This post is sponsored by the empowerment of women and two glasses of merlot.
It’s summer in Florida. I’m not sure what that means for other parts of the country (other than your summers must stink, because ALL OF YOU ARE HERE) but in Florida, it means rainy season. The daily onslaught of flash flooding, torrential downpours, roof shaking thunder and satellite killing lightning (side eye to you, DirecTV). When it rains, it pours…and when it pours, people want to get inside where it’s safe and dry. Except…
People aren’t the only things wanting to get inside.
When you’ve lived here your entire life, you’re just accustomed to the things that skitter and scamper and stick to your windows and bite you when you aren’t looking. In my 29 years (shhh…) of Florida life, I’ve seen most everything, but there are still a few things that give me the willies: spiders, lizards, frogs, roaches, palmetto bugs, geckos, snakes, armadillos, opossums, stink bugs and those enormous blind mosquitoes. Just to name a few. But because I have the heart of a Tibetan monk, we cannot kill these things. If it enters the house (or truck) we have a “catch and release” rule in our house. They all serve a purpose, and I’m not disrupting the Kingdom. Well, except cockroaches, because I’m not certain what their actual purpose in the circle of life is, save for causing me to nearly pee all over myself if I see one.
Yesterday, I went to lunch with some friends from the office. I didn’t drive, because I never drive (I also don’t pump gas, add washer fluid or know how to change a flat tire) but when we got back to the office, I wanted to move my truck closer to the building so it could get some shade in the afternoon. No one likes grabbing a 487 degree steering wheel at 5:02pm, am I right?!
I open the door of my truck and there on the interior panel of the door (the part by the wheel well) there it was…a frog. An enormous, slimy, sticky, menacing frog.
I did what any mature adult would do: slammed the door and screamed for help. After several of my co-workers surveyed the frog and literally did nothing to help, I decided to climb through the passenger door to move the truck. An additional three minutes spent debating the necessity of this act led to a co-worker moving my vehicle on my behalf…but leaving the frog inside. (I hate all of you).
When he opened the door, we couldn’t “see” the frog, which meant the frog had “left”, right? Of course, because all frogs stuck inside trucks decide it’s best to escape when they’re three miles from home and have been screamed at by an adorable girl in a green dress. I’m sure the frog hopped on his merry way.
5pm. Time to leave. Time to face my fear in the parking lot. Would he be there when I opened the door? Four hours have passed. A monsoon the size of Kansas has washed over our building. Surely the frog has sensed the warm puddles just waiting for him to splash in…surely he’s left.
Open the door. THE FROG IS STILL THERE. Staring at me — no, challenging me. Shit. Shit shit shit. I closed the door. I paced in a circle. I opened the door. Still there. SHIIIIT. I closed the door. I resigned myself to climbing in through the passenger side, giving many Elks at the lodge next door a good view of my polka-dot mom underwear. In the truck.
Now…can the frog squeeze through the closed door and also join me in the truck? Probably. He got behind the door, he can probably get into a Chinese finger trap. Frogs are tricky and slimy and full of sorcerer powers that I don’t understand. I turned to face my backseat of toddler socks, shoes, cheerios, books, toys, and various other necessities, and found what I was looking for: a giant beach towel. I grabbed the towel and shoved it down by the floorboard. Towels stop frogs. It’s science.
Crank the truck. Drive two blocks to Miles’ school. Park the truck. Feel nervous poop cramps in my stomach because now I have to get out of the truck. Hyperventilate. Consider climbing out the passenger door, but realize that the parking lot is full of parents and I’m not really sure how they’d react (actually, I am totally 110% sure of how they’d react). Take a deep breath.
Open the door.
The door swings open, slowly, and the frog is now ON THE DOOR. OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG. As the door inches its way ajar, his little frog eyes meet mine, and he stares, never breaking eye contact.
Close the door.
Sit in the truck. 5:07pm. I am never this late to pick up Miles. Panic about the frog. Panic that Miles thinks I’ve abandoned him with Miss Kelly. Stop panicking about Miles because it’s story time and the kid probably doesn’t want to leave yet, anyway (this is a true story). Panic more about the frog. Realize I have to make a decision.
Open the door.
The frog has made his way back to the wheel well, no longer on the door. Phew. I time my escape to meet with one of the daycare dads in the parking lot. I leap from the vehicle, without closing the door, and I flail and flap in the direction of the creature and shout, “THERE’S A FROG! THERE’S A FROG!”
And daycare dad, covered in drywall dust and paint (clearly a manly man), sauntering to his truck with his sweet daughter in tow, is now presented with the opportunity to show his daughter that he is a protector. That he is a fierce warrior, here to save the world, and be his daughter’s (and my) hero. Daycare dad does exactly what you’d expect him to do…
He frowns and shrugs his shoulders, and walks away. Way to go, daycare dad. I bet if this had happened before Father’s Day, you would’ve saved the frog.
I get Miles. We load up. I jump back in the truck. My leaping entrance and exit occurs three more times before my husband can finally, at 9pm, save the frog (and me).
Some of you might ask why I didn’t just shoo the frog out myself, to which I’d respond by telling you that’s a silly question. Of course I’m all for empowering women when it comes to things like becoming CEOs and doctors, bull riding, not wearing make up and winning a belching contest. However, when it comes to bugs, reptiles, vehicle maintenance, outside chores and lifting over 50 pounds, I default to men. Additionally, I was terrified that the frog might become disoriented and leap into my arms. I was wearing a green dress. Also, I smell like cookies, and everyone knows that frogs love cookies.
If you’re visiting Florida this summer, I’d encourage you to take a souvenir with you when you leave. My suggestion: