Unrequited Love, Creepy Clowns, and Banana Dolphins

Warning:  Self-pitying rant ahead.  I have provided you with sad music to play in the background while you read.  Here.

I have been the object of much unrequited love.  First, there’s the rain.  It showers me with affection, particularly on days when I’ve spent a lot of money to be at an outdoor amusement park.

Then there’s the sun.  It shines laser rays of love down on me.  Other people may have deep theological questions they want to ask God when they get to heaven.  Mine is a simple one:  Why did you put us on a planet where the nearest star burns and blisters our very flesh if we’re outside longer than 15 minutes?

And lastly, there are the mosquitoes.

I haven’t willingly been outside after dark without dousing myself with bug spray in 13 years.  13 years ago I stood outside after dark chatting with my neighbor for about half an hour.  I was covered in clothing from head to foot, except for the very top of my feet.

The next day I woke up to 16 mosquito bites on the tops of my feet.

Every now and then, in the past 13 years, Darling Husband will forget how much mosquitoes love me.  He will lie outside on the hammock at night in the softly blowing breeze, gently swaying, pausing to look at the stars, and he’ll say, “O, sweet darling wife of my youth, wilt thou join me as I recline on my swaying hammock?”  and I’ll tenderly respond with, “Dude!  Really?  Mosquitoes–remember??”

Last night at Kim and Michael’s house, we sat outside for about an hour.  I was a little nervous, but after 13 years, one’s guard drops, so I chanced being outside with no bug spray.  I reasoned that if Darling Husband can lie on that hammock for hours each evening and receive nary a single bite, then maybe I’m safe.  Maybe the mosquitoes like quick access to Baltimore city, so they only live in the Baltimore suburbs and not on the farms of PA.

I woke up this morning with 21 mosquito bites on my legs.  The smallest ones are ¾ of an inch in diameter.  And that doesn’t include the red skin surrounding each of the 21 bites.

And you know, I’ve actually had three different people say to me, “I never get bites like that.  You probably get them because you’re afraid of mosquitoes and they can sense it.  It’s probably a mental problem that you have that makes your body react so strongly to the bites.”

I’d better stop right there.  There are children who read this blog and their parents might not like them reading the particular words I would use to refute that postulation.


This is a picture of Playmobil toys.  I use these Playmobil people to act out the lessons for the preschoolers at church.  The kids love them.  I use the Roman Guy in his long blue tunic with the white toga to be Jesus.   The kids were a little puzzled when I showed them a picture of Jesus wearing red.  “But…Jesus always wears blue!”

So why the picture?  Because today was my last day of teaching the preschoolers at church.  I’ve taught them for 7 years, and I’m ready for something new.

But this being my last day I figured I’d end on a high note.  I brought the watercolors, the playdoh (with the toothpicks and cookie cutters), the markers, the donuts, and the prize box.

Plus, we went exploring today.  There’s some sort of bomb shelter-grade door near the kid’s bathroom.  It’s pretty hefty.  Every week when we have our bathroom break, one of the kids tries to pry it open.  When one of the kids tried to open it today I figured we’d just go with it.

“Who wants to see what’s behind this door?!”

Everybody!  Duh!

Behind the door is a very creepy concrete stairwell  with old scary toys in it.  Imagine some sort of clown statue.  If you turn on the lights, they flicker and snap and make a buzzing sound.  It’s very Horror Movie-ish.

We all trooped through the scary door, up the cement stairs, to find another door.  We opened it.  It lead to a room with a floor to ceiling mirror.  Which was kind of cool, but also a little creepy as well.  Kids love to look at themselves in mirrors.  They goofed around in front of the mirror.  But there was another door.  To a hallway.  Then another door!  To another room!  Then another door!  To a second cement stairwell with another door at the bottom!  That lead to a hallway with two more doors.  One was locked and the last one led outside.

We went back through all the doors and rooms back to our classroom.  And no one was eaten by the clown statue.


This is Jesse.

