say any onlookers would have seen two perfectly reasonable people suddenly try to climb onto each other’s back. My sons will never have a snake as a pet, because if it ever got loose I would be forced to move out with nary a belonging, setting the house on fire behind me.

I teach flute lessons in my students’ homes. All girls, all late elementary/early middle school age. They are the daughters I don’t have and I adore them. I recognize my role not only as their flute teacher, but as a non-parent adult role model, and so I try to be a strong modern woman..with a raging silly streak. I can’t help it; my inner child is a 12 year old boy, which is probably why A and I argue/get along so well right now. Fart.

Yesterday I got to a student’s house, and on the edge of the sidewalk up to her door was a wee little garter snake. Maybe a foot long, no bigger around than a pretzel rod. Little beady eyes, slimy striped body, sniffed me as I went by. Correction, there was no “went by.” Yesterday afternoon, if you felt suddenly “off,” that would be because I managed to slips the bonds of space/time/gravity and levitated my sorry butt twenty feet to her porch. Silently. Because rule #19 of teaching flute lessons is never mention the snake you encountered at the kid’s house at the beginning of the lesson. End of the lesson? Free game. As I was walking out the door I told her and her mom and her little sister about the horrible little visitor out in the yard. Of course my student and her sister had to follow me out, it’s not every day you have a serpent guest!

Super slowly, checking every step before taking it, I headed for my car. Now would be a good time to mention the ginormous hydrangeas on the other side of the sidewalk, usually home to bees (they had chased me to the porch on previous visits), that were so huge I was practically walking on the grass to avoid hydrangeas to the face. My plan was to be all cool and homeschool-mom-like and show them the snake. From a safe distance.

“Oh, hey, here it is! In the grass right next to the sidewalk! And…it’s…eating A FROG!!!!!!! EEEEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!

Yes, I screamed like a little girl and again levitated myself into her house, this time accompanied by two young females, also screaming, and we stood in the entryway all screaming and doing the flappy-hands-hop-stepping dance. Her mom and I laughed until we couldn’t breathe, and she took pity on me and let me out the garage.

Yeah. I’m a great role model for my students.


  1. JenC

    My sister and her family moved from CO back to FL this summer, and they now have a black racer snake that lives under their front porch. My nieces have named it Bitey. And she wonders why I’m not planning to visit her there anytime soon…

  2. My 5 & 2 1/2 year old found a gopher in our yard yesterday – a gift from our cat. DD5 had a talk with the cat recently…”Hercules, I am going to be a surgeon when I grow up, and I really want to cut something open. Will you bring me a squirrel?” Apparently, he listens well. There is now a gopher in our freezer until our biologist friend comes over tomorrow to dissect it with her. I think I have washed my hands 49539686 times since yesterday. What we will do to encourage the interests of our children, right? *barf*

  3. Lisa (in Ontario)

    You would not enjoy living at my house. You may have read my FB post (or, more likely, seen the word ‘snake’ and quickly scrolled on), but my DS11 has these creatures in our house all the time. His pet garter snake just gave birth to 10 live baby snakes — IN OUR HOUSE. Now we have to feed them bits of chopped up other creatures. It ain’t pretty. It may seem all worthwhile when he’s the next E.O. Wilson, or so I keep telling myself, lol.

Whaddya think?

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