Many years ago I had a friend I’ll call Dottie.

Dottie and I shared several similarities.

I loved her sense of humor.

One day, Dottie said to me, “Well, I’m ready to die now.”

“How’s that?” I said.

“I pulled out my kitchen stove and cleaned behind it,” she said. “And I finally dealt with some underwear I had been soaking in a bucket in my garage for weeks. I hated the thought that anyone who came to clean my house after my death would think I was a slob.”

I laughed.

Dottie and I discussed recipes and our kids, and we talked a lot about the number one topic of women: losing weight.

I shared with Dottie that I had held onto a black skirt I had worn in the past but had “outgrown.” I was trying to eat reasonably and exercise so I could again wear that skirt.

Happily, I reached that goal and wore the skirt to work one day. I stopped by Dottie’s desk to share my success with her.

“Congratulations!” Dottie said. “Now that you’ve lost weight, you just need to do something with that hair of yours and you’ll be looking good!”

Dottie had a way of doing that. She would utter what sounded like a compliment and then turn around and slap you with her next comment.

I’m sure my hand flew to my hair when she said what she said.

“I think you should get a perm,” Dottie said.

“No!” I said. “I hate perms! My hair soaks up perm solution like a dry sponge absorbs water. I always wind up looking like Richard Simmons.”

“You need to see my hairdresser,” said Dottie. “She is fantastic. Let me make you an appointment for a perm. You’ll love it.”

The appointment was made, and Dottie and I planned to meet for lunch afterward.

I visited Dottie’s hairdresser.

My hair soaked up that perm solution like a dry sponge absorbs water. I looked like a curvy Richard Simmons.

I met Dottie at the restaurant right after my hair appointment. Her mouth dropped open when she saw me.

“Oh, Debbie!” she said. “That’s awful.”

She laughed her loudest laugh. I tried to laugh but couldn’t.

Encounters with Dottie often ended that way. She would be laughing, and I would be failing to see the humor in the situation.

I haven’t seen Dottie for years, and I don’t want to see her.

Before you judge me too harshly, allow me to say if I did see her, I would be kind. I’d ask about her kids and grandkids. I might even ask if she had pulled her kitchen stove out for a good cleaning lately.

But I would NOT suggest we get together and renew our friendship.

The middle knuckle of the middle finger of my right hand has a knot on it. The knot resulted from a wasp sting I suffered back in the summer while I was working in the yard.

It was a particularly painful sting, and it left me with that knotted knuckle.

I plan to be more careful as I do yard work this summer.

I hate being stung.

8 thoughts on “STUNG”

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting, Sharon! It’s great to hear from you. Yes, I loved watching Art Linkletter interview children. He and Johnny Carson were both pros at that.

  1. Oh, dear! This was so well said! I used to joke when I had a perm that the immediate result was my French poodle stage. By the time it hit the Irish setter phase (my favorite) with nice waves and soft curls, the perm was just about grown out. (Remember how awful they’d smell if you were caught out in the rain within the first week or two after a new perm?) My problem was my frienemy was much closer to me. “She” turned out to be my own words and thoughts. I was always self critiquing. I could say and think the harshest things of myself – things I wouldn’t think of saying to an enemy if I had one. I too, have decided I am not anxious to meet up with her again. The thing is she, doesn’t show up as much anymore. When she does, I am much quicker to recognize when she’s getting out of line and needs to be counteracted, by refusing to dwell on that negative self talk. Once in awhile she slips one in that I dwell on until I am reminded of my Father’s love and how I need to see myself as He does. It has been an incredibly slow process, but practice makes perfect, and I so want to be perfected in Him. To God be the Glory! Most Sincerely , Sharon S. Sent from my iPhone


    1. Boy, Sharon, I wish I had written that! I know that “frienemy” well. I too resist her, with occasional success. You are correct when you say we “say and think the harshest things of ourselves–things we wouldn’t think of saying to an enemy, if we had one.” I’m working on that. Progress, not perfection, as one of my friends reminds me. Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

  2. Oh Debbie! I’m so sorry I enjoyed a good chuckle at your expense reading this! I do know the feeling of wasp-like “friends” and it’s simply awful. You definitely have a way of humorously highlighting the importance of choosing your inner circle wisely. Thank you for sharing out of your wisdom!

    1. Thank you, Pearl, for reading, following, and posting a comment. Sometimes I’m a bit slow on the uptake. I give people the benefit of the doubt. When I question the sincerity of a friend, I initially suspect the problem must be with me. I almost need to be hit over the head to believe, “Hey! This woman is not a friend.”

    1. Thank you, sister. Toxic people move into our circle, and you and I are hesitant to believe ANYONE could be toxic. It takes a while to convince ourselves it is time to cut ties (or at least limit our association) with a frienemy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s