Tough

The other day Josh, Nellie and I were at my in-laws’ house. They live near some woods and a creek, so the three of us decided to take a little walk down so Nellie could see the water and maybe even catch a glimpse of a frog or two. We had a good time for the most part – I say for the most part because I kind of hate nature. I was raised in Chicago where my most exotic outside experience was taking a walk on a paved sidewalk with some trees on either side of me. My husband grew up playing on a creek bank, catching crawfish (UGH) and running around barefoot.

I digress. We had a fine time and went about the rest of our day happily. The next day we were all sitting on the couch, and Josh raised his pant leg to scratch his calf.

That’s when I saw it.

Me: What is that?
Josh: *leans forward to inspect the black speck on his leg* That? That’s a tick.

Me:
Josh: *calmly* Get me some tweezers and and a lighter.

Me:
Josh: …………………………

So I go to get the tweezers and lighter, hand them to him and perch on the chair beside him and watch. He points the lighter at his leg.

Me: Wait! You’ll burn your leg hairs!
He pauses, then grabs the tick with the tweezers. He yanks it out of his leg, muttering something about it being “really stuck in there”.

Me:

After he extracts the tick he proceeds to burn it with the lighter (CHILL THE FUCK OUT PETA IT’S A TICK, NOT A KITTEN). After he’s done, I glance at his leg.

Me: Did you get the head out? It might be stuck in your leg.
Josh: So?
Me: It might get infected.

He leans to inspect his leg again and after a moment of consideration he nods.

Josh: Get me my razor.
Me: Why do you need your razor?
Josh: So I can cut it out. The head is still in there.

Me:

Josh: ……………..

I get up and get his razor. I watch in horror as he proceeds to CUT HIS OWN LEG WITH A STRAIGHT-EDGE RAZOR AND EXTRACT THE TICK’S HEAD FROM HIS FLESH. The whole time, he is the picture of calm. His expression never changes – he never winces or whimpers. He digs in his leg with that razor as calmly as if he were doing a crossword puzzle. Meanwhile, I’m all

It is then that I realize that my husband is actually a caveman, or a gladiator, or something equally as tough. Born too late for the heart that beats in his chest. I see him nonchalantly wipe the blood from his leg and inspect the head of the tick when he finally gets it out, and I can picture him sitting alone on a frontier somewhere, pouring whiskey on his leg and digging a bullet out by firelight without batting an eyelash. Meanwhile, I’m on the verge of vomiting on our carpet and fainting.

Tough husband: I haz one.