An itch you just can’t scratch…

IMG_4222You know that one thing that drives you crazy in someone else, but deep down you are terrified (iow pretty sure) it’s a character trait you identify in yourself? This has been becoming increasingly blinding to me lately (the annoyingness of this in someone else), but then today it occurred to me that I think it might be a universal flaw in all earth-born species…

Let me explain.

I used to work for this teeny tiny company that you’ve probably never heard of, called Hewlett-Packard. While working there (in my VERY early twenties) I had this super scientific job where I donned plastic gloves, used gigantic tweezers (non-magnetized, mind you) and worked on circuit boards. (I lied. It was not scientific at all, but I really did love it. I’m a fan of routine, monotonous things…) I would, before sitting down to work, however, have to go through this decontamination process. Once that had happened, I could not touch myself at all. During training they warned “you will feel like you have hives”, and I thought they were out of their minds… But I did. I felt that way, nay, worse. Every single day.

Fast forward to now- while I can tolerate an itch for an extraordinary period of time, my 15-year-old daughter has the horrendously unacceptable habit of being unable to sit still for any matter of seconds when it is appropriate to do so. (ie: a formal event when it is still/quiet; sometimes at the movies; while we are speaking to her about something serious; any other occasion that calls for patience and quiet respect.) She gets shakes and uncontrollable itches, and phantom pains, and chest pains and invisible skin lacerations… The list really does go on and on. On the flip side though, during times that don’t matter, she is as stiff as a board. (i.e: reading a book, looking at a magazine, day dreaming, watching tv.)

I feel these are tied together someone but am usually so irritated by it that, well…

But then…

Tuesdays are garbage day. The gigantic green trash trucks come and, like clockwork, our two dogs go crazy. In an effort to protect us (and their food storage) they chase the evil truck away week and after week with their fierce and deafening barks. I am sure that, within the dog world they would be quite impressive. Within our house, they are not. Today, in an effort to use my Yoda mind tricks on Paisley (my lab who loves me unconditionally, without thought of self) I decided to stare into her eyes lovingly while reassuring her over and over what a good girl she was, in a soothing voice. Initially, she absorbed this attention and seemed to melt into my chest, despite the beeping of the trash truck in the distance. But then she shifted, our eyes still locked, and suddenly she realized I had ahold of her collar. She continued to stare and nuzzle while also trying desperately to get out of my grip. When I realized I had lost the battle, I finally let go and she was free.

Free to turn around and scratch an itch at the base of her tail, with her teeth, with a force I’d never seen before.

So there you have it, whenever you realize you can’t do something, suddenly the need to do it consumes you.

3 thoughts on “An itch you just can’t scratch…

  1. Oh my gosh….thank you for making me giggle today. This was a cute and insightful read. SO, when I’m getting a manicure and my face breaks out in hives that I’m NOT allowed to touch…..well, that means I’m human too??

  2. I couldn’t handle that. Not being able to touch myself. Let me rephrase: I have to always be able to itch. This is why I will never become a hostage or get arrested. The moment I’m handcuffed or tied up, I will freak, because I cannot itch.

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