Tuesday, March 08, 2011

nettles in march/mugwort in may

I admit I have neglected to think about stinging nettles for months. Then, yesterday, they came up in two different things I was reading. One was a Salon article about cooking them, and the other was in the book Lolly Willowes, again about cooking and eating them. I never knew of nettles until I moved to Germany, where they're called Brennessel (burning nettles). Left alone they grow very tall and fuzzy. People panic when they see them because contact irritates the skin, for upward of a couple hours. It's unpleasant, but also interesting. Like childbirth!

I don't get bent out of shape about nettles because I come from America, host to the crippling and fearsome poison ivy, which dwarfs nettles like losing your leg dwarfs stubbing your toe.

On days when I can't think of anything positive about living in Germany, I look in the mirror and write "poison ivy" backwards on my forehead with eyeliner to remind me the country is p.i.-free. At most it is shown in botanical gardens like a bearded lady in a freak show. There innocent Germans can ogle it, and expats taunt it with sticks.

1 comment:

Sandy Longhorn said...

I love this post. The last two sentences are priceless. THANKS!

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