(With apologies to Jennifer. I really, really didn’t see your ‘equation’ post until after I wrote this.)

Could I BE any more miserable? I mean, is it humanly possible? Oh, I suppose I could be. And I guess if I looked out of the vacuum I call my life, I’d see there are probably many more miserable people out there. But I really don’t know if they’re as pathetic as I am.

You see, I’m sick. I’m not sure what it is. This virus-sinus-thingie-cold-crud has been wreaking havoc on the Nerd family for about a month. Mr. Cool missed almost an entire week of school. Mr. Nerd, who never misses work, missed four days. Miss Priss was out for three. And now, the nasty bug has come to roost right here in Florence Nightingale’s head and chest. And nasty it is.

Compounding the nastiness is the fact that it is ligustrum season here in the deep south. No fouler a shrub has ever existed, people. Smelly, downright stinky, and bringing with it hay fever and honeybees. The smell reminds me of my childhood. Trouble is, and I’m about to go off on one hell of a tangent here, I used to associate the smell of ligustrums with the arrival of my most feared and dreaded insect – the buck moth caterpillar. You’ve seen ’em. Black, spiny, fat and scary. Scary as hell. How scary, you say? Well let me tell you how scary.

I. Am. Terrified.

So terrified of them that I was the weirdo girl in the Quadrangle all four-plus years of college. Come caterpillar season, I carried an umbrella. Yep. Not a parasol, where I could at least have faked it and pretended I was going all Scarlet O’Hara southern girl. An umbrella. Because the LSU campus is one of the most gorgeous campuses. And that’s because it’s filled with hundred-year Live Oaks. But at this time of the year, those beautiful trees are filled with gazillions of those effin’ caterpillars. And they drop from the trees onto the backpacks, shoulders, or heads of unsuspecting southern belles. And then those unsuspecting southern belles find those nasty squirmy wormy stingy things — usually when they sting poor unsuspecting southern belles.

Phew. Anyway. So as a child, because the ligustrums bloomed at precisely the time the caterpillars made their annual arrival, I thought that was what the caterpillars smelled like. And to this day, when I smell those foul flowers (if you can call them that), I think of creepy crawly stingy things casting a creepy crawly stingy cloud over the otherwise beautiful spring weather we’re enjoying.

Soooo. Ligustrums mean caterpillars. But we aren’t done here. What’s the one insect I despise as much as caterpillars? C’mon, guys. You’ve been around long enough to know. Tiff should have had it within two seconds. Kristie knows because she’s probably already got one in her mouth. Yep. You got it. Lovebugs. And I’ve posted about my loathing of those horrendous insects at least twice — here and here. The big infestation is in September. But we always get a ‘teaser’ in late April, early May. You know, to compound my misery. So the equation of my life becomes something like this:

Miserable cold/virus bug + ligustrums x caterpillars x lovebugs = MY LIFE.

So, I ask you.

Could I be any more miserable? Your resounding “no’s” are welcome and expected in my comments.