Friends, relatives, and neighborhood beekeepers, I’m sure you’re all wondering why I’ve asked you to meet me here and not wear any perfumes or bright colors. Unfortunately, I have some disappointing news. My soul mate, the love of my life, and my husband of ten years isn’t who he says he is. The truth is, he’s been a garbage bag full of bees this whole time.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. How could this be(e)? Our love, our life together, and the face I drew on the outside of the garbage bag all seemed so real. But even though it hurts, I have to admit that it’s true. My husband has been leading a double life, or approximately 50,000 different lives if you consider the volume of an average hive.

It’s the kind of devastating secret I never could have expected when I married him. Or should I say it? This news has me questioning everything now, and I’m sure you have questions too. Like should you still use the name “Frank” when addressing the bag, who will get the house in the divorce, and how exactly was I able to navigate the logistics of a sexual relationship with a plastic bag full of bees for so many years? But I’d prefer to keep the sordid “he said/she said, garbage bag full of bees made a buzzing noise”-details to ourselves for now. After all, there are kids involved.

And even though I know now that our relationship was based on a lie, I can’t help but remember the good times. I remember the day we met and how my heart swelled when we first touched. I also remember the way my lips, mouth, eyelids, and throat also swelled. It was a feeling unlike anything I’d ever experienced. Maybe it was because I’d never felt true love before, or maybe it was because I grew up in a city with limited access to nature, but either way, I knew then that this relationship was special. In fact, to this day, I still get butterflies in my stomach whenever we see each other. Yes, I’ll admit it’s probably because there’s a huge hole in the bag, and I’ve swallowed some of the bees, but that hole isn’t nearly as big as the hole in my heart. Which is also full of bees.

I suppose a few of you may have seen this coming, and even voiced your doubts early on in the relationship. Though I ignored them, I wasn’t unaware of the concerned whispers behind my back: “Is she sure about this?” and “Has she stopped taking her meds?” and “OH MY GOD BRENDA, YOU KNOW I’M DEATHLY ALLERGIC TO BEESWHY WOULD YOU BRING THAT HERE???” But no matter how many times I heard it, or how many people went into anaphylactic shock as a result, I just wasn’t ready to face the truth. I guess I was blinded by love. And also, as I mentioned earlier, my eyes were completely swollen shut for most of our marriage.

But I guess this is nothing new. After all, this isn’t the first guy I’ve been with who hasn’t been completely honest with me. In fact, every guy I’ve ever dated has turned out to be some kind of liar, cheater, international scam artist, pile of dirty laundry, small wooden puppet who dreams of one day becoming a real boy, the word “MAN” spelled out in a stack of children’s blocks, a chalk outline of a dead body at a crime scene, or a even a Republican presidential candidate. But for some reason, this betrayal stings more than the others. And it’s not just because stinging is a bee’s natural defense mechanism, it’s more like a metaphorical pain. It’s also very itchy.

It’s been a tough road, and after all this, I fear I’ll never be able to trust again, that I may never find real love. But I just have to remember to stay positive and keep an open heart. After all, love can be unpredictable, and can show up when you least expect it. Sometimes it even falls right into your lap, like a burlap sack full of wet rats flung onto your porch by an irresponsible pest control employee.

Speaking of which, I’ve gotta go. Have a hot date tonight!