This simple tale will only require your needing to know two and a half things about my mother.

1. She is terrified of bees. Ridiculously, irrationally afraid of them in a way that makes all things with wings something to dramatically flail away from while screaming and swatting furiously.

1.a. All of the James’ are a tad dramatic by nature and we are all certain that the exaggeration-gene comes from my mom.

2. My mom is very cute and small and blonde and smart, with big blue eyes and a smile that turns heads. She also has this amazing ability to sneak swear words into a sentence and somehow make it sound sweet and appropriate. I will tell her some good news and she might say, “Honey! That is just great! Fucking great!” Or I’ll tell her something she finds surprising and she might say, “No shit!” I don’t know how exactly to explain it, but on her, swear words work. They are necessary at times really.

Yesterday we were on the phone for a bit as she was driving home from work. Right as she pulled up to the house some very small animal with the ability to fly flew past her face and that is all she saw before she hopped out of the car with a big squeal.

mom: “Well. Something just flew into the car. Hm.”

me: “Mom, it was nothing, don’t worry about it.” And I continued on with what I was telling her.

mom: “Better not have been a bee!”

me: “It wasn’t a bee.” And I continued…

mom: “Well, I don’t see it. Hm. That bee better not be in my hair!”

me: “Nothing is in your hair, mom. Are you listening?”

mom. “Yes. Of course. You know what, hang on honey, let me put the phone down for a second while I freak the fuck out.”

me: [waiting while hearing distance sounds of her flapping and rustling around]

mom: “Well damn it, who knows. But if that bee is in my car tomorrow morning…

me: “Mom! There is no bee. Knock it off.”

mom: “Because that will just scare the shit out of me.”

me: “There is no bee in your car, mom.”

mom: “Oh sure, you can say that. You’re not the one who is going to get stung to death on the way to work tomorrow morning.”

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