Mosquitoes, A Can of Raid, and Bonnie’s Wedding Day

It had been a very hot summer that year. My particular neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, was for some reason plagued by mosquitoes that were unusually large and very fond of human flesh.

My friend Bonnie, whom I had known from summer camp and with whom I had shared many interesting escapades, was getting married. Although it had rained all that week, that Sunday in late August was a gift from the heavens. There was not a cloud in the sky, and it was not too humid; perfect for an outdoor wedding. I had bought a special dress for the occasion, and my sister and I spent most of that day primping and preparing for the time when relatives of the bride would drive us to the wedding near Franklin Square, Long Island.

I am always on time, so of course, I was ready before everyone else (my ride, my sister, the cat, etc). I was playing with the idea of putting my hair up because it was so hot and it looked a bit dressier than my usual mane of floating, sort of curls. I styled it up on my head and it didn’t look bad. I pulled a tendril down on each side of my face to make it look natural and decided to keep it in place with some hair spray.

It is at this point that the plot to this tale really thickens and a faux pas of immense proportions and unbelievable lack of looking before one leaps occurred. On the bathroom counter, a can of Raid insect repellent stood brazenly next to a can of hair spray. Without looking at which can was which (the story of my life), I reached for the one nearest to me and sprayed liberally over my head and into my hair. The sudden stench informed me of the enormity of my error. Here I was all dressed up with makeup and everything on and now I smelled as if I had fallen into a vat of insect repellant.

I had no choice as to what to do next. Fortunately I was ready an hour early, which sometimes has its advantages. Instead of sitting around and waiting for our ride, I re-showered, re-dressed re-did my makeup and my hair and still I smelled a little funny. I was thinking of adding some perfume to the mix but my mother argued against it, claiming it would only make it worse by combining with the aroma already lingering in the air. The only hope was that by the time we had to leave for the wedding somehow the smell would go wherever smells go to when they are finished.

When my sister and I got into Bonnie’s cousin’s car, her husband asked, “Gee, what is that smell?” and I thought I would die. I mean, my nostrils were sniffing along with the best of them as I pretended not to have a clue as to what the problem was. My sister kept her cool, for she knew, but said nothing.

At some point the Raid escapade faded from recall and I remember having a good time at the wedding. The trip home was odorless. I did make sure however, that I put the can of Raid away under the sink in the cabinet where it belonged in the first place before I went to sleep that night.

Is there a moral to this story? Put things that smell away, especially when you have to go to a wedding!

Good smells to all and to all a good night!

(photo courtesy of Iamnao/