I live in the South.
There are SO many wonderful things about living in the South: big old oak trees dripping with Spanish moss, gorgeous beaches and marshes, glass pitchers filled with sweet ice tea, old plantation homes swimming in history. Southern hospitality, family traditions, imaginary words like “Ya’ll” that become ingrained in our vocabulary. Hot summers, mild winters. And the trees…have I mentioned the trees?
I will admit, there are a few things about living in the South that I’m not so crazy about. Like humidity. As in: walking out your front door into a sauna humid. Like being smacked in the mouth with a hot, wet towel humid.
I’m also not 100% crazy about the politics around here. But that’s what I get for being a liberal in a red state. And since I don’t do political blogs, I’m going to move on.
But honestly, if you were to ask me what I’d change about living in the South, I’d give you my one-word answer without hesitation.
You see, the mosquitoes around here are big enough to saddle and ride. And when they dine on your lifeblood, they leave plenty of evidence behind that they stopped by for dinner.
Now, for a normal human, a mosquito bite looks like this:
|See that teeny tiny little blemish? Yeah…mosquito bite.|
But not me. Oh, no. My over-achieving nature wouldn’t allow for it. You see, I’m also extremely allergic to most bitey bugs. Ant bites leave me miserable for days. Mosquito bites keep me up at night. And let’s not talk about the yellow jacket sting on my inner bicep that landed my butt in the hospital looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger.
No, when I get bit by a bloodsucker, I end up looking more like this:
Seriously. I’ve had mosquito bites that wound up bigger than a quarter before. WITHOUT SCRATCHING. Add scratching to the mix and we’re in big trouble, mister.
Now, I know what most of you will say. “Have you tried Calamine lotion, Abby?” “You should pick up some Camphophenique! IT works wonders!” “Try popping a benadryl. That’ll knock you out!”
Here’s the thing. My medicine cabinet is FILLED with crap marketed to those of us who suffer monster mosquito bites. Name brand, off brand, all natural–you name it, I’ve tried it.
There are exactly two things that work. The first thing I’ll use is tea tree oil. It stinks to high heaven but usually takes the itch out.
However, if tea tree oil doesn’t work, I’m off to the cleaning cabinet. Because the ONLY thing that works 100% of the time is pure ammonia. I’m not sure why—something about the compound neutralizing the poison the mosquito injects into your skin to make it numb before it starts chowing down.
|OMG, tell me I look like Bill Nye the Science Guy.
Cuz that’s TOTALLY what I was going for.
If I could, I’d wish away all the mosquitoes so we could enjoy our outdoor barbecues and picnics and baseball games and nature walks in peace. Without coming home looking like Swiss cheese.
Then, I’d say living in the South is just about perfect.
Except for the politics. But seriously, I’m not a political blogger. I promise.