An optimistic person I am, pretty much

I think of myself as an optimist, a person who lives with a sense of hope and a mindset that everything will be OK eventually.

Two examples from recent weeks of living bear testimony to that.

In my ongoing war with stink bugs that I wrote about in a previous column, for example, I like to think I’m winning, and that’s with the help of suggestions from readers, thank you very kindly.

One church secretary clued me in on her frontline defense approach: “Fill a spray bottle with warm water and some dish detergent. Spray them until they roll over. Shouldn’t take much. My deck was loaded with dead ones, and I didn’t have to touch them.

“Yuck!” she ended her e-mail message with emphasis.

I pictured these sprayed stink bugs on their backs, showered and squeaky clean, wondering where the heck they could get some fresh towels, dry off and go about their bug business.

As an optimistic yet desperate woman, I would be inclined to try this.

As for bringing the Asian beetle population under control, I suspect passers-by might wonder why this armed and dangerous person is beating a broom against the front of the house where these winged wonders are all making themselves at home.

Take that, you lady bug impostors, you!

Yes, I’m an optimist in the bug battle, and I’m an optimist as a consumer when it comes to buying something online and awaiting its arrival.

Call me naive, but I believe that what I order is what I’ll get.

Imagine my surprise when I ordered this horse Halloween costume, and in the mailbox is this package about the size of what you’d expect a calendar to come in.

My first optimistic thought was, wow – now here’s a company that really prides itself on shipping stuff, that it knows how to put a big product in a little package.

I am as impressed as I am confident that I will soon be wearing a “Giddy-Up” get-up.

It isn’t until much later that I open this package addressed to me and find inside a box of do-it-yourself loom band bracelets.


The order slip notes it’s for Janet So and So in Plymouth, Minnesota.


My first thought as an optimist is to make some sense out of all this, to be rational. Yes, I like bracelets, and, yes, I’ve been called Janet instead of Janice.

Somehow, that’s just not enough.

The bottom line is that I don’t know this Janet person, and I don’t know where Plymouth, Minnesota, is either. And, besides, they’re ugly bracelets.

I begin to wonder if Janet is trying on my horse Halloween outfit, thinking that Janice So and So in Steubenville, Ohio, needs to get a life.

I’m optimistic but not very happy. I call the company and crab, asking what sounds like a desperate joke in need of a punch line – why do you send a customer do-it-yourself loom band bracelets when they’ve ordered a Halloween horse costume?

Long story short, the bracelets go back. The Halloween horse costume arrives. Order is restored to the Kiaski universe.

Happy optimistic trails to you and fellow bug warriors.

(Kiaski, a resident of Steubenville, is a staff columnist and features writer for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and community editor for the Herald-Star. She can be contacted at