Growing up, I pictured myself still using poison sprays or bait traps at thirty, leading a life that was one step removed from actually feeling the snap of a roach’s exoskeleton in my palm. It was as clear as the wedding dress I’d lovingly picked out at the age of ten-but as most of us well know, a lot can change in twenty years! I didn’t end up wearing that mermaid monstrosity and I definitely just put my finger down firmly on the slick back of a roach skittering across my kitchen counter. Sometimes the future doesn’t end up being what we dreamed of-it’s usually even better!
In my twenties I wasted so much time and money putting roaches in motels when I could have been saving for a little vacation of my own. I was so consumed with where they were going, when they would die, that I never stopped to think about my own needs. I filled my head with unrealistic visions of slaughtering thousands of their babies, each egg popping like a tiny, filthy champagne cork, or the entire species screeching and writhing in a vast field of flames. It was exhausting.
One day, the day I turned 30 specifically, I put down the cans of noxious chemicals and made a vow to put myself first, and not an ancient species of insects that can survive sub-zero Arctic temperatures. Though messier, there is a certain calming freedom in being able to see hideous, darting movements in your peripheral vision and not have to pick up a rolled up magazine. It may sound slightly boring, but I wouldn’t go back to those crazy years of distanced pest elimination for all the gel bait and boric acid in the world!
Sometimes I find myself out to dinner with friends still in their twenties and although they may still have that bloom of youth I inevitably see the pain in their faces when someone mentions caulking floor boards or glue strips.
It’s a relief to know that those days are behind me now, and I look forward to seeing just how large my pile of crushed roach husks can get! Best of all, I did it all on my own.