The View From A Slightly Twisted Angle

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Honest or Unhelpful??

on January 25, 2014

Iam helpfulThere are times in my life when I ponder whether or not I am a little too honest about myself.  I know me and I know the things of which I am capable. While I believe that is a good thing, there are times when I wonder if I should share that knowledge with others. Sometimes it makes me seem unhelpful. Just ask my poor husband.

When we moved into this house last year I was well aware that there was a likelihood that we would at some point be visited by a rodent or two.  It is to be expected when one occupies a home that has been vacant for several years and is located on a farm.  (While this fact isn’t one of my favorite things about our current home it is one that I decided I could handle: eyes on the prize after all.)  Knowing this I wasn’t all together too freaked out last fall when we had a few unwanted visitors. I was expecting them and was mentally prepared.  What I wasn’t expecting was that several months later, in subzero temperatures and following a small investment in pest control products spread throughout the house, that we’d have another rodent-infidel slip in.  I mean, after all, we hadn’t seen a sign of a mouse for months and it has been freezing cold outside. Shouldn’t those little buggars be frozen or hibernating or something?  Who can blame me for letting my guard down? I truly thought mouse season had passed. You can imagine my surprise when I discovered I was wrong. Really, REALLY wrong.

Last Tuesday evening we had spent the evening cuddled in our warm house as a family. (At 15 below who wants to do anything else?)  The children had retired for the evening and I was preparing to do the same.   As I walked out of the bathroom in the hall out of the corner of my eye I thought I saw something run across our bedroom floor. ‘Nah.’ I thought. ‘I’m just really tired. It was probably just one of those weird eye things.’  I went into our room and began to change when suddenly out from under the bed the same “eye thing” streaked out and ran under my husband’s dresser.  EEEEEK! So there I was, in an unclothed state, doing what I typically do when I see a mouse: freezing on the spot. Completely immobile with the words ‘do NOT scream and wake up the kids’ I managed to grab my robe and run out to get my superhero husband who was, thankfully, home.  Had he not been home I would have ended up spending the night on the couch…at my mother’s house. (Sorry kids – you are on your OWN!) Muttering “Great” my superhero grabbed his tools of mouse destruction (a flash light and a broom) and headed for our room.  Following my usual procedure and being my typically brave self, I headed for the furthest point in the house from our room. (I do the damsel in distress well – no??)

While I was sitting in the dark pondering how much longer we were planning to live in the house and wondering what in the world was wrong with the farm cats whose job it is to catch these creepy things BEFORE they get in (they are SO fired!), I heard thunking in our room.  ‘Yay!’, I thought, “My superhero found him!! It won’t be long until I can just go to bed.”  More time passed.  More noises in our room. No triumphant husband coming out to give me the ‘all clear’.  Maybe he was just cleaning up. I decided I could be brave enough to investigate, after all I was exhausted and just wanted to go to bed.  Upon returning to our room I found him still on the floor with the flashlight looking under things.  It turns out that he had in fact spotted Mr. Mouse under the dresser but the wily rodent had gotten behind the pedestal leg so he couldn’t get to him with the broom.  Knowing that he’d have to block the furry menace in there somehow while he moved the dresser, my husband had turned around to grab something and by the time he had turned back around the creepy creature had vanished. Poof! Gone.   I walked in just as he was getting ready to  check under the bed again. Looking for assistance he asked me, “If I chase him out from under the bed can you hit him with the broom?”  Here was my moment to shine. To truly be the helpmate to this man that I vowed to be so many years ago.  Here was my chance to be my superhero’s sidekick.  I looked my sweet husband square in the eye and said, “No.”  Completely unhelpful.

As I scurried away I felt a little guilty.  I knew I should help. I knew that at moment my superhero was pondering whether or not he should find a better sidekick: one who doesn’t flee during the heat of battle.   I was in one of those moments of being completely honest about myself that generally makes me look unhelpful.  I knew that there was no way I would hit that mouse.  I would freeze and watch the mouse run by.   Though my husband had looked at me with disbelief when I answered, I knew that I was really saving him some frustration.  Really I was.  I have experience in this. My mind raced back to the many times in my childhood when, during a “mouse rodeo”, my mom would stand with broom in hand ready to help my dad. He was the “flusher” and she was supposed to be the “bopper”. What happened every time, however, is that my dad would be the “flusher” and my mom became the “dancer” – hopping up and down screaming.  To my knowledge she has yet to ever hit a mouse with a broom.  (She might have accidentally landed on one during her hopping but I don’t think so.) While these moments make for really funny stories later in life the truth is hopping or freezing up really isn’t helpful at the time. The mouse escapes and the rodeo continues in another room.

See? My honesty really was helping my husband, he just didn’t know it at the time.

man-scared-of-mice-1209-lg

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2 responses to “Honest or Unhelpful??

  1. Well, look who’s back in blogger land! Welcome!
    Realizing you have the ‘flight’ part of fight or flight response is humbling, isn’t it?

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