Monday, February 2, 2009

Ladybugs DO Bite

Renee told me today that she once was bitten by a ladybug. I scoffed thinking and feeling that these peaceful creatures would never bite. Yes, they do gobble up aphids like tourists at a Las Vegas buffet, but not a person, especially not a kind person. She must have done something to provoke the spotted beetle to sinking its teeth into her. But even then, I was not a believer that they even had teeth to sink into flesh with.

So she looked it up. And she was right. The Asian ladybug is known for small bites that feel like cat’s claws. Scientists believe that the bugs do this to extract salt from the skin. Since they don’t have tongues they need to do it some other way and therefore the nibble. This made me think of the salt sucking people on the old Star Trek series. Not sure why, but that episode always sticks out. Probably because we only had 3 channels of TV when I was young and Star Trek reruns were a staple on the local independent station.

What brought us to ladybugs were my reflections of the weekend. Saturday night I had single girl night. So I made some heavy choices. I said no to self pity, no to drowning my sorrows and no to treating myself badly. Instead I made a nice dinner of something he wouldn’t have liked anyway – bar-b-que chicken and “fried” green tomatoes. Recently he hasn’t liked much that I made so I knew he was moving away from me. I got a great bad book to read – Sidney Sheldon’s Bloodline and spent the evening getting lost in that powerful world while cozying up to the kitties.

At about 150 pages I drew the line and switched to TV for entertainment. This is where we get back on track with ladybugs. I watched one of my favorite girlie films, Under the Tuscan Sun. For those of you not aware, there is a woman in the film who is the eccentric and loves wearing hats and being passionately in love with the boy of the hour. She tells the whining Diane Lane that she needs to stop being so sad about being dumped and alone. She shares her story of being a little girl who wanted to catch ladybugs, but the more she looked she couldn’t find them. She became so tired that she took a nap in a field and woke up covered in these little specks of joy (not the biting ones I presume.) The metaphor of the ladybugs and love didn’t go wasted on Lane or me. When Diane meets a dashing Italian gent who sweeps her off her feet she joyfully tells her romantic mentor that she has found, “Lots and lots of ladybugs” the feeling grew in me too, as hope. Of course he says it is too difficult for their relationship and finds another chickie to charm leaving Lane hurt once again. At the end of the movie (spoiler alert) she is resting in her garden during a wedding and a handsome American writer picks a ladybug off her dress and they live happily ever after.

So the tale of ladybugs. Of course it seems, I always seem to get the biting kind, especially right in the ass.

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