Defiling nature

I would just like to apologize proactively to… uhhhh… well, I guess the entire state of South Carolina. I’m sorry.

But maybe that’s the wrong place to start. Where I should start is with this: Hey, for MONTHS we’ve been looking forward to this weekend’s camping trip! Yay! We load up approximately enough food, clothing and sundries to last us for a month in the desert, and then we drive a while and set up in the wilderness and then… sit around and read. (When Nerds Camp: The Boringness, coming soon to a really crappy theater near you!) But, see, camping is DIFFERENT than being at home, because it involves a lot of fresh air, and also popsicles. So you can see why it’s so exciting.

Plus we pack a couple of new toys for the dog, you know. So there’s that.

But this camping trip is destined to be a Very Special Event, because right now we’re really not fit for public consumption, and we’re going anyway, BY GOD.

I’m sorry, South Carolina. I really am.

Monkey had pinkeye earlier this week. And like the dutiful mother I am, I took him to the doctor so that she could tell me that yes, he had pinkeye, and no, she didn’t think it was bacterial, so we should probably just wait it out. And by the way, it’s highly contagious, so make sure there’s plenty of handwashing happening!

I tried to explain it to Monkey. But Monkey—like most 10-year-old boys, I think—views handwashing as a penalty. That’s the thing you have to do when your mother catches you careening out of the bathroom with dry hands. That’s the thing your stepfather suggests to you when he catches you trailing your fingers along the hallway walls after you spent some quality time outside, digging for treasure. It’s nothing you do ON PURPOSE.

So we stayed on him to wash his hands, and I washed towels and pillowcases and made a habit of squirting hand sanitizer around me like a lovely, gloopy halo of protection, and within two days Monkey’s eyes were better.

Of course, now Chickadee has pinkeye.

And Otto and Chickadee are both still on steroids, and it’s beginning to wear on all of us, by which I mean that Otto is uncharacteristically snappish and Chickadee won’t. stop. talking, except when she’s eating, and sometimes not even then.

As for me, I woke up yesterday with a fever. Today I am refusing to take my temperature, because if I don’t know for sure that I’m sick, then I’m not really sick. Or something.

Also, does my left eye look okay to you? It feels a little weird.

I’m sorry, South Carolina. We’ll try not to touch anything.


  1. StephLove

    Um…have fun?

  2. Leandra

    Hopefully you’ll have quiet neighbors this time. If I hear anything about murderous rampages in South Carolina though, I promise not to implicate you. Although “we were all on steroids” might be enough of a defense to get you a not guilty verdict from a jury of your peers.

  3. Beth R

    And it’s trips like this that life’s best (or at least good for topping other horror stories) memories come from!

    Virtual hugs and here’s hoping you’re all still alive at the end of the weekend :)

  4. Rini

    Well, I was going to comment. Really. And then I scrolled down and saw your “hire me” ad and completely forgot what I was going to say, what with all the laughing. Something to do with luck and fun and bookworm camping, I’m sure.

    “Want more of me? Visit my professional site. And then hire me. You’re pretty!”

    That is just so…… Mir! (If that’s not too stalkerish of a random internet stranger to say, of course.)

    (Also, I would really like to know how to pronounce ‘Mir’. I mean, ‘ir’ says er, but on the other hand, it’s short for Miriam, so… Meer? Because right now my husband only knows that “Chickadee and Monkey’s mom” says some funny things on her blog…)

  5. Aimee

    Oh, wow. You are BRAVE. And so, frankly, is South Carolina. ;)

    Have fun!

  6. Megan

    Yipes. Yup, definitely sounds like some sort of complicated hair-shirt type experience. Maybe you should put it that way to South Carolina? Like, Hey, SC, sorry about the infectiousness and the chatter and the short-temperedness, but dude I’ve done my spiritual regeneration stuff for, like, a YEAR.

  7. joaaanna

    Waaaaaiiiittt a minute… we are heading to SC for vacation too. Now I’m scared.

    ::packing lots of Purell::

    Have fun!!!

  8. Billie

    Have fun!!

    My little one was diagnosed with pinkeye a month ago and they gave her the end-all-be-all of medicine: Amoxicillin. Found out when I took her back in two weeks later that she actually had clogged tear ducts. What fun!!

  9. Crystal M

    As a native South Carolinian, I just have to say that I’ve seen much worse there! I hope yall enjoy your time up there (and start feeling better)!

  10. Tirzah

    Oh good heavens, you guys need to get better already! Go forth and camp/read. Have fun!

  11. Katie in MA

    Just staaaay awaaaay from the poison ivy. Because with your luck, that might be next. Fingers crossed!

  12. RuthWells

    It could be worse. We’re on our third round of treatment for (whispering) pin worms. Icky! And also poses HUGE handwashing challenges (because they cause unbearable itching in inconvenient places.. and that’s all I’m going to say).

  13. Margaret

    Not going to lie, many people in SC probably deserved it. (And I’m a Southerner.)

  14. Em

    Think of it this way: You are quarantining your family in the woods to stop the spread of the various bugs and mood swings.YOU’RE WELCOME SOUTH CAROLINA! Of course, if there is an epidemic of snappish, weepy eyed squirrels, everyone is going to know exactly who to blame. Have fun reading in the fresh air!

  15. Shelly

    Welcome to South Carolina! & If you’re at the campsite near me, keep your germs to yourself. Seriously, I hope y’all have a great time!

  16. Karen

    It’s all in the mindeset, Mir. You are gonna go forth and have FUN!!! Damn it!

    Besides, you’ll be camping out in the wilderness of South Carolina right? You can be as un-fit for public consumption as you want. Enjoy.

  17. carolyn

    Don’t worry Mir and family. A lot of strange stuff goes on here in South Carolina, and we will prbably never notice what y’all are up to.

  18. Mary

    Don’t know that it’s possible but


  19. Heather

    Well, I hope you all get well very soon, or at least manage to have fun in spite of it all!!

  20. KG

    I’m so sorry for you misery but your loss is our gain. I just LOVE your writing style. I am howling with laughter & empathizing at the same time.
    My sister has been living with me for almost a year now. She is a compulsive hand washer & is soooo repulsed when my four precious angels come straight from toilette to dinner without the sound of a single drop of water spilling forth from the faucet- or the toilet flushing either for that matter LOL
    Hope you are all feeling better SOON.

  21. Brandy

    As a native and current resident of SC I extend a hearty welcome. Don’t mind us, we’ll be over in the corner with the antibacterial gel. *g* Seriously, have a good time!

  22. Cele

    Pink eye, been there done that, bacterial and allergic. No thank you. Take time off and then go camping in West Virginia.

  23. Denise

    That’s my home state you are about to infect – go – have fun – they can handle it. They survived me, after all.

  24. JennyM

    So, you were just in SC and now I’m sick again. [Eyes Camp Wannanerda suspiciously.]

    I hope it was fun, despite the various ailments!

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