No One Panic…

by Monica on June 3, 2014

hermit crab petAlternate Title: “A Mini Crustacean on the Lam”


“No one panic! Lily has escaped!”

This was my cry yesterday when I realized we had a umm,  situation.

The kids talked us into bringing home 2 hideous adorable hermit crabs last summer. After arguing discussing it for a couple of days, Hubby and I said “OK.” We were assured that the kids would be the ones to take care of Spencer and Lily (formerly known for one day as Simon and Garfunkel…wish those names had stuck). Now why we believed that nonsense is completely beyond me, but I digress…

As is ALWAYS the case, I was the one cleaning out their habitat yesterday. I carefully took everything out…the sticks, the extra shells, the food and water dishes, the little hollowed out tree thingy they both like to burrow under. There sat Spencer, huddled in his stripy shell. But no Lily. Assuming I’d find her nestled under a clump of the dirt in the bottom of the habitat, I still wasn’t alarmed. But when sifting through every single speck in that container did not reveal Lily, I had no option but to alert the fam.

“No one panic! Lily has escaped!”

Sweet Pea was away for softball camp. Split and Snap were playing in the family room and didn’t hear me. Hubby, though, looked up from his work on the laptop and said, “What do you mean? How could a hermit crab escape? Are you sure she isn’t just dead in there?”

“Um, no, honey. I would still SEE dead Lily. There is no Lily, dead or alive, in this container.”

Hubby seemed rather unconcerned. “No worries. I’m sure the dog probably had a nice treat.”

Enter Frick and Frack.

“What? What did the dog eat?”

Again. “No one panic. Lilly has escaped.”

“Oh cool! She could be anywhere! Do you think the dog really ate her?”

Then Snap got serious and remembered that he is the one who named Lily. He feels connected to her somehow…in that never ever took care of her and probably hadn’t seen her in weeks sort of caring way. “But that’s sad. I loved Lily. I hope she’s OK.”

So I posted about it on the book of faces and got some interesting comments. Someone recounted a time she stepped on and smashed her sons’ pet crayfish that had escaped. Someone else said hers turned up 10 days later with no problems. Another pointed out that a dead one would smell like a “several day old crime scene.” That last comment was especially pleasant, right?

Sweet Pea came home a couple of hours later and was the only one who panicked. She was not at all cool with the notion of a hermit crab creeping around in her house. And for two nights now, she has gone to bed with the certainty that Lily will crawl across her and pinch her while she sleeps. Unfortunately for her, Snap and Split find this image side-splittingly hilarious and end up in a pile of giggles in the floor when she talks about it.

We searched high and low for her today and came up empty handed. Somehow I’m not seeing a happy ending for Lily. And I’m already being asked if we can get a new crab when we go to the beach in a few weeks.

Ummm…that would be a NO.

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1051476_74068952For days now I’ve seen these no makeup selfies posted on social media accounts. “Post a no makeup selfie for breast cancer awareness” they say. And kind-hearted women who desperately want to do SOMETHING to help jump on the bandwagon. So they wash the layers of pretty paint off and post a picture of themselves feeling somewhat vulnerable. And I suppose there really is a tiny degree of bravery in that, because sadly our society doesn’t fawn over our plain-faced selves.

Now before I say anything else, I want to be completely clear. The women I’ve seen posting these no makeup selfies are amazingly compassionate and well-meaning friends. They are in no way trying to disrespect any cancer survivors. No way. Please hear me. I am not condemning or criticizing their intentions.

But I saw this very different perspective. And it made me think. Because that’s what new perspectives should do.

And besides this painful realization that our no makeup selfies could actually be causing pain for the very victims we seek to honor, I keep thinking that all of this is futile if nothing else is done. How is anyone helped by my posting a picture of myself…makeup or no makeup? THEY AREN’T. Plain and simple.

So how about instead of posting these selfies, we DO something. We remind our girlfriends to do regular self-examinations. We encourage them to get a mammogram. We tell a terrified friend that we will go with her to the appointment. We hold her hand and pray while she waits for results. We drive a friend to his chemo appointment. We read a book to him while he waits for the toxic meds to flow through the tubes. We donate money to a cancer research foundation. We give our time to a local pediatric cancer support group.

There are real ways to help.

Also…you are all beautiful. Makeup or no makeup.


Image Credit

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