Itch

I have a bug bite on the instep of my right foot. Could there possibly be a worse place for a bug bite? OK, I can think of a few, but practicallyspeaking it would be quite hard to get bug bites there unless one was cavorting naked in the woods, and then, well, you were just ASKING for a bug bite now weren’t you?

Generally, bugs don’t like me. M can be swarmed by every mosquito on the East coast, and I can sit happily and watch him swat. But this summer, the little buggers have decided that I might in fact make a tasty snack after all. And let me tell you, it sucks to go from person non-grata to life of the bug party. Really, I didn’t need to join this particular circle of love.

While swatting furiously and itching constantly, I’ve been trying to figure out why it is that I’ve become such a prime target, seemingly overnight. Perhaps it is the new body wash I am using? It DOES smell yummy, much better than the stuff I was using before….Or perhaps it is the new sunscreen? Because a girl should never leave home without her SPF 50 you know. The new laundry detergent? The dryer sheets? The possible suspects are endless.

I’m not sure what it is about itching that makes me so out of my mind crazy. As a kid, while I avoided the bug bites, I inevitably got several cases of poison ivy a summer, even after several hours of instruction from my father on plant identification and avoidance techniques. And despite stern warnings from my mother and pediatrician not to scratch, I always did. Even caked with Calamine lotion, the insistent discomfort of the itch would preset and I would scrape my skin raw, leaving the tell-tale pink flakes under my fingernails as guilty evidence.

The scratching makes it feel soooo much better, if even for a few seconds. And even though I know it is a false hope, I find myself thinking that if I just scratch one more time, the discomfort will magically disappear. To dispel the evil itch without scratching I’ve tried ice cubes, self-hypnosis, and my personal favorite, sitting with my feet in the kiddie the pool for hours. Which helped in the short term, but eventually led to raisin like feet.

As I sit here trying to focus on something other than the big red welt on my foot, I would like to apologize profusely to everyone out there who I laughed at and teased about being a bug magnet over the years. If I could take back my meanness, I would. Can I send you some bug spray or anti-itch cream instead?

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