Happy Hump Day! I hope your week has been great so far. We had a busy weekend full of lots of fun - the kind of fun that causes you to drag your exhausted body through the front door in the evening, throw on your pajamas and cozily drift right to sleep with a smile still on your face because you've had such an amazing day. The kind of exhausted that I live for.
Sunday was my 28th birthday. We celebrated most of the weekend, first with an afternoon family get together on Saturday. It was a perfect day - not too hot, not too cold, a little breeze. My dad cooked brisket and my mom made me an amazing mint chocolate chip birthday cake. The icing tasted just like Blue Bell's Mint Chocolate Chip flavor (my childhood favorite), and the chocolate cake was melt in your mouth good.
Everything was going along swimmingly. We were relaxed, having fun, enjoying great food and even better company. I guess I should have known better, but I actually caught myself thinking, "wow, this day has really gone off without a hitch." Now, in my family, you just don't say stuff like that...because in my family, nothing ever goes off without a hitch. Something always happens - we're just too darn dysfunctional. And as the day was winding down, the jinx from my earlier thought popped up and slapped me right in the face...
Let me start by mentioning that over the years, I have become increasingly terrified of creepy crawlies (and birds..but we'll save that topic for another day). Particularly wasps, bees, spiders, and anything unidentifiable. I know, I'm a big wimp. I also have a huge place in my heart for anything with a heartbeat, so I'm torn. In an "OMG, there's a bug, there's a bug!! Kill it, Dusty! NO, don't kill it, just get it! Okay, it's on me, KILL IT!" *whack!* "Aww, why'd you have to kill it?" kind of way. I'm scared of them, yet...I care about them. I'm a strange bird (wait, I'm afraid of birds...okay, I'm just strange).
Anyway, back to my story. After cake, we were all sitting around the patio when I spotted the cutest little lizard on the umbrella. I started in on all my, "aww, it's so cute!" comments. My mom couldn't believe what she was hearing and started snapping pictures (probably for evidence) of me admiring the little cutie, and things just got worse from there. I decided I wanted to hold the lizard. I know, I know...but I was on sugar overload from cake (and a few *ahem* adult beverages) and wasn't thinking clearly. I reached up and took the lizard in my hands, prying his little legs from around the umbrella stand (poor little guy).
And then it happened. He started to squirm a little in my hand and I just....freaked out. I let go and started eek-ing and oh-my-goshing and he wriggled all the way up my right arm, giving me the worst case of heebie jeebies I've ever felt in my life! I quickly grabbed him and decided that I would let him go. So I'm holding him, freaking out, screaming like a little girl who'd just seen Freddy Krueger, and trying to find a place to put him down all at once. Everyone is hollering different things at me and I'm just all frazzled not knowing where I should let the little bugger go. So I did something monumentally stupid. I bent over and set the lizard down on the patio. As I started to watch him scamper off towards the corner of the retaining wall and a potted plant, I saw it. Out of the corner of my eye, a big blur of black and white raced past me and before I knew what was happening it was over. It was Tuffy, my parent's cockapoo. He'd snatched the lizard up in his mouth and run up the hill to enjoy him as an afternoon snack.
I was devastated. Everyone was joking around saying, "See, if you hadn't picked him up he would have lived!", but I honestly felt like my heart was breaking because I had caused this. If I hadn't picked up the lizard in the first place, this never would have happened, and now the poor little guy's last memory would be of a monster scooping him up and feeding him to a fluffy, yet ravenous dog. It was my fault. I was a murderer.
I begged my husband to make sure Tuffy had indeed killed it and it wasn't just suffering a horrifying death, so Dusty plodded up the hill to give it a look. After some bribery, (brisket sometimes works wonders) he pulled the lizard out of Tuffy's mouth, and low and behold the only damage was to his tail, which had been gnawed off about halfway up. He was ALIVE! I wasn't a murderer after all! I celebrated. I danced. I jumped up and down. I got crazy looks from all of my family members. Dusty took him into the woods and let him go, and as he took off (probably as far away from me as he could get), I thought about how lucky he was to have made it through. So now he has a name, Lucky. And I hope that wherever Lucky may be, he knows I didn't mean to put him through all that. I just get a little overexcited at times and overestimate my abilities to handle creepy crawlies and small wriggly reptiles. Lucky, I hope you can find it in your little lizard heart to forgive me.
Despite all of the, um, drama, I still managed to have a pretty darn good birthday celebration. The birthday wishes were made, the candles were blown out, the presents were opened, the cake was cut and Lucky was alive.
We hit the sack early, looking forward to a jam packed day of birthday
chaos fun the next day. More to come on that in My 28th Year - Part Two (coming soon).