A Fly In Our Ointment

"Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour." Ecclesiastes 10:1 (King James Version)

Sometimes a memory just shows up and makes you smile and cringe, all at the same time.

Lots of years ago when I was a single mom, making my way back to financial security, I’d finally been able to purchase a small home in a quiet neighborhood. And while I felt proud of that accomplishment, it still didn’t measure up to what I thought life should look like. Most of my friends seemed to have found a way to purchase larger homes, furnished with new furniture, in nicer neighborhoods. Most of my furnishings had been gathered at estate sales, the goodwill, and hand-me-downs from friends and family. It was cozy, but far from classy, and I wanted classy.

Getting ready for a family celebration in our humble abode, I surveyed the wine selection. My budget afforded me to buy jug wine. My vision for what it meant to be a classy hostess meant a selection of lovely bottles. Then I remembered that I had a few empty bottles that others had brought to earlier gatherings stashed out in the recycling bin. I grabbed a couple of the empties, dusted them off, and filled them with the jug wine. There’s more than one way to skin a classy cat! The jug wine appeared for all the world to be the nice wine depicted on the label.


Pouring the first glass for the first guest, along with the jug wine, out poured a dead fly. Not what you’d call classy. In my rush to put on a good appearance I had neglected to do a thorough cleaning of the old bottles.

Classy is being proud of where you are. Folly is pretending to be where you are not.

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