Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Rose by Any Other Name . . .

I hate bugs. I know they serve their purposes. I know they're necessary to the ecosystem. I know some of the ickier ones do their best to eradicate some of the ickiest ones. I get it. It's nothing personal. I just hate them.

I've become SO much more girly over the years that it's embarrassing. As a kid, I spent as much time outdoors as indoors--and I'm including the hours I slept. I made forts in the woods and in the snow. I tramped through brush and leaves and vines without thinking twice about what was crawling on me: ticks, chiggers, mosquitoes, Daddy Long Legs (or Granddaddy . . . take your pick). I had zero awareness of the dirt under my nails, the bites on my legs, the grass stains on my knees. I didn't even bother brushing my own hair until I was eleven. The difference between my fifth and sixth grade pictures is a testament to this fact.

By eighth grade, I was hesitant to let even my friends see me without mascara. Okay, so I've gotten a little less self-conscious since then. But not much.

Bugs, however? Hate 'em.

Although I'm okay with ladybugs. They're pretty and delicate. And come on . . . they're LADYbugs. They behave. They have manners. They don't skitter across your path or crawl across your face at night or bite you (don't contradict me if that last one isn't true, by the way; I couldn't take the news). My husband asked me recently if I'd feel different about them if they were called what they are: beetles. Yes. Yes, I would.

One of the bugs I hate the most, and my heart is palpitating just thinking about them, are house centipedes. I'm going to be brave for a second and show you what I'm talking about in case you're not the house-centipede-aphobe I am.

Ack! These bugs do NOT behave. They're sneaky and fast and flat enough that they slide under a cabinet or through a crack in the basement wall before you have the chance to grab a shoe--a really big shoe. Or a boot. Even better.

Honestly, though, if someone started to call them Feather Dusters, I might be able to take it. Daddy Long Legs don't freak me out. But call them vibrating spiders--another name for them--and all bets are off. Vibrating? In a bug? It's just wrong!

Roly poly bugs are okay, but I won't go hunt for them with my kids. Have you seen them up close? REALLY up close?

Yeah . . . not so cute and cuddly anymore, are they?

Same with worms. I know how irrational it is to be creeped out by them. They're not exactly going to sneak up on me or crawl up my leg. But they're gross. So I'm a little prejudiced there. Sorry.

Inch worms? Okay, so those are cute. Maybe my affection for them stems from my love for Richard Scarry's books. I know Lowly Worm is an earth worm, but he looks like an inch worm. And he smiles all the time. What's not to love?

Speaking of names (and not bugs here), my in-laws had a name picked out for my husband before he was born: Dylan. And then when he was born, so the story goes (so they told me, and if you're reading this, Mom, feel free to correct me), they decided he was so ugly he needed a tougher name--a truck driver kind of name. So they dubbed him Ron.

He turned out quite well, I have to say--quite far from the ugly baby he once was.

Before he and I met, my sister described me to him as "cute and perky--like her name." If I went by Roberta instead of Bobbie, who knows? He might have seen me as a beetle instead of a ladybug. Names can make all the difference in the world.


Ron said...

That's right... nuthin' scarier than comin' across a truck driver named Ron.

Actually, I thought my wife's name was Bonnie until I read the marriage certificate. Good thing it was a short enough courtship that she didn't notice.

Bobbie said...

Oohhh, you make me laugh, Ron. I guess I need to learn to enunciate my b's better.

Mendy said...

I'm really trying not to be Miss Commentsalot, but I can't seem to stop myself.

Let me just say that I can barely bring myself to come to your blog b/c of the house centipede. I HATE THEM. You forgot to mention how they can get as big as your hand! They move too fast and they look like they should be in the water.

And I've never thought of "Ron" as a truck driver name. Now you must post ugly baby pics so we can all point and laugh at little Dylan.

Bobbie said...

I'll try to get hold of one of his pictures. He wasn't so much ugly as . . . sloppy looking.

While I was doing yard work this weekend, a bug came flying across my line of vision and onto a tree that I SWEAR was like a house centipede with wings. It FLEW and scared the crud out of me. They're evolving! I couldn't see it once it landed on the tree, so I have no pictorial evidence. And I'm a little afraid to fully investigate, honestly.

Sorry to hear about NZ, by the way. I'll unpack now.

Brenda Chela said...

HOUSE CENTIPEDES!!! That's what they're called! Ughhhh those things freak me out. Aaron is also afraid of those.