LOVE/LICE/LIFE LESSONS: Blood sucking parasite heals lousy relationship

mother/daughter outing
Lyn De-Lousing Savannah

“I called Suicide Prevention and they put me on hold” – Rodney Dangerfield

This is no joke if it happens to you, my friends.

Three times I called the Crisis Hotline and three times, they denied me – call dropped or bored counselor hung up before I got started on my sordid woes.

It was 1:30 a.m., an ideal time for wallowing in self-pity. Peace and quiet. No garbage trucks, leaf blowers or screaming neighborhood children.

I spend these hours Googling Depression and various mental illnesses I’m convinced I have. Check out Malibu/luxury rehabs I can’t afford. The crisis call was spurred by a depression quiz. I checked off 9 of 20 life events – any one of which can trigger major depression. NINE, I tell you! All in the past three months. One crisis center call – is that too much to ask?

Guess so. After this, I stared at the ceiling fan in total inertia, infuriated that my Narcissism stifles suicidal ideation.

BOOM! Savannah, my 19-year-old daughter bursts into my room, wrapped in a body and head towel – sobbing, shaking and shattering my self-absorption.

“Mommy! I washed my hair and all these bugs crawled out on the towel!” Wailing and thrashing about like a Blue Marlin, she was inconsolable. Her crisis trumped mine. A prolonged neck rash (lice) was misdiagnosed as eczema, poison ivy and stress. Doctors!

Taken back to those nightmare back-to-school years, I sprung into action. Slipped a velour jacket over polka dot pajamas. Hair in rollers, I was a homeless Lucille Ball, as I drove my howling daughter to an all-night CVS. Armed with Rid-X or whatever, I treated her, finishing well after 3 a.m.

The next day, still traumatized, she insisted on going to Lice Ladies, an unassuming shop, with frantic moms scurrying like lice and kids lined up, wide-eyed as MeerKats.

Due to my NINE major events, my daughter and I haven’t spent much time together lately. When we have, I haven’t been charming company.  At lunch, I desperately tried to explain my state of mind. I might as well have called the crisis center, as she symbolically hung up on me.

We spent 2 hours at Lice Ladies.

Lyn and Natalie, angels of mercy and funny as hell, de-loused my daughter and checked me. Miraculously, I was clean.

My dutiful daughter confessed her condition to her millions of friends. Most remained calm, but alert, and got check ups. But the parents! You’d think this was a pandemic new strain of AIDS, HERPES and LEPROSY combined! I expect one particular paranoid DAD to alert the CDC and post a quarantine sign on our door.

Wikipedia: Head lice are wingless insects spending their entire life on the human scalp and feeding exclusively on human blood. [1] Humans are the only known hosts of this specific parasite, Highly contagious, extremely common, they are relatively harmless and easily treated.

They survive only on humans, and die within two hours, left to their (non-existent) devices. No need to fumigate homes, euthanize your pets or become a LICE Bounty hunter.

I know enough about Lice to become a certified Lice-ologist. As I’m currently unemployed, this may be my next calling. Seems lucrative.

That day, I learned more important life lessons. Like lice, Depression is a parasite that feeds on my blood – extremely common and highly contagious.  NOT relatively harmless or easily treated. There’s no one cure – no “Depression Ladies,” or over-the-counter RID remedy. Some days, nattering nits of negativity (remember Spiro Agnew?) tap dance INSIDE my head.

But I discovered a treatment – action and love. After de-infestation, I treated Savannah to a haircut, went to Michaels to buy anything she wanted (and candles for me to cast spells and brood over.) Then, we ate banana milkshakes. We spent eight hours together, for the first time in months, and we had the most fun at Lice Ladies. The old quality time equation. When she needed me, I forced myself into action. And through helping my daughter, I helped heal a piece of myself.  On reflection, two quotes, from disparate sources, come to mind:

“Take action, any action. Seize the moment. Man was never intended to become an oyster” – Theodore Roosevelt

“O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.” – St. Francis of Assisi



About georgialeesays

Award-winning journalist, editor and writer of multiple genres. Former Bureau Chief, Womens Wear Daily and W magazine. Past director, Ivy Hall, The SCAD Atlanta writing center. Vice President, programming for Atlanta Writers Club. Freelance writer/editor of every subject in the known universe. Lover of clean, clear writing -"It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book." - Nietzsche. I teach yoga, meditation, in retreat settings. Seeker of truth and transcendence. Reincarnation of Edgar Allen Poe. "Life is but a dream within a dream within a dream" Write. Create. Learn. Dance. Yoga. Sleep. Dream.
This entry was posted in childhood, Family, hilarity, Love, Random Rant, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to LOVE/LICE/LIFE LESSONS: Blood sucking parasite heals lousy relationship

  1. Ed Lake says:

    Great story! Quality Mother/Daughter time together…no matter how you get together!!!


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