My girls, who are 16 and 10, have never been stung by a bee or a wasp. While on the one hand this is a good thing, it also worries me. What if they are of the select few who are allergic? I know I’m not allergic. I’ve been stung a few times by those sharp-assed flying nuisances and I remember each and every instance.
Bee Sting #1
I was perhaps 5. While heading out the back door to play in the yard I noticed a squashed bee on the back steps. My dopey little Slovak pea brain thought it would be wise to touch the squashed bee with my tiny little index finger. Note to all reading, bee’s stingers are still highly effective even when bees are not only dead, but flattened.
Bee Sting #2
I was in 5th grade, and the girl’s softball league was in full swing. During a game I was standing out in right field (yeah, I was good) in a pair of home-made bell bottoms. Gang, these things were hideous – made of red, white & yellow seersucker fabric, with wide, flared legs and a elastic waist – yes I was a fashion plate.
As I stood in the bright June sun praying that no balls were hit to me, my thigh suddenly exploded in pain. I must have started screaming, because before long my entire team plus my coach were out in the field by my side. My coach, who was thankfully a woman, tried to roll up my pant leg to get to the stinger, but that crafty bee had managed to fly up high enough to where she couldn’t reach with her hand. So what was to be done?
The girls made a tight circle around me, and the coach pulled my pants down – right there in the middle of the Wood Park girl’s softball field. She then plucked out the stinger, hiked my pants back up and shouted “play ball!” The humiliation of that afternoon would linger for years. And what the hell was I doing wearing bell bottoms to a softball game?
Bee Sting #3
Fast forward to my late teens. My oldest sister was getting married and we were heading out the door to shop for bridesmaid’s gowns. My very cool, very 80’s sunglasses were sitting on bench right by the front door, and I snatched them up and plopped them right on my nose.
This is where I need to flashback for just a second. We had had an odd infestation of bees in the house that summer. They were all slow moving and laxidasical – very easy to kill. We did not discover until later where they were originating from. My mom stored one of her wigs on a styrofoam head on a shelf right in front of an attic window. The bees had somehow bored in through the window frame and had made a hive that attached this wig-clad head to the window frame.
One of those bees managed to park it’s carcass right on the bridge of my sunglasses. When I put them on, I got stung – right between the eyes. It wasn’t pleasant – the pain alone sucked, but the swelling transformed from a mild-mannered teenager to ET. My sister spent the afternoon snickering at me as I tried on gowns with the bridge of my nose as large as the Verazanno-Narrows.
Bee Sting #4
Was actually not a bee sting at all, but a wasp sting. I was at the beach, and I was topless. Yes, that’s right. New Jersey’s Sandy Hook has a nude beach and back in the late 80’s I was there every weekend that it wasn’t raining. I went to sit in my beach chair failing to realize that a wasp had landed on the fabric. When I got too close to his body for comfort in my attempt to recline and soak up some sun, he stung me. And stung me again, and again.
I jumped up and hopped around like a banshee. Topless. Mother nature never passes up on a chance to humiliate me, that’s for sure and for certain. Some fellow nudists managed to kill it and I spent a large portion of the day rubbing sand on my shoulder blade to ease the pain.
Bee Sting #5
Have you ever walked barefoot through a patch of clover-laden grass only to have one of the clover blooms get stuck between your toes? Imagine that happening while there is a bee on the bloom. Yep – stung right between my big toe and the one next to it – I kicked my sandal so high it got stuck in a tree.
And there you have it – stung five times in my 47 years which isn’t all that bad considering. Poor hubby ran the lawn mower over an underground nest of yellow jackets last summer. Let’s just say his list would’ve been a hell of a lot longer than mine.
And my girls? I can only pray that when they do get stung, all they need is a little antiseptic and a kiss from mommy.