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310th Friday Blog Roundup

We’re having a stinkbug problem in Maryland.  I’ve noticed them on and off over the years, but this fall, they’re coming in swarms.  We’ve had about 20 of them in the car — they fly right in when you open the door.  Up until this point, they’ve been in the back seat and the kids will see them as we’re driving, Josh will take care of them, and we’ll go on our merry way.

Until this week.

I was driving to the library when something jumped down onto the dashboard.  I pulled over, shrieking (I’m an equal-opportunity hater when it comes to bugs), and inexplicably, threw on my windshield wipers.  I tried to swat at the bug with my shoe, but only succeeded in knocking it into a crevice on the dashboard.

I stood outside the car, unsure of what to do.  Three teenagers were walking down the street at that moment, listening to their iPods (seriously, do kids not speak to one another anymore while they walk?), and I called them over.  “Would any of you, by chance, be willing to get a stinkbug out my car?”

And G-d love those boys.  They took out their ear buds and got to work, trying to coax the thing out of the crevice.  They didn’t ask why the windshield wipers were running at full speed.  They worked on the problem for about 8 minutes, finally telling me that the stinkbug had crawled into the vent and it was impossible to get the thing out.

The largest boy gently told me that the bug would likely fry inside the hood of the car, using the same tone of voice I use to describe unpleasant things to the kids — a voice that betrays that the speaker doesn’t believe what they’re saying one bit, but they need to calm down a person on the brink of hysteria.  The ends justify the means.

“Thank you,” I said, “not only for trying to get the bug out of the car, but for not mocking me in the process.”

The boys solemnly told me that they would not be discussing me once I drove away, they would not be mocking me or turning me into one of their private jokes.

But they were using that voice, so you know that they probably have a nickname for me now.

And I deserve it.


The Weekly What If: What if you were given a choice — either everyone would tell you the truth, brutally and uncensored — or you could continue with the world you know, where people are sometimes trustworthy, sometimes truthful, sometimes fibbers, and sometimes outright liars.  Would you take that opportunity to know exactly where you stand with absolute truth from everyone; or is ignorance bliss?


It draws ever closer, therefore, it’s time to mention once again that I’m going to be delivering the keynote address at Resolve of New England’s conference.  I promise, it’s going to be spectacular.  It will begin with some Fosse-like dancing a la the opening of Pippin.  Then, I will juggle 8 knifes — AT ONCE.  And eat a 40-pound block of grilled tofu while jumping through a ring of fire.  I’m going to give away a car to everyone in the audience (you get a new car, and you get a new car, and you get a new car, you all get matchbox caaaaaaaaaaaaaaars!).  And finally, I will give you a piece of advice that will change your freakin’ life.

Seriously, would you miss that?

Come to the conference on Saturday, November 6th (you can register online).


And now, the blogs…

Time passing was definitely a theme this week, beginning with Infertile Revolution’s post about her one year anniversary.  She writes about the familiar faces that have moved on from the clinic, “Still, there was something comforting about seeing them over and over. Like commuters stranded on the subway platform, we were sharing the same experience, even if we didn’t talk about it.”  I love her juxtaposition of the hated but familiar routine with the idea of it ending.

Hold My Hope has a post about her brother on the seventh anniversary of his death.  It contains the most gorgeous line: “It’s just another day.  When people see me today, they won’t know what this day is for me.  And then I wonder about their story – what ordinary day isn’t ordinary for them?”  Didn’t that give you chills?

I Spy a Family has a post about people asking questions about her children’s adoptions in front of her children.  I love how she clearly outlines the time and place for curiosity, and even gives people the benefit of the doubt.  She explains, “I signed up for this – I knew we’d look different from everybody else, I knew we’d face curiosity and occasionally racism. I knew this and willingly agreed to it … but my kids did not.”  Their stories may be intertwined, but it is that deep respect for the child that drew me to this post.

A Little Sweetness writes a post about why she wants her child to be born near the due date of the child she lost.  Not as a replacement, but to ease the burden of memory.  It is a post about being the sole carrier of a memory, and how heavy that weight can feel.

Lastly, Things Get If’fy has a post about how while she refrained from calculating her due date for this recent loss, she will be reminded of it regardless due to the fact that her coworker is pregnant around the same gestational age.  She writes so beautifully, “Of course I’m pleased for her. I hope it goes very well (the less to complain about the better!), because another person’s misery doesn’t undo any of my own. But I had hoped for a little more respite, not to be shown quite so close up what might have been.”  It is a post about the body moving on long before the heart is ready.

The roundup to the Roundup: I am more afraid of stinkbugs than looking like a fool.  Answer the Weekly What If.  Hey, I’m speaking in New England!  And lots of great posts to read.


