If it Were a Snake

Do you know the expression If it were a snake, it would have bit me?

According to the Urban Dictionary, the expression is commonly used in the southern United States, when after searching for a misplaced item, you discover it right in front of you.

Last year I bought a canister of wildflower seeds, planning to scatter them in the new curb garden. It would be a fun activity with the wee gardeners next door.  They had such a good time planting and harvesting carrots.

As happens in life, one thing lead to another and before I knew it, time was running out. I searched high and low throughout the garage for those seeds, but to no avail.  After a cursory search, I went back and did a methodical search.  Still nothing.  Then the self-doubt crept in.  Did I just *think* I bought them, but only thought about it? Could I blame this on ‘menopause brain’?  Where is that canister of seeds?

You know where this is going, don’t you?

While putting away my bucket of tools, I noticed a *bag* of wildflower seeds.  Head slap.  I didn’t buy the canister after all, I bought the bag.  Since I was looking for a canister, my eyes continuously bypassed the bag of seeds staring right at me from the shelf.

widlflower mix

Wildflower Mix

I had a good laugh at myself, before putting the bag back where I found it.  I would not be fooled again.  The first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere is two weeks from today. This time I’m ready.

Has this sort of thing ever happened to you?

18 thoughts on “If it Were a Snake

  1. Ha, yes. Frequently. I am most well known for saying “Where are my glasses?” in a peevish kind of tone after spending some time hunting. The chorus inevitably comes back “On your head!”

    Once, many years ago, sitting on the floor doing some intricate beading work, I misplaced them yet again – I checked my head and they weren’t there. Using just one hand, patting around the floor, lifting my legs and searching around beneath them, rustling through the beads and laces and ribbons scattered about me and piled in my lap, the other hand holding aloft whatever it was hanging onto – “Where are my glasses?” I muttered fiercely to myself. A passing daughter gave me a look of amusement. “Really!” she said as she lowered my hand from above my head – glasses clutched firmly within!

    We say “If it had teeth it would bite you!”


    • LOL!!! I love your description of those moments. Holding them up in the air is classic! I like the expression you use as well. Close to the snake, but less terrifying for those who live in fear.

      I followed a local blogger who stepped on a rattle snake, on to be alerted by the searing pain in her leg. They are deadly, and feared, but again, mostly likely to be sunning themselves on a quiet trail.

      Snake: I was minding my own business and this huge person came along and stepped on me. I said “ouch” in the only way I know how, and now a helicopter is overhead making a big fuss.

      She was hospitalized for a week, and suffered poor health as a result of the poison a few months after that. I’m now extra careful on the trails.

      Another friend also had to be helicoptered out after receiving a bite on a trail, but they treated her quickly so her toxins were less severe.


      • It must be stated now that if I ever come to California for a visit I will most definitely NOT be hiking with you! That sounds so awful – I hope those people are now fully recovered….. My knowledge of snakes all comes from movies – mostly cowboy movies from the olden days 🙂 When they whipped out their six-shooters and shot the varmint just as it was about to strike! And most recently seeing ‘Mud’ – another great Matthew McC tour de force! That man has finally met his creative genius! Did you see it?

        We don’t have snakes here – just the odd giant milk worm which lives in clay soil 🙂


        • LOL, Pauline. For the record, a giant milk worm sounds a bit icky too. I’m considering a Google search when I get up the nerve.

          I also loved the movie ‘Mud’ and agree that he has come out from his pretty-boy persona to display fine acting skills.

          I will try to find the link to the blog. She’s a great writer and tells her painful story well.


  2. Ha, I love that phrase. Yes that sort of thing happens to me all the time, I’m kind of feather-headed so it’s normal!
    My mother always prays to Saint Anthony in those situations! 🙂


    • Hurray for wildflowers. What I love about the bags of seeds, is that the stronger ones ten do reseed the following season, bigger and better. That is fun!

      Forgetting groceries in the car is something I’ve also done. Now I have helpers, so they unload for me, then I check for anything left behind.


  3. Huh, I’ve never heard that expression before! But, don’t like it cuz I’m a serpent saviour! Want to project a healthy non scary image of snakes so folks won’t poison, etc. them in their garden. Having said that, this happens to me ALLLLLL the time. It’s really rather embarrassing!


  4. I don’t know what you’re talking about…LOL. Actually, it’s the story of my life.

    Just the other day, when we finished looking at that house, I got my boots back on and said, “oh, wait a sec, did I wear my glasses in?” So I had to think hard about it and decided I must have because I texted Pauline just b4 and I need glasses to do that. So I start retracing my steps thru the whole house (that I love but we aren’t going to buy). Jim and our realtor are looking too. Frustrated at life in general I say, “why on Earth would I take them off?” Jim’s on to me and says nothing…smart. Finally, 5 minutes into the drama, I hear the realtor, “are these it?”

    I had taken them off and left them on a hutch without having any recollection. Just laid them down as I walked by and continued on the tour. Maybe they were too tinted to see anything when I came in? Who knows, my mind was a blank.

    Are you still going to scatter the seeds in the curb garden?


    • [snicker] Well is seems we have consensuses that we are all guilty of this very thing. I’m glad you realized it before you left the house. I lost my very first pair of glasses this way. I took them off in a public restroom, then drove home without them.

      Yes, I will definitely scatter those seeds in the curb garden…on the first day of spring!


  5. Alys, this sort of thing happens to me ALL THE TIME – and probably each and every time, I say “if it had been a snake, it would have bit me.” This is a true authentic southern phrase that is used by almost everyone I know who came from the south. Having said that, not to worry, Gjeometry – in the south we have so many snakes that we know most of them are NOT dangerous, and all have a role to play. I have stopped the killing of a big black snake in my yard on the grounds that they are nature’s pest control (we have a vole problem), although I did gladly allow a neighbor to carry the snake (with my husband’s help – it was THAT big!) into his yard where he too wanted some natural pest control. BTW, the phrase “if it had been a snake it would have bit me” carries with it the understanding that these snakes are NOT out to get us; they won’t disturb us unless we disturb them first! Hence the use of the phrase to describe being VERY close to something and not seeing it (such as stepping on it)!


    • Great story, Julia. I love your humanity. I found the courage a few months ago to capture and release a black widow living in the garage. They two are only harmful under duress. It helped me to read about them and learn that even the bite is only fatal to a very young child or someone with a compromised immune system.


  6. You just made me laugh again. My son called me last weekend because he couldn’t find a lid to a pan he used almost daily. He systematically emptied out the cupboards and photographed everything in it, then the dishwasher. He couldn’t imagine where that lid had gone. 5 minutes after hanging up, I got a text photo of his refrigerator. The lid was on a pot…behind the milk. Ever heard that term? It’s always behind the milk and men never look there. We laughed for a great while over it. Now me, I never do those kinds of things. It’s the gremlins that are to blame in my house. 🙂 I don’t allow snakes. The brain does trick us even with words we read. Boy, do I know about that.


    • Great story about your son and the pot lid. Behind the milk! I’m going to remember that. One of my sons recently said “it’s not lost until mom can’t find it. LOL

      Gremlins, eh? I’m afraid of those too, ever since those awful movies in the seventies. Eek!

      Thanks for making me feel better.


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