Jesse turned 16 years old today and his family said he could pick the restaurant they’d eat at for lunch.  He said, “I’d like to go to Red Lobster, unless the Lizards are available.  And then I’d like to go to Li’s Buffet.”

Of course you would, Jesse, of course you would.

When we got there Darling Husband let Jin know that Jesse was having a birthday.  If you’re special customers, like we are, and you tell them it’s your birthday, they’ll make food sculptures for you.

Apparently they were out of bananas for the sculpture, because about 20 minutes after we told them about Jesse’s birthday, I saw the owner arriving back at the restaurant holding a single banana.  He had run to the local grocery store to get a banana to make a sculpture for Jesse.

I love Li’s Buffet.


8 thoughts on “Unrequited Love, Creepy Clowns, and Banana Dolphins

  1. I’m so sorry about the skitos! But you are now my new bff – I didn’t think anyone existed who attracted them more than I do, but alas, I am wrong!! I didn’t get a single bite that day – it’s because they were attacking you! Will you be my picnic buddy from now on?

    • Not a single bite? That’s crazy. We were 2 feet away from each other. That’s so not fair. I mean, I don’t wish bites on you; I just wish there were no bites on me.

  2. I’ve been trying different methods to keep them away. Bug spray is fairly effective, but leaves spray film all over, the zapper is good and helps, but you by far seem to be the most effective way to keep them away from me! I’m sorry, but I think we need to start testing on you right away and begin to sell what ever chemical it is you produce. Zillions are in our future!!

  3. Those rooms up the stairs used to be the old Compassion Center. Where they had racks of clothes for people to take. When Jeremy first came home from the military, we were broke and young. He needed a suit for a job interview so we went there and got him a suit. (Sigh) fond memories. ok maybe not so fond of the being broke part. 🙂 I forgot about that full wall mirror. I wonder if Stacy (the dance teacher) even knows that that room exists. Maybe the ceilings are too low (can’t remember?)

    it was your last day with the preschoolers?? so sad 😦 So what are you getting yourself into now?

    • I’m not sure. I’ve had some sort of job in the church since I was 8 years old. There was a 2 year reprieve when we moved up here. Total I’ve done some sort of church volunteer work for 29 years. I’m sort of thinking of taking a few months off.

      Jobs I’ve done:
      weekly visits to a nursing home (7 years)
      bi-monthly visits to a nursing home (4 years)
      monthly visits to a nursing home (11 years) (The church kept cutting back as more churches stepped up.)
      1-3 times a week visits to a homeless shelter (2 years)
      play either the piano or clarinet in the church 3 times a week (15 years)
      ran the overhead projector 3xs a week (13 years)
      cleaned the church once a week (10 years)
      children’s church 2-3 times a month (7 years)
      compassion center (1 year)

      I think that’s it. I think I’ll take a little break before I see what might be next.

    • The mirror doesn’t run the full length of the wall, but it’s sizable. The ceiling seemed to be normal ceiling height and the room was pretty empty. Just a few odds and ends lying about. It’s a little creepy up there and there are no windows, but it might be really good for the dancers to have that mirror so the kids can correct their positions as they’re learning. You should tell Stacy about it!

  4. A coworker of mine said it has something to do with your blood and the level of iron in your blood that attracts mosquitos – among other factors too apparently but that is one of the major ones, because she and her sister will be outside and she will just get swarmed but her sister won’t get touched but apparently her sister is anemic so she has a lot less iron so the bugs are less attracted to her, at least this is what my coworker told me. They used to be a lot less attracted to me and I have some weird blood thing that we can’t figured out (low blood pressure, displaying signs of anemia but always test negative for it, signs of low iron but iron and hemoglobin always test well on blood tests – a friend figures could be pre-anemia or my blood is just really sneaky and is sending false negatives to the tests, but whatever it’s not impacting my life so far in any way so I live with it) and I’ve generally been pretty ignored by them too, but this year has been pretty bad for them. I’ve probably had maybe 10 all year, but of those 10 – 5 of them have been enormous! And like I said, normally I won’t get any.. or maybe 1? They are just monsters this year.

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