Journeys–Trips with Falls

Oh, how I’ve failed you! (with a bonus rodent edition!)

Posted on: February 3, 2008

My unwritten code for this blog has been sabotaged by the unwriter of it!  (Um, that would be me.)  You see, I had decided to keep a *daily* blog for all of my loyal readers (few we may be now–hi, mom!–but think of it! You are CHARTER MEMBERS!  That is exciting, yes?), and already I have failed you!  Failed myself!  Oh, the torment of it all!  I didn’t have any coffee today–does that count as penance?  I hope so, because it wasn’t pleasant for anyone involved.

Allrighty, enough of that and on to the real post, shall we?!?!?!  We shall!  There is something you may not know about me….I have untreated murophobia.  Yes, I know it is foolhardy to go about my business, ignoring the deep-rooted problem that lies within me.  My affliction, in layman’s terms, is EXTREME AND ABSOLUTE, UNDENIABLE AND UNEXPLAINABLE TERROR DURING AN UNEXPECTED ENCOUNTER WITH A MOUSE (or rat), ESPECIALLY WITHIN A HUMAN-TYPE DWELLING.  I am all for looking fear in the face and all, but when that face has beady little eyes, a pointy nose, sharp protruding teeth, and can wrap a hairless tail around your finger…well, suffice it to say, there ain’t no therapy in the world that can release me from my little cage of horror.  Snakes and reptiles, I can handle–after all, they rid the world of disease-carrying rodents!  They are heroes!  Rodents?!?  ugh.

My husband, however, is a strong man.  He is The Mighty Hunter and will Protect his Cringing Wife from every threatening side.  Mice? Rats?  They are no match for my husband’s swiftness and cunning.  Now, he doesn’t quite *get* my irrational fear of something so small….  Case in point.  This happened a few years ago, but it is still etched upon my mind in severe clarity….

One night, about 1 am, I woke up from a sound sleep, slightly uncomfortable. No matter which way I turned I couldn’t snuggle back into that warm slumber. No question about it–nature was calling and my kidneys were aching in surrender. I gingerly got up, careful not to shake the bed or make too much noise–don’t want to wake anyone, you know!–and tiptoed my way into the master bathroom. I didn’t bother with the light. I knew my way around and it would only disturb my husband.

When I got within a step and a half from the toilet, I heard a “scritch, scritch” from the magazine holder near the toilet. (Our bathroom doubles as a library.) I froze, not knowing if I wanted to turn and run (known fact to all rodent-phobics that a mouse can run faster than any human being and they live to jump on your face with their extend-o-claws) or to stand and face this noise like a woman.  Realizing if I ran, the scritcher would sense my fear, thus expediting my demise, I decided to stand my ground and inspect the area.  I grabbed a wayward paperback book (there are practical reasons for the bathroom/library combination) and threw it across the room–aiming for the toilet/vanity area.  Nothing.  Then, I leaned as far over as I could, while staying firmly planted a safe eighteen inches away (gymnastics really paid off!), and flicked the toilet seat down with a thunk. Listen. Nothing. Okay.  Breathe easy, brave sister! It’s clear! You did it!  Safe to go in now.

I took a step toward my goal of the commode and simultaneously I hear and feel another frantic rustle and tiny claws (just starting to extend!) running over my left foot. Now, my conscious body leaves any and all choices laying on that floor (except my bladder did stay intact, amazingly) and my autonomic reflexes take over. I scream like I have never screamed before! I scream like I am on the wildest roller coaster ride in the world and I have forgotten to buckle my safety harness. I scream like a child when she discovers her favorite dessert just got eaten by the neighbor’s dog. I scream like I am about to be devoured by a rodent the size of Milwaukee…

Meanwhile, in the other part of the suite, my husband jolts awake from a sound sleep with my piercing screams interspersed with his name spouting from my lips. He is trying to decide whether to go for a weapon of any kind to defend me from this burly, dangerous intruder or just get him with the element of surprise and adrenalin. He opts for the latter. Rushing in with a guttural yell and a blinding flash of florescent light comes my champion. I didn’t stop screaming, but my spouse quickly found what the source of my terror was.

“You screamed for a MOUSE?! For a two-inch pest you can stop with one stomp? My heart is pounding for a MOUSE?!” My husband doesn’t share my irrational quirks.

I calmed somewhat–if not internally, by decibels–until my husband strode forward with purpose and pounded the wrinkle in the bath mat that I happened to be straddling. My feet pranced in a memory of elementary tap and jazz lessons while my arms flailed and head wagged like my teenage slam-dancing episodes.  I was quite impressed with my dynamics and the command of range my voice possessed, although I may be responsible for the high-tone hearing loss my husband now has.

“Stop, Jenn, STOP! There isn’t anything there. Calm down, would you?”

Well, after that kind of help from my husband, I decided to leave my love to tear apart the bathroom to find the thief of his sleep. I leaped back to bed in three loooong tiptoe bounds. I sat cross-legged on the bed with a safe mattress perimeter all around me, waiting for the triumphant hunter to emerge. He came in empty-handed, grumbling about his thumping heart and how he would never get to sleep again and was I SURE it was a mouse and not just a gecko??

We both crawled under the covers and I switched off the light. As I cuddled next to my husband, ready to force sleep upon myself, my eyes flew open.  I forgot to go to the bathroom!  I stayed where I was with the safe rodent-free-mattress-perimeter-zone until sunrise.  And now I never go into a dark bathroom.  I turn on the light and count to ten before I enter and make LOTS of noise as I do. 

Do you have an irrational fear of something?  How do you feel about hairless rodent tails??

Have a great rest-of-the-weekend! Tomorrow (Sunday’s) post will be either late or non-existing, since I am at church most of the day.  Don’t give up on me, though!  I would LOVE repeat visitors that aren’t related or have some embarrassing secret about me to lord over my head….

Thanks for all of your comments and support!  I really do enjoy this!  I am still trying to figure everything out…the mechanics of it all.  Any tips are welcome.  One question…I like to reply to the comments…should I reply on *my* blog or go to the commenter’s blog.  I have been doing the latter.  Maybe I should do both, so others can see the replies?  Just wondering what others do!

Thanks again!

Jenn

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3 Responses to "Oh, how I’ve failed you! (with a bonus rodent edition!)"

Great story! I don’t do well with rodents, either, though I did once drive to Punxsutawney to see Phil the groundhog…a LARGE rodent. I don’t do well with snakes or large insects either…I am quite thankful that God placed me in Ukraine and not in Africa!

Thanks, ukrainiac! Pretty cool that you went to see Phil the groundhog! You don’t hear that every day. I don’t mind groundhogs and such, as long as they aren’t in my home and sneaky. I don’t mind mice outside too much (although I would rather not even meet up with them!), but once they are in my home, they’d better watch out!

hahaha. I agree…once inside they’re in MY territory!

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