Anyone Else Hear That Buzzing Sound?

I’ve been a little swamped lately so I hope you’ll forgive me for posting something I wrote a few summers ago when I first moved into my “new-to-me-but-very-old” house and discovered I had roommates… of the buzzing, stinging variety. Yep… yellowjacket wasps. And I am DEATHLY afriad of bees or bugs for that matter… especially ones that fly. And buzz. And sting. So, although I feel too busy to breathe right now—or at least fearful of forgetting HOW to breathe—I’d rather post SOMETHING than nothing… so I reached into the archives for this one. My hope is that you will find it as entertaining as I did horrifying… Enjoy. Oh and maybe grab your fly swatter.

Just so you’re aware, and I hope you NEVER have to find out… here is what it’s like to share your home with yellow jacket wasps…

For almost 2 weeks now, every morning, I do the “Walk of Shame” in my pajamas. At day-break, bra-less and with pillow-marks and wild hair, I scurry over to MY house from my parents’ house. I do everything at my house, except SLEEP there. The thought of one of those “creatures-from-depths-of-hell” (as I have grown fond of calling them) crawling on my pillow in the middle of the night creeps the shit out of me! What if I roll over on it, and it stings my cheek, or worse… I accidentally swallow it!?! I shudder even as I type this. I can only imagine what the neighbors must think though… a 34-year-old woman who has her own home, STILL sleeps at mommy and daddy’s every night?!? Talk about having “issues”…

Once inside the enemy’s territory, I sneak around my OWN house, tip-toeing like a cat burglar, with my WMD’s (a fly-swatter and a can of Mega-Freeze hairspray) close at hand. I enter rooms as though arriving at my own previously-anticipated surprise party… You know, because I want to surprise the surprisers that are hiding and laying in wait.

I compulsively throw open doors, blinds and curtains as if this element of surprise gives ME the upper hand against AN INSECT THAT FLIES!! I thoroughly shake out my clothes before getting dressed, I closely examine shoes and slippers before placing my foot inside—lest I squash one of them and my foot swells and it looks like I have elephantitus or some such disfiguring disease. I gingerly lift towels, rags and laundry with my thumb and fore finger in case one of the demon-spawn is hiding there. I’ve learned to RELY on the mirrors to tell me if one is sneaking up on me from behind. I suspect NOWHERE is safe, and I trust nothing.

However, I AM beginning to wonder if I am going about this ALL wrong. Perhaps the yellowjackets and I should maybe consider a less harsh solution like… couples therapy? I mean, me and the hive, could just sit down in a neutral setting, where there is no judgement or preconceived notions about “good” and “bad” and everyone is equal and we can air our grievances in a calm and cool manner. My sister once talked a raccoon into leaving her garage after several weeks, by simply speaking rationally to him, maintaining eye contact, and then leaving the door up that night when she went to bed. Soooo… anything’s possible.

Maybe I should just open up the phone book and find a family therapist who specializes in “unique” problems. I mean, OK… so MAYBE poisoning them with Aqua Net isn’t the right way to go after all, maybe it is a tad harsh. I’m not perfect. Perhaps we just need to learn to live in harmony with one another. You know, respect each other’s space. Bee considerate… and by all means, COMMUNICATE.

OK, it’s settled, I have the yellow pages, and I’m looking for therapists… I think I’ll start with the B’s…

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A Little Less Than Perfect

Hanging things on the walls of a 100-year-old house is a challenge. Nothing is straight, nothing is even. Not the floor boards, the base boards, the door frames, the walls or the ceilings. So you can imagine how difficult it is to hang pictures or wall decorations and have them appear perfectly straight. If you align them with the ceiling, you can guarantee they will not be parallel with the floor and vice versa. This can be quite maddening for a self-professed perfectionist.

For someone like me who loves, loves, LOVES straight lines, parallel lines, perpendicular lines, 90 and 45 degree angles… the decorating process can be nothing short of difficult. Now, I’m not talking “Alice-In-Wonderland” type screwy walls and floors… just your basic I’ve-been-sitting-here-for-100-years-and-the-ground-beneath-me-isn’t-level-and-therefore-I-am-going-to-settle-into-a-not-so-level-position-myself screwy walls and floors… In other words, things are just a little bit off.

The same thing applies to positioning furniture in-line with the ancient floor-boards. I once spent an entire Saturday morning trying to line my bed frame up with the floor boards, only to realize then that the accompanying area rug looked crooked. And the bedspread design, which is of course, vertical stripes wasn’t quite right.  Suffice it to say, I was glad no one was around to watch me obssessively ooch and scooch the bed (by degrees) this way and that… wondering where the fatal flaw was. Exasperated, I eventually just gave up.

I have done my best to hang, position and drape my décor in this not-so-perfect-but-full-of-character-house and adjust my concept of what “straight” really is. Usually I end up splitting the difference between the floor and ceiling with whatever piece I’ve chosen to be the “anchor” and try my best to ensure the surrounding pieces are as in-line with it as possible.

The same can be said of the people we choose to hang our “stuff” on in this life… our parents, our children, our friends, our spouses, our leaders. I mean, just like that 100-year-old house, no one is perfect. In fact, the very definition of the word “perfect” is: entirely without any flaws, defects, or shortcomings. Now tell me… do you know ANY human being who fits that description? None of us have a perfectly straight, perfectly even, perfectly sound foundation. We all are loaded with flaws, defects and shortcomings.

So, when looking at those people who we deem to be the “anchors” in our lives, the absolute BEST we can ever really do is try and adjust our concept of what “perfect” really is by splitting the difference between expectation and reality. Recognize that those we love are not-so-perfect but full-of-character… And then do our best to ensure that the others we CHOOSE to surround ourselves with, are as in-line with us as possible in this less-than-perfect world.