11 Thoughts Early in the Morning in Which Women Give Me Needed Assurance That Bears Are Not Sharks

by Meredith Counts

Images by Zona Retiro/Flickr, Jethro Taylor/Flickr; Modified by Maximum MIddle Age

Images by Zona Retiro/Flickr, Jethro Taylor/Flickr; Modified by Maximum MIddle Age

There's a lot to think about. I wake up at four in the morning to drive cross state, with my hippie BFF since junior high, who wants to learn how to inoculate logs with shiitake mushrooms spores. I like to eat mushrooms and spend time with my friend. So at this godforsaken hour I am going to pick her up and we'll have an overnight trip away from our little kids.

On social media this morning a considerate old friend tagged me to let me know how a mutual friend is doing and another friend is receiving a major award and this is awesome and why my Facebook friends are like 90 percent women who are doing and sharing cool stuff.

Mushroom class is taking place in a wooded area three hours away. There are occasional black bear sightings up there. The black bears are coming out of hibernation and yesterday was the first day of my raging period, so the real reason I check in on Facebook is because friends online have assured me bears will not sniff out my period and eat me. Friends assure me that bears are not sharks and I need this assurance. I can't run as fast as I used to. Especially not with cramps.

I use the shower I never use so I don't wake anyone up and the "man shampoo" my husband got at a dollar store while camping last year. It smells like a room full of freshman bros. With some luck the odor will fade or repel bears.

Setting up the coffee so all I have to do is push play has never steered me wrong. A woman taught me how to do that.

Wooohooo! Woooooo! We are going on a roadtrip! It's going to be wild! Yessssssssss! There will be no small children. WOOOOOOO! WILDNESSSSSS! I better pack some apples. I better rinse these apples off just in case before packing them for our really wild road trip.

This is an all day thing so I can't forget the dish I made to share with today's classmates. I am excited to eat what I presume will be lots of hippie food brought by other people interested in growing their own mushrooms.

I don't have time to dry my hair and that would be too loud anyway but I DO spritz my hair with the almost-gone store brand children's detangler that I should have bought more of yesterday while at the store except a two- and a four-year-old were talking to me nonstop: MOM. MOM. MAMA. CAN WE GET OREOS? CAN WE GET OUT OF THE CART? MOM. WE WANT BACK IN THE CART. DADDDDY (they get confused). MOM. MOM. CAN WE GO LOOK AT THE FISH? MOM. Somehow detangler slipped my mind. They'll be okay, if tangled, for a day without it. Black bears might be easier than humans between the ages of two and four.

I will wear my red furry hat. Oh, but I want to wear the cozy green scarf Beth made and sent to me years ago as a surprise but with a quick size consult because she is thoughtful as fuck. But I don't want to look like the Elf on the Shelf. My favorite colors to wear are red and green; this happens frequently. OK continue wearing red hat but grab green scarf and also, oh! Here is the green hat from the new flood of Star Wars products. It has a Yoda face and stick out ears and it matches the scarf kind of and cool I am as FUCK.

In the car I realize I should have made us a mix and also I forgot my coffee.

Oh cats it is early. I go back for the coffee. Will I survive this? I have given birth twice and I have lots of great women friends who teach me all sorts of things (even bring me along to learn how to cultivate shiitake mushroom spores). I have coffee. I can do anything. Even at four in morning with Axe-smelling hair.