Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I hope I'm not tempting fate.

At the end of the day, we received an e-mail from Corporate Behemoth's associate communications department. They just wanted to let us know that someone in my building has swine flu.

And then? The e-mail went on to talk - in detail - about the importance of proper mouth-covering and handwashing. Did you know you should throw away a Kleenex after you use it?

I know. I had no idea either.

Now, after receiving this e-mail, I suddenly felt puny. But then I realized that I would be waaaay more worried about a colleague having, oh, head lice. Because the flu? The hospital will take care of you. But head lice? You are on your own. And you're a social outcast.

I have crazy, crazy thick hair. And in second grade, it was down to my waist. This coincided with a giant lice outbreak at my elementary school. Our entire class had to line up alphabetically so that the school nurse could pick through our hair with these chopstick things.

Our school nurse was not a particularly kind woman. In fact, she was pretty gruff. Really, really gruff. And loud. And her name was Mrs. Hoar.

For real.

So, Mrs. Hoar chopsticked through everybody's hair and then proclaimed them lice-free to the rest of the class.

Then, she got to me. I really could have gone as Cousin It for Halloween. I had a lot of hair.

Mrs. Hoar chopsticked and chopsticked through my hair, hurting me as she raked my tender little scalp. Finally, she proclaimed:

"Well, honey, you have so much hair, I can't tell if you have 'em or not."

And then? Then, my classmates parted like the Red Sea. And no one would sit next to me. And I felt like a total leper.

Not that I'm still carrying that pain around with me 27 years later or anything.

And for the record, and for you, Mrs. Hoar, wherever you are? I NEVER HAD LICE.

10 comments:

SCREAMING FOR CHOCOLATE said...

That sucks. Well my daughter actually did get it. And her hair was like yours. It was a nightmare. I was not happy. Hello...if other kids parents did what they were supposed to do my child would not have gotten them.

mel said...

haha, I hated when the nurse would to the head lice once-over too. They really are rough!!

Jennifer Vander Molen said...

Well, my Mom told most of Orange City that I had lice after coming home from Costa Rica. WHEN I WAS 20. I wondered why everyone was staying away from me.

And FYI, lice in Costa Rica is different. You can get rid of it with one dose of ironically initialed M.O.M. shampoo. Which I had used a full week before I returned home.

Sara said...

No one ever believes me when I tell them the nurse's name was Mrs. Hoar.

Am I alone in that I loved the lice checks? Those spine tingles you get when the nurse runs that stick ever so lightly over your scalp? Heaven!

LaDue & Crew said...

Mean old nurses!I bet you she hemorrhoids now, too, lol...

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Now? I feel itchy. Darn you.

you gotta wonder said...

{Shudder} 4 kids. 3 girls with thick hair. Hours and hours and hours of picking nits during the great infestation of the elementary school. And apparently one lousy little girl kept the game going for months. Neato, huh? Finally I called her custodial g-ma and volunteered to do the weekly regimine on the poor child. I guess I shamed them into addressing the problem because after that, it was "game over".

Iron Needles said...

Never had them, or knew about them growing up. Lived in a really dry place, I guess. So when my three, with really long thick hair got them one summer, after camp (stupid camp mattresses), and I finally figured it out...because I was unfamiliar with such...I spent two days combing combing combing washing washing washing combing combing combing. Got all the little buggers, too, without cutting a follicle.

PS Adult daughters remember this incident not as combing combing combing, but as torture torture torture.

PPS What do they know.

Tumble Fish Studio said...

Hi Cha Cha! Oh the saga and drama of lice! I hate them. If they were pretty multicolored little creatures with pretty little butterfly wings we might think differently. My daughter has had it twice. Once in second grade and once last fall as a 10th grader. Oh my goodness! Never thought that would happen - always thought it was an elementary thing. In second grade we finally chopped her hair off cuz we couldn't seem to get rid of it but that was never going to happen again. This last time wasn't so bad and no one else got it and we were done with it in a few days and she ironically loved the hair combing this time. Oh well, you suffered the stigma you poor thing. Mean nurse. Like I said if they had pretty little multicolored bodies and wings, you'd have been envied!

Tumble Fish Studio said...

Oh forgot to mention, the first time my daughter had lice, in 2nd grade, I had thick long curly Cher from Moonstruck hair and I was convinced that I would get it and heartbroken to cut her hair so I cut mine off with her too and I have never had the courage to grow it out again.