Monday, August 5, 2013

Weekend of the wasp


Yeah, I know. Wasps aren't completely useless. Apparently wasps do pollinate flowers, kill bugs that would otherwise eat crops, blah-dee-blah-blah. Doesn't mean I have to like them. This long weekend, I certainly don't like wasps.

First, my friend Melissa was stung by a wasp as we ran around the Seawall. There was no flailing of limbs in an attempt to escape the wasp. In fact, we never saw it. "Ouch! I just got stung!" she yelled. We looked around. No stinger so it wasn't a bee, and no culprit to be seen.

I asked if she was allergic. "I don't know," Melissa replied. She'd only been stung once before and did have a reaction, but not enough for her to be officially be declared allergic.

We eventually stopped at the Rowing Club where a member kindly let us use the change room so I could see how swollen her sting was. The member also looked and said it didn't look too bad. We ended up completing the run and things seemed alright Melissa and I parted ways. (Fingers crossed she doesn't read this from a hospital bed.)

Today, a mere two days later, I was on my way to get groceries. "Ouch!" I yelled as I kicked my flipflop a few few feet down the sidewalk. Two women who were dressed up and walking with plastic cups of wine stopped. "Are you okay?" I checked the bottom of my foot. Again, no stinger and no culprit. Damn you, wasps!

My fear of things that sting

When I was a kid, I spent weeks of each summer visiting my grandparents' farm. My mom and aunt once told us kids about the wonderful stings they got growing up. My mom regaled us with the tale of being stung multiple times in the ear by a hornet. Meanwhile, my aunt shared that she was once stung on the eyelid by a bumblebee and her eye swelled shut.

Then the adults wondered why I was scared to go outside. In addition to the hornets and bumblebees who apparently skulked around waiting for young girls to sting, there were beehives on the property. Beehives!

Now that I'm an adult, I get how necessary bees are. And they generally leave me alone. But wasps, hornets and yellow jackets? They're jerks. They know they can sting multiple times and seem to revel in doing so.

So yes, they have a purpose. Like chemotherapy and other things I find unpleasant. But I don't have to like them.

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