I’ve sat on this story for almost a year now. When life gives me a good story, I usually mull on it for a bit until I can make a Biblical connection with it. Generally, it doesn’t take that long before something pops in my head because, well, it’s life. And I tend to believe that real life stories are just our hearts crying out with our deep need for a Savior. So the Biblical connection thing is not hard to find.
This story is different. I’ve tried really, really hard to find some sort of Biblical truth in here. And there just isn’t any. Unless you want to go all Proverbs 17 on me…
A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.
Sure. Let’s go with that.
Okay, I’ve dragged my feet long enough with this intro. Remember when I said you might find a wee bit of humor here at The Rescued Letters? I’m about to deliver on that promise. Without further ado, here is THE most embarrassing story of my life…so far. Also, do not proceed if you are eating.
It is late March. In North Carolina. And that means your car is covered in pollen and your purse is overflowing with tissues because its allergy season. But it also means that gardens are resplendent with tulip blooms.
So off I go across the county with my pockets full of tissues to meet my son’s third grade class at Duke Gardens for field trip day. Side note: If you’ve never been to Duke Gardens in the Spring and you are local to North Carolina, you should absolutely go. It’s beautiful.
After successfully getting all the children off the school bus and out of the bathroom, we gather for the start of our tour with the garden docent. Except there is no docent. And no guided tour.
Here’s some maps and plant identification guides, parents! See you in three hours!
Wonderful. I am actually going to have to chaperone as a chaperone.
Enter Ms. Doe, my son’s student teacher. (To protect the innocent, Ms. Doe’s name has been changed.) We are splitting the children up into groups and Thomas wants to walk around with Ms. Doe. Because he’s in love with her. Because she’s blond.
Side note: WHY does my child always fall for the blonds? Simmer down, Barbie…my best friends are blond. I have nothing against blonds. But I’m a brunette. And I’d like to feel confident enough in my skills as a mother that if I have taught him nothing else, at least I have taught him to fall for an identical version of me. Blonds: 5. Motherhood: 0.
The good thing about walking around with Ms. Blond Doe is that she does, in fact, know what she is talking about. Yay! I won’t actually have to chaperone as a chaperone.
Around the gardens we go, examining bloom sizes, leaf patterns, seedlings, and bamboo etchings, and listening to Ms. Doe give my child the education he deserves while I snap away with my SLR to satisfy my wannabe photographer bug. Aaah, finally, we find ourselves in the tulip garden.
Pretty ain’t it?
Okay, I need to make an honest confession with you here and trust me, it’s important to the story.
I do not know how to hock a loogie.
I’m sorry. I’m so sorry! It has taken me almost a year to find the nerve to type that word. And I still feel the need to apologize for it. No question, I’m a Southern Baptist, through and through.
Okay, but really. I don’t know how. It’s just not something I was taught. (see: I’m a Southern Baptist). (see also: I’m southern.) (see also: I’m a girl.)
So just take that tidbit with you into the rest of this story, k?
As my child and his friends are running amuck among the tulips and I am snapping away with my camera, I feel the slightest bit of snot slide down the back of my throat. No big. I’ll just swallow it. It’s allergy season. It’s just what we do in March.
Except that the slightest bit of snot turns into a bit more. And you know at this point that you have to do something with it, right? You can’t just fill your stomach with snot. Gross.
I am completely out of tissues. It’s been a Spring day outside in a 55-acre garden. You’d run out too.
No one is near me at the moment, and neither is a restroom, and hello…I’m chaperoning. I have to stay near the children. So I sneak behind a cedar tree among the tulips and start hocking. Ok, let me be clear right here: my intent was to spit the thing ON THE GROUND.
So now would be a good time for honest confession number two:
I do not know how to spit. If you ask me to spit something out the car window, it will drizzle down the side of the car door every.single.time.
MY LOOGIE LANDED IN THE CEDAR TREE. About chest-height. Just hanging there right on the end of a branch like a glistening teardrop. My only regret at this part of the story is that I did not take a picture of it.
Now would be the perfect time for our group of knowledge-thirsty children to take an interest in my boring cedar tree, instead of the millions of brilliant tulips surrounding us. Which is, of course, exactly what happened. The children start inspecting this tree like their elementary grades depended on it and I am just over here praying DEAR GOD DO NOT LET THEM SEE MY LOOGIE.
Wait. There IS a Biblical connection to this story: God does not always answer prayers in the way that you want Him to, people:
Knowledge-Thirsty Child: (points at my loogie) What’s that?
Ms. Doe: (runs over like Fraulein Maria) I don’t know. Let’s investigate.
Knowledge-Thirsty Child: (sticks his face right up close to my teardrop loogie) It could be sap.
Ms. Doe: Wait a minute, back up a bit. Let me take a look.
Me: (eyes wide open)
Ms. Doe: (sticks HER NOSE RIGHT UP ON my loogie and sniffs it)
Ms. Doe: (DIPS HER POINTER FINGER IN MY LOOGIE AND PUTS HER FINGER IN HER MOUTH)
Me: (still frozen but gagging inside)
Ms. Doe: (scrunches face in disgust) That is NOT sap. Move along children, don’t mess with that any more.
Me: (silently hustles the children to the lunch area)
Ms. Doe: (still with the scrunchy face) That was not a good idea.
SHE ATE MY LOOGIE, Y’ALL!!!!!!!
It’s alright. I’ll give you a minute. I told you not to read this while eating.
Okay, now some of you are wondering how I can be human and let that poor girl eat my loogie without saying anything. And my answer is…I don’t know. It all just played out in front of me like some freak show and my neurons just weren’t firing fast enough to do anything about it.
Either that, or I was just too chicken to say “hey, that’s not sap. It’s actually my loogie. My bad.” This is probably a more accurate justification for why I am a horrible person.
Which is why I am writing this post. To Ms. Doe and the good people of Duke Gardens, you have my formal apology. I am sorry I hocked a loogie into your cedar tree. And I’m sorry I let you eat it.
Next time, I’ll bring more tissues.
PS – Pretty sure this chic saw it all and was not too happy about it: