I had quite a scare the other day.
I was driving home when my hand began to itch. I glanced down, and saw a very large and quite hideous looking insect crawling on it. Naturally, I did what any mature adult male would do in this situation.
I screamed like a little girl.
And then I shook my hand not only to dislodge the monster bug, but ended up flinging it across the car, as far away from me as was physically possible. Luckily, nobody was in the passenger seat. And I’m fortunate I didn’t end up in a wreck.
Insects don’t generally bother me unless they’re ants. If they’re ants, they bother me big time. If I see an ant crawling across the floor, I freak out. If I see a trail of ants, I’m ready to either call an exterminator or pack up my shit and move. Honestly, packing up my shit and moving seems the less intrusive solution, because bug bombs are a pain in the ass, and who’s to say the ants won’t just come back a week later? I’d rather have a fresh start in an ant-free elsewhere. There’s a scientific term for a fear of ants: myrmecophobia. It’s a real thing, yo, and generally results from a traumatic episode. Yeah, I had a few of those growing up in Hawaii. You see them crawling all over your 3 year old brother, thinking he’s being devoured alive, and you too would be scarred for life!
However, the buck pretty much stops with ants. Spiders aren’t the cuddliest of critters either, and roaches are dirty and disgusting, but neither really bothers me too much. Wasps and hornets are scary when they’re dive-bombing you, and mosquitoes are annoying, but again, I can live with them. The only reason I screamed, in this case, was because I was startled to see a strange looking bug on me.
I have since learned that these are brown marmorated stink bugs (a/k/a Asian stink bugs), a non-native species that immigrated to Oregon and Washington two years ago. And suddenly, they are everywhere! I’ve seen them at home, at work, in the parking lot of the grocery store, even at the coast when we were camping last weekend. They don’t bite or sting or cause any harm to people (other than scaring the bejesus out of them when they’re driving), but are harmful to crops. On the east coast they devastated 40% of the peach crop one recent year. No bueno! So, I’d just as soon never see another one again. By the way, if you step on one of these guys, they supposedly smell like cilantro. I haven’t tried that yet, so I couldn’t tell you one way or another whether that’s the case. (I did, however, recently make a killer guacamole using cilantro. But that’s neither here nor there).
But enough about insects.
Those of you reading Tara’s blog or following along on Facebook have heard the good news: she got a job! And there’s a great story to go along with that involving Buffalo Wild Wings, which is now our lucky restaurant. Twice now we’ve eaten there following interviews, and both times have been offered jobs afterwards. Hey, I’m just thankful we didn’t stop at Dave’s House of Cauliflower after. I’d hate to think of that as my good-luck dining-out option!
She’s going to be a loan processor (coincidentally enough, for the same bank that gave me my very first mortgage loan years and years ago). Remember how I said that fourteen is our lucky number? There are 14 letters in the name of her employer, so the trend continues. Anyway, she starts a week from today, and is very excited. The money is good – better than she was earning before – and there is virtually no travel. Plus, she’ll be working 15 minutes from home and will have a simple cross-town commute. Best of all, it’s a field she is very interested in pursuing, so the long-term career potential is fantastic. Hell, she’s doing way better than I am, but I told her I have no qualms having a “sugar mama” so we’re square there.
I am, of course, happy for her – and proud of her, too. All along we’ve been repeating that mantra, “everything happens for a reason,” and though it was touch-and-go for a while there…she had nearly depleted her savings and was feeling a tremendous amount of stress these past couple of months…in the end, it has all worked out beautifully. Quitting her job and moving out here was a huge gamble, but it all worked out in the end. Now, I feel like we can start moving forward, toward a real future that we have talked about and which will, finally, start to become a reality.
It’s all good, stink bugs and all!
- Stink Bug Invasion Promises Foul Fall (sott.net)