1 Delenn { 10.15.10 at 8:35 am }

Give me a call/text there Mel! Me and anyone else out there from Boston area would love to take you out to dinner while you are here! 🙂

2 meghan { 10.15.10 at 9:13 am }

Thanks for including me in the Roundup. I didn’t think I had any readers left at this point 😉
And I am disgusted by the stink bugs too. We had an exterminator out the other day for something else and he said that next year is when it’s really going to be bad. I almost threw up. I employ the long arm of the Dyson to suck them up. Works every time…just have to empty it out right away so they don’t stink up my beloved vacuum

3 Eve { 10.15.10 at 9:42 am }

“Crazy Stinkbug Lady”?
“The Wussy Chic”?

As someone who works with teens, I do agree that there will be a name….and I shudder to think of the names I am called at times.

And along those lines….blissfully ignorant, thank you, to the cold hard truths that people might be thinking but are too polite to say.

When it comes down to it…I’m just a hard candy shell with a gooey soft filling on the inside.

4 Julie { 10.15.10 at 10:24 am }

I just want you to know that it’s kind of killing me that I can’t be at the conference. (Previous MUST-NOT-MISS-CANNOT-BE-MOVED engagement, damn it.)

5 a { 10.15.10 at 10:53 am }

Brutal, uncensored truth for me please. Then I wouldn’t have to deal with backstabbing and fake people.

6 Nelly { 10.15.10 at 11:52 am }

hahahaha….OMG! That happened to me yesterday in a school zone on the way back to the office. I sat in my car for 15 min. outside the office trying to get the thing off my drivers side window (by slapping the glass, which doesn’t actually work btw…) because when I threw on the windshield wipers it jumped to the side window. Taunting me.

7 Kristi { 10.15.10 at 12:00 pm }

LOL Stinkbugs are funny. My in-laws had them all over their house and they do stink. I am positive those boys came up with a name for you, sorry. I just hope the car doesn’t smell for days.

I would rather people be honest then there is no doubt where you stand. I don’t want to waste my time being someones friend if they don’t want to be.

8 Melissa G. { 10.15.10 at 12:09 pm }

Here’s my take. I prefer honesty in 99% of situations that directly affect me. The brutal part however, I am not so good with.

That said, I don’t think that lying is always a bad thing. Seven years ago when my husband’s grandmother gave me hand embroidered linens that could not be further from my taste in decor, I thanked her profusely and to this day brag about them in front of her when the topic arises. Because it’s nice. And it was the right thing to do. And even though I haven’t really used them I actually do like the idea of them, and more than that I love to see the smile on her face when I talk about them.

Unfortunately, I think that white lies can be used gratuitously, which in turn creates disingenuous surroundings and behavoirs. There will always be the people who take it one step too far; and that goes for the white liars and the overtly blunt.

So my vote is to keep it like it is, and exercise my judgement skills on who best to surround myself with.

Great post. (seriously)

9 HereWeGoAJen { 10.15.10 at 2:37 pm }

I already believe that everyone is telling me the truth all the time. And they are, right? RIGHT?

What nice boys! Matt was stinkbug killer in his co-ed college dorm. One day, he was at class and I was in his room waiting for him to come back. A girl knocked on his door and told me she was hoping Matt would kill a bug for her. I told her that he was at class. So I went and killed the bug for her. Oh, and my dad is apparently bug/animal/reptile exterminator/relocator for their entire neighborhood. They live in Texas, so scorpions, snakes, etc. Maybe that is where I got it?

10 Kristen { 10.15.10 at 6:11 pm }

Oh I prefer to be blissfully unware of the harsh truths people try to protect me from learning. Of course no one wants to the lies that cause harm, like cheaters or backstabbers, but I definitely like the ones that spare my feelings. I”m the sensitive, emotional type; I can’t imagine the turmoil that would come w/absolute, uncensored, raw honesty from everyone around me.

Thanks for the blog-love, it’s always nice to know my words touched someone else.

11 NotTheMama { 10.15.10 at 6:39 pm }

Stinkbugs for you, deer for us 😉 Hubby hit one on our way home 2 weeks ago, and there have been a couple other accidents near us too. At least we were in his bigmantruck and not my littlegirlcar.
Hhhmmm… I like brutal honesty so we could just cut the crap and get to the heart of the matter, but I usually manage to be nice and bite my tongue until I’m pushed too far. Did you know what kind of day I would have when you posted this? Because it was one of those pushed-too-far days…

12 Bea { 10.16.10 at 5:31 am }

Wow. Your seminar style is really coming along. Mental note: must make effort to fly over for one of your seminars. Bring return ticket for new car.

Thanks for the blogs again, Mel.


13 Battynurse { 10.17.10 at 1:55 pm }

As someone who almost bailed out of a car once while at a stoplight. I understand the whole stink bug thing. Yes, they’ll laugh about it but they may also feel a bit good about themselves that they helped someone in distress.
As far as your question? I am truly a believer in the idea that sometimes if not a lot of times ignorance is bliss.

14 TasIVFer { 10.17.10 at 7:01 pm }

I’ll take the world as it is. Not always truthful, but often easier. And partially to make life easier for me. How often have I responded ‘fine’ when soemone has asked how I am? Usually when I have tears in my eyes. Yes, we both know I’m telling a big porky of a lie, but it’s just easier.

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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