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Bees in Bonnets, Wasps in Wardrobes and Something Much Worse . . .

People used to describe someone who was extremely enthusiastic or fixated on something as "having a bee in their bonnet". An interesting turn of phrase that's seldom used these days—probably since there aren't a lot of people walkin' around sporting bonnets. Perhaps it's been replaced with words like compulsive obsessive or worrywart. Regardless, it is a rather disturbing notion.

While I've never had a bee trapped in my hat, I once experienced having a wasp inside my shirt. In case this has never happened to you, let me be clear: it is not fun! It happened when we were visiting Arkansas. I'd been wearing the shirt in the above photo and one of my young sons got ketchup on it. The cabin we were renting had a washer but no dryer. Since it was a warm, sunny day so I hung the top outside on the clothesline, excited about how fresh and wonderful it would smell after it dried.

You can probably see where this is going . . . A few hours later, I took the shirt down and hastily threw it on, unaware that a wasp had worked its way inside of it. The startled, angry insect stung me right between the shoulder blades! If I had to describe the pain, the best I can do is to say it felt like being stabbed with a searing knife. (Okay, I've never been stabbed with a searing knife before, but that's what I think it would feel like!)

So yeah, having a wasp share your shirt is a pretty terrible thing, but in my experience, there's something much worse! And, here it is—the traumatic story that to this day has me double-checking whatever I'm about to wear before I put it on:

The Roach in My Robe

It was 1980 something and I was selling real estate for Coldwell Banker. For those of you who aren't familiar with the eighties, it was an era of big hair (some of us haven't quite let that go yet!), pop culture, neon clothes, and Valley girl speak— I mean, like, we totally had no cell phones! In fact, most of us were slaves to something called a pager. (feel free to Google this contraption—it may blow your mind!).

I'd taken a rare day off and me and my mom Franny had a long to-do list. I was still in the shower when Mom arrived, but I heard her call out that she'd let herself in. (funny side note, Franny had a key to our apartment, but anytime she'd walk in, she'd yell, "I could be an ax murderer!", as if we'd left the door unlocked).

I was in the bathroom toweling off when the phone rang. "I'll get it!" Franny shouted. Not surprisingly, a couple of beats later, I heard Mom's voice again. "Monica, it's someone calling about the house you have listed on Bangor Court!"

I'd already grabbed my robe from the hook and was hurrying toward the kitchen, still working with the belt. Franny handed me the receiver and moved toward our small kitchen table where she took a seat. Since the kitchen and living areas were basically one large, open room, Mom had a front-row ticket to watch me in action. She'd always been intrigued that I'd gotten into sales and I could tell from her expression, she was excited to hear how I was going to handle the phone call.

The man on the other end of the line told me that he and his wife were very pumped about touring the home I'd just listed. They'd driven to a nearby convenience store and used a payphone (another something you may need to Google!) to contact me.

I reached for a pen and paper and was taking down some information from the guy when I felt a tickling sensation across my back. Must be a trickle of water from my wet hair, I reasoned, tightening my belt. Attempting to ignore the "tickling", I continued with my questions. "And, how do you spell your last name?" I asked, gritting my teeth against the invader in my robe and turning my back to Franny so I wouldn't have to see her perplexed expression.

Honestly, I was oblivious to the man's reply. While he rattled off some random letters, I was in a complete panic! I undid my belt, thinking I could shake off whatever was in my robe without removing it. This seemed like a good plan until my mystery guest made his way under my armpit and down the inside of one of my sleeves.

Now, this might be a good time to tell you that I learned a person can scream internally without actually making a sound. Mind you, it's only something you can master if you have a big commission on the line and you realize that if you shriek in your prospect's ear, he'll probably think you're nuts and hang up on you.

Miraculously, I sucked in the scream as I stripped the robe off of my naked body and threw it across the kitchen. I might have whimpered a bit as I watched a HUGE cockroach crawl out from underneath it. I was only slightly aware that Franny was standing and we watched as the repulsive thing scurried across the floor and disappeared under the oven.

