Bug Bashing: Me Versus Them

I just came upon a story about a Florida man who found a hornet’s nest the size of a small CAR in his backyard.

Holy. Crap.

I am not a fan of insects.  Having moved from Brooklyn to Staten Island, I sometimes feel like I’m stuck in a bad episode of Wife Swap where a fast-paced city mom switches lives with some country bumpkin and never gets to go home again.  In Brooklyn, we had our share of monstrous, ugly waterbugs and those gross, zillion-legged centipedes, but the sightings were mostly few and far between.  You’d spot one, you’d scream like a total maniac until your dad/husband/brother/sister/mother/cousin/aunt/anyone with a pulse came to your rescue with a tissue and a big shoe (hopefully not yours).  You were traumatized  for a day or two, and then life went on.

In Staten Island, however, insects are unfortunately just a part of everyday life.  For one thing, I see spiders everywhere, everyday, and in all different variations of shape, size, color, and grossness. In the summer you seriously can’t go outside without becoming some mosquito’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, and every meal in between.  This year we are lucky enough to have these huge, red-eyed cicadas literally raining down from the trees. They are EVERYWHERE. I need full body armor and a broom in each hand just to leave my house.  And don’t even get me started on the crazy carpenter ants that sneak in through the cracks under the door and crawl up to the ceiling, only to fall and land on my head while I’m sitting on the couch watching TV.

But still, I adapt.  I can overcome my bug-hatred because I really have no choice, and because at least I know the nasty little pests are generally harmless.  So I tiptoe over the cicada carcasses littering my front lawn, and in the hotter months, during mosquito season, I spray myself head to toe with Avon Skin So Soft Insect Repellent (you have to love the marketing genius implied by that name– skin stays soft while bugs drop dead!).  I’ve even started catching spiders with a plastic cup so that I can throw them outside instead of killing them. Because spiders eat other bugs; spiders are our friends!

But I have my limits, and I draw the line at anything that stings.  I don’t do bees, or wasps, or hornets, or whatever other miserable stinging buggy jerks they are related to.  Being approached by one of these devilish, scary things usually has me running faster than a Justin Bieber fan in super stalk mode.

Let me tell you, I’m totally psychotic about leaving all screens and windows in my house closed at all times–you get three total seconds to quickly open and close a door.  If you take longer than that I can’t be responsible for your concussion. Yet, despite that fact, last week two wasps still somehow found their way into my BEDROOM and were buzzing around my bed probably looking for a place to hide while they plotted their attack on me.

This is my husband sucking them up with the vacuum cleaner. We totally watched them spin round to a beautiful oblivion (90’s music reference!).  Harsh, but can you think of a better way?

So basically if my house were within a five-mile radius of that gargantuan hornet’s nest, I’d put it up for sale and move across the country.  End of story.

Just a Little Anniversary Poetry

Yesterday I celebrated my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary.

Forty. Freaking. Years.

The funny thing about my parents is that after forty years of marriage, they are actually still in love.  I mean, they actually still ENJOY each other’s company.  Crazy, right?  Well thank goodness for them, because they have set a pretty good example.  Some days I seriously want to rip my husband’s face off and feed it to some zoo animals.  But I haven’t. Yet.

I really wanted to do something special but my funds are limited (as in, I’m broke as hell).  My mom is the sentimental type who cries and clutches her heart when she reads greeting cards and swoons over cheesy chick flicks,  so I decided to write a poem.  Because merely tearing up would not suffice for a  40th anniversary– I wanted soaked cheeks and maybe even sob or two.

How did it go, you ask? Well.  Not only did she totally end up bawling, but my sister and my FATHER cried too. Mission accomplished.

So here it is, folks.  The Poem That Made My Dad Cry.

Forty years of marriage, forty years of wedded bliss.
Forty years of ups and downs, forty years of turns and twists.
A family started and fully grown,
A house that soon became a home,
So much laughter and sometimes tears,
A million memories throughout the years.
Not just forty years of marriage, but forty years of love–
The everlasting, indestructible kind we all dream of.
It’s easy to get married and sign a piece of paper,
It’s difficult to still be happy forty long years later.
But for you two, Mom and Dad, it’s seems to come easily,
And we thank you now, because we know how it’s supposed to be.
So rejoice today, forty years from when you took your vows,
And celebrate the fact that you have done your family proud.
We hope you know that you have been an inspiration to us.
Happy anniversary, guys, we love you both so much!

