Why I Chose To Be A Moth


If you are going to be an arthropod in your next life, what arthropod will you choose to be? Why?

My professor gave this as a five-point bonus question on our exam a few weeks ago. Without hesitation, I quickly wrote that I would want to be a moth. I gave a short explanation because of the limited time I had and probably because of the triviality of the question. I would love to expound on the topic more and that I am going to do now.

I would choose to be a moth for the simple reason that moths are usually left unbothered, unlike their cousins, the butterflies, which attract more attention because of their flamboyant display of wings. I do not like that.

People say that moths, in contrast to butterflies, are dull, even up to the point of being ugly. I agree with that. In fact, I would not give a moth a second glance if I ever see one. Drably clothed with grays and browns, they are definitely not pretty and therefore, uninteresting. So when I see one, I usually leave it alone. I believe others do the same, too.

That is also how I want others to treat me. It is not that I want to be alone all the time. I also need companionship but for the most part, I like being alone so that I could ponder about things and self-reflect. I want people to leave me alone, especially when I am working. I do not like engaging in uninvited conversations that are utterly meaningless to me. I do not like being bothered for things that are not important. I am an introvert and for an introvert like me, a butterfly’s ostentatiously vibrant wings would surely be a disadvantage.

I also want to be left alone in the sense that I do not like attracting unwanted attention. Butterflies get a lot of that. People do not catch moths to look at them closely (except biologists, I believe). But they run after butterflies to marvel at their beautiful wings. I do not know a poet who wrote verses for the plain moth. Instead poets wrote countless poems for butterflies. Artists never find inspiration from a moth’s pair of wings but a butterfly always finds itself as an artist’s muse. The attention might seem pleasing but it is not the kind of attention that I seek.

I hate it when other women approach me to introduce themselves and, then, say that they find me pretty. I hate it when a man offers intimate friendship immediately upon meeting me for the first time because of the prospect of a romantic relationship in the future. What if I were not pretty? Would they give a second of their time to be my “friend”? I do not think so. And besides, I do not think I am pretty. I just happen to look much younger than my age that makes me somewhat cuter than other women.

I would rather attract the attention of somebody who can see past through my exterior and appreciate me for what I am inside. I do not like being admired by people who are blind to what I am and what I can do. I do not like artists and poets who recreate me as a magnificent being while being ignorant of who I really am. I want to be safe in the hands of someone who has a deeper understanding of life, someone who knows me better than what I display to the world.

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How about you? If you are going to be an arthropod, what would you be and why?

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Author: Aira Mallapre

Aira, a dreamer by day and crammer by night, has been singing out of tune since 1995.

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