Tuesday, December 07, 2004

A Rose By Any Other Name

Picture, if you will, an apartment. It isn’t quite a luxury apartment, and it is not even quite up-scale, but it is definitely one of the nicer places around. Now go inside this apartment. See the second-hand, but quality, designer furniture, see the oil paintings on the wall and the silver-framed pictures on the étagère. Look at the clean counters and the neatly arranged cabinets in the kitchen. Now stay in the kitchen a moment longer, please. Look a little closer. Just a little closer. Don’t see anything? Turn down the lights. Now, listen. Hear that? Just wait one moment more. Quick! Turn on the light. See, there it is. Oh wait, it’s there. Got it! You missed it? Well I will show you. Yes friends, it is a roach. A ROACH. A ROACH! Do you see something wrong with this picture, folks?

Okay, I lived in South Carolina, where there are so many roaches, we went and gave them a fancier name. Yankees, meet our Palmetto Bug. Palmetto Bug, terrorize the Yankees. It was hard to explain to our families from the North that roaches (AKA Palmetto Bugs) are just part of living in the South. Roaches, heat and humidity just came hand-in-hand. You put a bug guy on retainer, and get used to seeing the 3-inch buggers strolling across your neck in the middle of the night. Okay, so you never get used to that, you turn on all the lights in your room and huddle in a distressed panic in the exact middle of your bed for the rest of the night praying that no roach will ever, EVER dare to touch your naked body again. And okay, so besides wanting to be closer to my family, escaping the roaches was a HUGE motivation for leaving the South for bugless Seattle.

Newsflash!! Seattle isn’t bugless! Oh, and even bigger news than that…SEATTLE ISN’T ROACHLESS!!! (Excuse my excessive use for exclamation points, but believe me they are called for).

So back to the shattered image of domesticity I painted for you earlier. That was of course my apartment. That was of course my roach. That was of course my humiliation. In South Carolina, roaches, as I have explained, are matter of course. Here, in Seattle, they mean you are dirty and disgusting and don’t keep a clean house. Except… I do keep a very clean house. Believe me, I don’t have this Martha Stewart obsessive-compulsive image for nothing. So why, I ask you, was a roach crawling across my perfect kitchen? Where did it come from, and how many more of them are there? They are like ants. Where there is one, there are more.

It wouldn’t be so bad, except I wasn’t the one who discovered the roach. I was there, right there, but he found it. Cy and I were standing in the kitchen talking, when his attention was attracted to the counter. He quickly grabbed a paper towel and grabbed the offending bug. My face turned red when it was determined to be a roach, and I grabbed a sponge and began wiping the already clean counters. I ever started taking the stove apart to search for crumbs. Cy was disgusted, but he knew it wasn’t my fault. At least he told me it wasn’t my fault.

All I can say now is uck, ugh, gross and nasty. You can pretend to live in harmony with the “Palmetto Bugs” in the South, but I refuse to do it here. Get those f’ing roaches out of my apartment!
- Crazy/Hip Blog-Mamas +