I remember looking down at my arm and seeing goosebumps. I can't say if they were from being totally freaked out or the chill of the air conditioning on my still-damp flesh. In either case, I took a deep breath and tried to forget that I was standing in my kitchen, buck-naked. Somehow, I was able to maintain a calm tone with the guy on the phone. As I wrapped up the call, I stole another quick glance at Franny and saw that she'd cupped her hand over her mouth to suppress her laughter. There were tears running down her bright-red cheeks.

I raised my hand up, warning her to keep quiet. "I can meet you at the house in fifteen minutes," I smoothly assured the prospect.

After hanging up, I looked over at Franny who gave me a guilty look. "I'm sorry. I should have been more help," she said before exploding into laughter again. "But you just looked so ridiculous dancing around in there!" She took a moment to catch her breath. "And then, you pulled off your robe and just kept talking to that guy! I have to say, I'm really impressed. You're definitely cut out for sales—or maybe even Hollywood. That was quite a performance!"

At this point, I'm searching through drawers for dishtowels to cover myself.

My mother, still greatly amused, smiles over at me. "Why don't you just put your robe back on?" she suggests with a smirk.

"I'm burning that thing!" I told her, giving the robe a swift kick as I walked past it. "I've gotta hurry and get dressed and show the house to that couple. Looks like you get to watch your sales superstar daughter in action."

"Boy, if you're half as entertaining as you were on the phone," Mom quipped, "It's going to be quite the show watching you in action! I can't wait!" Seeing me shake my head, she added with a sly grin, "Though, it does occur to me that you might want to consider keeping your clothes on!"


2020 Closet ClotheSure Challenge

In my ongoing quest to wear everything that's in my closets to work with no repeats until I run out of clothes, I submit to you, Week 27:

Monday - Love these dark turquoise capri pants from New York & Company!

I've paired them with this sheer (lined) off-white top featuring some beautiful stitchwork in colors that complement the pants. The top, from White House Black Market is a personal favorite that also works well under a suit jacket.

Tuesday - This slimming, side-tie dress from Ann Taylor was a recent birthday gift from my friend Deb. (my birthday is actually in March, but it was kind of cool to receive a gift five months later!)

The stretchy fabric is super comfortable and I'm digging the navy floral design with the light lavender background. This one's definitely a keeper, although the navy shoes will be making an immediate departure from my closet!

Wednesday -

This figure-hugging floral number by Jennifer Lopez (purchased at Kohls) has been in my closet for at least eight years. Although I adore the colors along the sides and the fresh, white background, I think I've just grown tired of it. So it's time to let it go!

This dress has already found a new home with a co-worker who will look great in it!

Thursday - Shield your eyes! This highlighter pink peek-a-boo sleeved dress certainly gets people's attention! (My husband teases that it's unlikely I'll get hit by a car whenever I wear it!) I picked this up about five years ago at J.C. Penny. (It literally screamed "Buy Me!!!!!)

Here's the thing about this dress—it's super fun, but I can't remember the last time I actually wore it. This tells me that for whatever reason, it doesn't make me "feel like a ten". Therefore, it's going bye-bye. I am, however; hanging onto the bright pink heels!

So, there you have it– two more outfits to add to the collection of things that don't make me "feel like a ten"!


From The Garden

And, this was super exciting! James and I were honored with the highly coveted Yard of The Month Award for our subdivision. I'm going to admit, we've been hoping for this since we moved in! (To our HOA - good luck getting your sign back next month! I think James has cemented it into the ground! LOL)

Wishing you all a happy Thursday and praying that you'll place your trust in God through these challenging times. With all the crazy stuff going on in the world right now, I believe we must stay strong in our faith. Here's a wonderful scripture my sister-in-law reminded me of recently:

Lamentations 3:22-23: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness.

Take care and remember: God is in control and HOPE is on the move!

Love, Monica

1 Comment

kimy v
kimy v
Aug 14, 2020

I was laughing so hard 🙏😃 .

Reminded me a few years ago when I gave my mom a bath and while shampooing her hair there was a LARGE roach on top of her head 👀😳. I will never forget that hahahaha.

I love the Monday and Thursday outfit you look supper hot. The turquoise capri and that pink dress you look like a ten Monica!

congratulation on your “Yard of the Month “.

God bless the Simmons and the United States of America 🇺🇸


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