I used to think there was no such thing as too much love. Now, I’m not so sure. Maybe what the world needs now is love, sweet love, but I think it can do without any more lovebugs.
Before we moved to Florida, many people questioned me about whether or not it would be inordinately buggy in my new home. I believe we were all thinking about mosquitoes. I know I always did picture Florida as having more than its share of mosquitoes. In truth, I haven’t really noticed much of a mosquito problem. Yes, I have had a few encounters over the past four years that have left me itchy and swollen and pretty grouchy. In general, though, mosquitoes have not been an issue. Maybe it is because I am rarely out after dark, but I have no major mosquito complaints. Truth be told, my issues with mosquitoes are not peculiar to Florida. I’ve come away on the losing side of mosquito interactions in California, as well. What can I say? To mosquitoes, I am delectable…coast to coast!
I have to learn to think bigger when someone mentions “bugs.” Clearly, mosquitoes are not the only insects that populate Florida. It is lovebug season and I am a lovebug natural disaster. My car is speckled with dead lovebug guts. I could feel bad about all the lovebug tragedy I leave in my wake, but I really don’t. I just think the world has more than enough lovebugs and we don’t need any more.
I don’t think the lovebugs got that particular memo, though. In fact, lovebugs seem to have only two purposes in life- to mate and to crash into cars… often simultaneously. For a few weeks each year, the lovebugs swarm all over like locusts in the Bible. They spin through the air in a frenzy of copulation. The sky is gray with them. They fly, two by two, in passionate embraces, towards their doom. That doom is usually the windshield or grillwork of an oncoming car. You can see them mating through your windshield and they are obviously pretty into each other because they are completely oblivious to the fact that their love is going to be very short-lived.
Lovebugs don’t bite or sting or hurt people in any way. I’m not afraid of them. They just make me feel icky. They are so prevalent in the air around me, I am constantly fighting off the disturbing conviction that I may have just swallowed one (or more than one because they are not exactly loners). Also, their guts contain some horrible chemical compound that eats into paint, chrome, and even windshield glass. You are supposed to get your car washed immediately when you see the acid rain that runs through the lovebugs’ veins splattered on your vehicle. I’m sure the carwash places thrive more than the actual lovebugs during lovebug season. Unfortunately, unless you stop driving completely for two weeks and leave your car in a hermetically sealed garage, you might as well never leave the carwash during the height of the bugginess.
You do hear a lot of complaining about the lovebugs. They are inconvenient and a bit aggravating. But isn’t that true of everything, even love itself, sometimes?
Kidding and minor annoyance aside, the lovebugs are not a big deal. First of all, they are a self-limiting problem. In a couple of weeks, they will be gone. If I swallow them, well, I guess a little extra protein isn’t a huge problem. If their self-destructive behavior in the midst of coitus causes your children to ask awkward questions, I guess it can be a teaching moment.
Yes, even if the lovebug goo causes some problems with my car’s paint, I guess I can live with that. What I can’t live with is a world without love. Maybe having lovebugs take over the planet for a couple of weeks each year is worth it if it reminds us that love is all around us!
What is your experience of lovebugs? Do you think they serve some metaphorical purpose or are they just plain annoying? Please share your perspective by leaving a comment. In the alternative, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a loving day!