Yep, I’m a huge cheeseball 🙂

Happy 40th, Mom and Dad.  Here’s to forty more!

Why Is My Daughter Trying to Kill Me?

No, she hasn’t tried to choke me with a chicken nugget or smother me in my sleep with her giant stuffed Brobee doll, but she is DEFINITELY trying to give me a heart attack.

At the tender age of just eighteen months old, she has somehow managed to figured out how to open every single door in my house.  She grabs her little blue Fisher Price chair from her bedroom, drags it across the floor, props it up against whichever door has been absentmindedly left unlocked, then hops up like an Olympic gymnast and twists the knob with her tiny fist until the door gives way. Once I turned around for a second and she was out the front door, halfway to the garage.  She has climbed on every piece of furniture in my house, to heights I never knew toddlers could even fathom.

The other day I had to run outside, IN MY BRA, stepping barefoot in dog piss on the way, to grab her up when she meandered into the backyard to play tag with the beady-eyed little cicadas that have infested every square inch of Staten Island.

The next day I walked into her room and found her laid out right in the middle of her top dresser drawer with the remote in her hand aimed at the TV.  Totally just chilling.  When I walked in she just gave me this look that said “yo, you’re blocking the TV.”

Then there was the terrifying day my son forgot to drain out the water after his bath and my little darling daughter sneaked into the bathroom after him.  After a heart-stopping minute looking all over the house for her  (yep, my house is THAT BIG– a whole entire minute to search high and low), I finally found her sitting in a pitch-dark bathroom, fully clothed in a tub of water gleefully emptying the contents of a shampoo bottle over the edge.  That was a super fun “holy crap my kid could have just drowned” moment in parenting history.

And here’s another classic: one day I looked at her and noticed she was definitely chewing on something.  I figured it was one of the Cheerios she usually tosses over the side of the high chair to save for later (really, doesn’t everything taste better off the floor?).  So I reached into her mouth to rip open her little clenched jaw–and out popped a dime AND a toothpaste cap!  Two choking hazards for the price of one!

I don’t get it.  She really is a sweet little girl.  That’s why I don’t fully understand why she’s trying to send me into cardiac arrest.  Or at the very least, give me a bleeding ulcer. Isn’t merely keeping your child alive like the most basic aspect of parenting?

New to The Bachelor

I’m kind of a gigantic television addict. It’s hard to fit in a decent amount TV-watching everyday in between taking care of two Nickelodeon-addled children and holding down these sick housekeeping skills, but I manage. A soap opera while washing the dishes, maybe some Dr. Phil while folding the laundry if the kids are busy enough, prime time shows when they finally drift off, and if I’m still up, a little Conan before my own bedtime.

I’ve never been a fan of The Bachelor before.  Although it’s in its bajillionth season and I am surely no stranger to a good trashy reality show every now and then (A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila, anyone?), I just never tuned in for some reason.  Well, good news, folks . I’m finally on board with this uber-cheesy documented mockery of people “looking for love.” And I? Am hooked.

FYI, I know it’s all crap. I know these women can’t possibly ALL just fall head over heels for this vapid cardboard cut-out of a man the very moment they lay eyes on him, nor is it realistic that 30 extremely hot, young, single chicks are willing to spend every waking moment duking it out solely for the purpose of gaining some random cute stranger’s undying love and affection. But we all know people will do ANYTHING to get on a reality show, so I’ll allow myself the usual suspension of disbelief (the same one I use when a soap opera villain rises from the dead after undergoing his third secret brain transplant in less than a decade).  It’s all in good fun, right? Well, it is for us viewers, anyway.  As for the contestants? I think they usually fit into one of the following three categories (in descending order): they are trying to kick start a career as a model/actress/singer/psychotherapist; they are a little (or a lot) nuts; or they actually think they are going to get a husband at the end.  There is obviously a bit of overlapping with the latter two.

That being said, I’m loving this show.  Bring on the Bachelorette!