The first signs of spring are always a welcomed sight to Vermonters. The birds are chirping, the lake is thawing, and the below zero temperatures are just a faint, distant memory.
Though I am jumping for joy with the rest of the pasty-white citizens of this gorgeous state, I am also starting to worry about the obstacles summertime brings to someone like me… and by that, I mean someone with OCD.
I’m not talking about getting into a bathing suit, though that is a very scary (ok, downright horrifying) thought. I’m talking about how my anxiety level skyrockets at the mention of going to beaches and grassy parks. I know you are all scratching your head in utter confusion at this confession and I don’t blame you. These are two places that should be magical, filled with building sand castles, playing frisbee, getting
skin cancer tan, BBQs with friends, and long strolls with the hubs and darling daughter.
…but for me, all I can think about is how beaches and parks resemble hazardous waste pits, filled with needles, used condoms, broken beer bottles and more. Gah. I know, it is irrational, but before getting treatment for my OCD, I would not walk on the grass of any public place and the thought of going for a walk on the beach made me want to cry. Literally, cry.
Once, a long time ago, on vacation in Maine, someone made a comment that drug users partied on the beach at night and that we should be careful in the loose sand, because there might be needles. Most 8 year olds would think about this for about 30 seconds, before taking off in a mad dash for the water. Unfortunately, it has stuck with me, and probably will for the rest of my life.
And parks, well, I almost stepped on a used condom playing wiffle ball once in college and that experience has haunted me ever since. Gross.
I’ve come a long way since then and for that I am so grateful, but you still wont see me in flip-flops, frolicking in the grass or sand. I will likely be wearing my Toms and scanning the ground for lurking dangers so Riley can play, blissfully unaware of her mother’s constant nagging fears.
And, if some days my anxiety is too much to handle, well, we’ll just join Auntie Cass at the country club pool, where the only lurking dangers are those who might feel that their style is being cramped by the one-year old in a full-body flotation device and her mother whose post-baby wobbly bits are not completely covered by her one-piece swimsuit.
Now to find somewhere safe to play on those pesky rainy days, because apparently the library is no longer an option. According to the free press, their toilets often don’t work because they’re clogged with needles… wonderful.
Don’t mind the tinkle on the seat, you should really be concerned with the fact that your butt might be stabbed by a disease infected needle.
That being said, please remember, if you sprinkle when you tinkle, please be neat and wipe the seat…
But for me, I’ll be holding it for 14 hours until I can go to the bathroom in the safety of my own home.
…until next time friends.