Monday, July 15, 2013

A Day of Phobias...

For those of you who might not know me well enough to be familiar with my quirks and idiosyncrasies, let me start off by informing you that I am a person of extreme reactions.  Not necessarily extreme emotions (though I'm sure I could make a case for that too), but mostly extreme reactions to things that happen to me.  I've already shared my phobia of needles due to my fainting a few years ago, but I've never mentioned how ridiculous I get when it comes to bees and wasps.
Don't be fooled by this happy little cartoon--I was just
too scared to look up images of real bees on google.  
I've never been stung, which I'm sure contributes to the irrational fear, but regardless, I have a really difficult time staying in close proximity to bees or wasps for more than about 10 seconds before having to choose between hyperventilating or running away.  This seriously embarrasses Dave on a weekly basis because it doesn't matter where we are--we could be attending a luncheon with the president at the white house for all I care--when a bee comes near me I release involuntary gasps and mini-screams, start swatting at the air, and jump up and down or run around in circles like I've lost my mind.

None of this really mattered, however, until I planted my own little garden in the front of our house.  We've had this dreadfully dead-looking planter full of dirt in the front since we moved in, and I'm always a little sad when I pull up to our house with absolutely no color except the green of the grass.  But this weekend my mom helped me plant some annuals just to have something in there until the snow starts to come again.  We picked some pretty shades of pinks and purples and I couldn't tell you the first thing about the kinds of flowers we chose except that the salvia pots were covered in bees when we bought them.
The dreaded salvia.

Now, I noticed this at the nursery and made a snarky comment about not really loving that about them, but the tall purple stalks of flowers seemed so perfect for a border in the back of the planter that I couldn't resist.  (Plus my grandma told me they'd be hard for me to kill, and let's be honest, I needed resilient plants.)

As we were planting the flowers, all was well, and actually for the first few hours all was well, but when I went out to water the plants that first evening, they were covered in bees!!  Of course, when I say covered I mean there were probably about 5 or 6 bees total in the garden.  But still...

I decided I would just be brave and hold the hose a safe, good distance above the garden so as not to get my hands close to the bees at all, and it worked pretty well.  At least it worked until Dave went out later in the evening, came back, and asked with a tone of mild accusation mixed with curiosity, "Um, why is there dirt all over the sidewalk around the planter out front...?"  I very casually walked outside with him acting mildly surprised, but upon seeing how much dirt had splashed onto the sidewalk realized that if I continued to water so high, it would do that every time and the beauty of the flowers would be overshadowed by the dirty/watery/muddy sidewalk.

I resolved to do better today, and after facing a pre-op appt. by myself complete with blood-drawing and absolutely no sign of fainting, I thought I could be brave enough to water the plants at a close distance today.  Unfortunately, my extreme reactions kicked in and I just couldn't do it. I ended up splashing probably more dirt and water onto the sidewalk than I did the first time because I freaked myself out by being so close to the bees!

I'm sort of stuck now.  I don't want my phobia to be the death of my beautiful new garden, but I'm so ridiculously terrified of these bees, what am I supposed to do?  Maybe I should invest in a beekeeper's outfit for when I need to water my flowers?

Thanks for the help Mom!!

 All things said:  I still absolutely love having flowers to come home to, and I have to admit that sometimes I just walk outside so I can look at them.  It really makes this house feel more like a home :)  Aren't they beautiful?


  1. You should maybe look into an automatic drip system or something... or a bee keepers suit would do the trick or David could water the plants... ;) I totally understand about the bees. I haven't been stung either.

  2. So not fair to not mention the fact that your next door neighbor keeps bees!!!! Flowers look good though! Grandma says they won't bother you if you don't swat them and do precisely what you described you do in their presence. Just sayin. :)

  3. I am absolutely terrified of bees. I think your response in totally normal. ;) The flowers look beautiful! Miss you! <3

  4. I second your mom's advice. I have never been stung by a bee. Today I went to Starbucks and a bee landed right on my hot chocolate lid. I picked up my cup and waited patiently for it to leave. It left, stinger and all.

    Enjoy the pretty flowers and leave the bees be!

    Needles... however... they bite no matter what.