Saturday evening I was getting my Sunday clothes ready. I took a light-colored jacket out of the closet and suddenly a box elder bug appeared on the front of it. I thought it must have crawled out from the inside of the jacket, but since I hadn't had that particular item out of the closet for a long while, that didn't make much sense. Finally I figured it must have been on my body somewhere, hitching a ride, and leaped to the jacket as I pulled it out. After all, the jacket is an appealing color.

Either way, I picked up the bug and dropped it into the sink and then proceeded to flush it down the drain. Just to be sure, I used a lot of water to accomplish the task! After all, we have plenty of those bugs, many hanging on the screen doors just hoping for a chance to get into the house. There is definitely no shortage of bugs and so "offing" this one isn't going to unbalance the ecosystem.

On Sunday morning, as I was bending over the sink studiously brushing my teeth, a soaked and bedraggled bug crawled out of the drain; it was the box elder bug I thought I had disposed of the night before. So I tried again. I turned on the water full force - hot this time - and once again thought I could flush it away. But it got its little front legs hooked onto the edge of the sink stopper and hung on for dear life. It was not going to give up.

I decided to try an alternative method for eliminating that bug. I grabbed a piece of tissue, wrapped the thing in it, squeezed it hard, and put it in the trash. Given its perseverance, I guess I won't be surprised if it survives again. It seemed to be pretty optimistic, too, because it obviously expected the best from its attempts.

I've been thinking about that bug and its optimism and perseverance, which I need myself right now. My issue is not life or death, as it is for that bug. My dilemma is an age-old question for women: what to wear?

We have a big event coming up, and I'm just sure the right thing to wear is not in my closet. Yet. So I told Spouse Roger that I thought I would go buy something new, and maybe even pay full price! Since retiring, I have prided myself on never paying full price for anything, so this would be a rarity.

Before I had even dug into my own fall closet, I spent a quick hour or so shopping. I bought a great blazer, fully expecting to find something at home to wear with it, such as slacks or a skirt. Yesterday I tried on every possibility I had. While I didn't find anything perfect for that new blazer, I did unearth a couple of other potential options.

I also made another discovery in that closet. In order to be thorough in my search, I had also pulled out some other blazers, and found I had two that were exactly alike: same color, size, style and label. I guess it is evidence of a need to empty my closets more often, because I certainly did not buy two alike on purpose. But I guess it is also evidence as to how old the things are that are still hanging in that closet.

Over the years I have mentally articulated my own clothing philosophy. I have never been a slave to fashion, and have almost never purchased "the latest" fad. In order for me to buy something, it has to be something I like well enough that it will be in my closet for the long haul. I guess that's why I own so many really old items. Now I can describe my clothes as being old like me.

I have some mental guidelines for this upcoming outfit, new or not. It has to be both comfortable and reasonably stylish. I have to feel good in it on both counts so that I can just forget about it. At this point, it is still questions of skirt or slacks? Flat shoes or heels? Suit or dress? Uffda. Maybe I need to get out more.

It's a good thing I started early on this project of finding the "right" outfit. As most women know, that decision is not easy. Admit it or not, many of us, even after agonizing over what to wear, will still walk into an event, look around at what others are wearing, and think to ourselves, "Oh, why didn't I wear the other outfit?"

Speaking of optimism and perseverance, this morning there was a box elder bug in the kitchen sink. Of course I wondered if it was that same one, still trying and hoping for the best. So I took it outside this time, hoping it has finally learned that it is not good to move inside someone else's house.