I was going to write about my 20th high school reunion being tomorrow and the fact that I was a complete loser in high school who was bullied a lot, which made me feel even more like a loser until I discovered anti-depressants, retail therapy, alcohol, men (eventually James) and Miracle bras.
I’m not going to the reunion because I’m afraid those who do attend will be all like…. “What’s SHE doing here? Nobody liked her!” And I’ll wind up sitting at a table alone like in the school lunchroom. And then to compensate, I’ll drink too much and get really sloppy wasted and belligerent and try to start a fight with the guy who used to imitate my lisp and knock my books off my desk. But I’ll be too drunk to fight and wind up falling backward into a ficus tree where I’ll vomit and eventually pass out….
Yeah, I was going to write about that, but my shattered childhood self-image seems too light and trivial of a topic. So, I’ll tackle a much tougher issue with lasting political and social impact.
I really, really need to cook dinner right about now, but I can’t. I mean physically I can. It’s not like my legs are broken. But there’s one of those little, green tree frogs lurking in my kitchen and I’m terrified of them.
Give me a black widow spider any day and we’ll happily don aprons and whip up Thanksgiving dinner together. But a tree frog! They’re darty and shifty and can jump on your head and urinate and give you warts and tuberculosis! (That’s not scientifically proven, but no one has ever ruled out a link between tree frogs and TB either…., maybe even Ebola!)
I’m not sure how he got in, but he’s there! And just as sure as I let my guard down and start browning ground beef, he’ll hop onto the counter in front of me causing me to jerk the pan, spilling hot grease everywhere, which will result in a kitchen fire, third degree burns on my hands and arms and a terrible hassle with our homeowner’s insurance claims people.
It’s clearly not safe in there.
I don’t recall ever seeing a tree frog when we lived in California. I wonder if they’re a uniquely Southern thing. Let’s consult Mr. Google. Shall we?….
This excerpt from Melissa Kaplan’s “Herp Care Collection” clears it up.
The green tree frog is native to the south-eastern parts of the United States. They are commonly seen in Florida, South Carolina, Arkansas, and southern Georgia in the local shrubbery of the neighborhoods. They can be heard calling at night in the spring and early summer along side lagoons and ponds. They are a simple yet attractive frog that can make an interesting and neat but easy to care for pet.
I love how she describes them as “simple, yet attractive,” like a Pottery Barn lamp.
When I was a kid, having a tree frog in the house was a weekly experience. I’d probably consider them harmless if it weren’t for my mother screaming for minutes on end when she’d encounter one. Thanks to her histrionics, I’m like one of Pavlov’s dogs, shrieking and running out of the room at first ribbit.
*** Those who have known my mom for any length of time know that her general reaction to any stimulus is to scream in a tone piercing enough to shatter stemware…which is probably why she doesn’t drink wine.
She did once bake a particularly unfortunate tree frog when I was about 13. I remember it vividly. My mom had opened the doors and windows to welcome the autumn afternoon breeze. She’d also opened the oven door. Strangely, I don’t remember her ever actually cleaning the oven and I certainly hope she didn’t think that it was a window (although she is a natural blond).
Spying the open patio door, a tree frog with a stronger sense of adventure than safety decided to pay a visit. Eventually he hopped up into the oven where he went unnoticed until the chicken pie Mom had been whipping up was ready to come OUT of the oven. Along with our dinner, she found Mr. Frog, who’d gone from supple green to looking like a French fried onion. Poor guy.
If that happened to me today, I’d totally keep the little baked critter. I can think of so many uses for him. A random dinner garnish when company is over, a surprise in Andrew’s lunch at school. (I’ll think of more). It could be one of those family heirlooms that’s passed down among generations. I guess my family just wasn’t sentimental enough to see the value…..which is probably why I turned out to be a loser in high school.
See, it’s all connected.
Bio: Angela Weight is an award-winning humor writer, wife, mom of two boys and rescuer of a motley collection of animals. Her family recently moved from rural Georgia to the burbs of Richmond, Virginia. You can find her neurotic, ADD-laden musings at Angela Weight, Facebook, and Twitter.