Watch out, it's kamikaze bee season
My mom thinks that bees and wasps are more aggressive in the fall because they know they’re going to die. According to my mom, bees are on a suicide mission to get us all before they expire—which is, naturally, in autumn. She can be found reiterating this theory—nay, BELIEF—while fleeing a picnic table in late September. “They’re going to get us!” she’ll yell, as she heads for the hills. “They know they’re dying!” she’ll bellow, from behind a tree. “They have murder on their minds!” she will shriek as she leans on her horn in the parking lot. She feels VERY STRONGLY about this.
Let’s break this down.
In my mother’s mind:
1. All bees and wasps die as the cold weather strikes. (How do they come back in the spring, you ask, if they’re all dead by November? This is not a concern of hers. Shhh.)
2. Bees are uniquely aware of their own mortality.
3. Any being who is aware that they’re about to die will naturally want to take others with them. They become filled with rage and want nothing more than to murder so they can—what, get revenge on those who blithely ignore the reality that their days, too, are numbered? This part is unclear.
My mom is in her eighties, and sure, she’s healthy enough, but should I be concerned that she’s about to try to murder us? The evidence points this way. I’m glad she no longer owns a car. I’m not saying she would drive us into a tree while shouting DEATH WITH HONOR!, but if she DID, I’d be like, “Oh, here we go, I guess this is reall—“ right before getting smashed into a mighty oak.
I’m not sure my mom still subscribes to this newsletter, by the way, but if she does, hi Mom! She would argue that she would never murder her own children, which is probably true, but I’m not taking any chances.
My sister Liz once shared with me the theory that as we age, we become like raisins: our personalities just become more heightened, intense versions of what they always were. My dad got so holy, for instance, that he became a cloud. (And I’m not talking about him NOW, now he’s in the Church Triumphant or whatever he told me Catholic Heaven is. I’m talking about my dad while he was still alive, and yet somehow bobbing around the ether, gazing beatifically down on us all.)
And my mom has become increasingly … my mom. It’s more difficult to sum her up, as she’s not a natural feature like my dad. She’s equal parts hilarious and infuriating, which is probably how she’d describe me. There’s a touch of Lucy Ricardo about her; she loves a misadventure. In this way we’re quite different. She’s a teensy bit bonkers. She sometimes says things out loud that should probably stay in one’s head. She’s happiest when she’s purchasing home goods. She loves to take pictures of recent injuries/rashes and text them to her children with zero warning. She can be a lot of fun.
My favorite mom story (I didn’t think this was going to be a newsletter about my mom, but here we are):
Liz and I bought my mom a fancy pedicure for her birthday. So she’s at the salon and the technician is sawing away at her calluses or whatever, holding up her sudsy foot, and says, “Who gave you this gift?”
My mother replies, “My father had beautiful feet.”
The technician looks at her. “I meant the pedicure,” she says.
Once again, I wish to break this down:
1. No one’s feet are so beautiful that a pedicurist would stop dead in their tracks at the sight of them, and my mom’s feet are just normal. They’re kind of big and wide, and I have been known to describe them as loaves, because I am a wretch of a daughter.
2. “My father had beautiful feet”? Who in their right mind would know a single fact about their father’s feet?
3. That’s it, that’s the whole story. I just love the idea of my mom thinking this woman was in awe of her spectacular loaf-foot and just had to ask where it came from, as we must all recognize the gifts our parents have bestowed upon us.
The best part is that my mom chose to share this story with us. Like I said, she’s a lot of fun.