My Battle Against the Mice: 2.0

It’s like that horror film series that just won’t die. The one you see a commercial for and think “really? Another one? Isn’t this ever going to end?”

It’s a new year. A new apartment. And yet…the saga continues.

About a week and a half ago, my boyfriend texted me while I was at work telling me he needed to call me about something “not good.” That not good thing? He went into the kitchen to get some lunch…and saw a mouse running across the counter and disappear into a burner on the stove.

Cue “Untitled” by Simple Plan: HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN TO ME?!!!

Seriously, though. My apartment is way cleaner now than my old apartment was. (Shoutout to my boyfriend Nathan, the real cleaning MVP. I help, but…. he does a lot of the heavy lifting.)

To be honest, the sighting of the mouse wasn’t a total surprise (albeit, a disgusting semi-surprise).

About a month or two ago, I started getting suspicious. I heard some weird noises in the kitchen at nighttime, that would sound like the dogs were eating, but neither would be in there. (We don’t typically leave full bowls out overnight, but sometimes one or both of them will wait a little while between when we feed them and actually eating dinner.)

Then a few days later, randomly, my dog Charlie started getting REAAAAALLY interested in the space under and behind the fridge. I tried to tell myself, after some consoling from a friend, that it was just the drip pan he heard.

charlie

Charlie, the mouse spotter extraordinaire

“But why would he just start paying attention to it now?” I asked myself. “And why at night?” Let me tell you….denial is strong, my friends.

(Side note: A few days before all of that, Charlie was really interested in getting to behind/underneath the couch…so we moved the couch but didn’t see anything. Now, I wonder…)

I did, however, have my boyfriend pull out the fridge so we could check behind there. And I swore I saw a little dark gray blob move when I checked with the flashlight… but I jumped out of there so fast, and it was a weird angle since the fridge is blocked in by a wall and some cabinets, and the flashlight was causing weird shadows… so I convinced myself maybe it was a dusty bunny — there were a few under and behind the fridge, after all…even if none of them were in the same spot I saw the blob. Because by the time I looked again, it was gone.

There were a few mouse droppings behind the fridge, but we really had no way of knowing if they were from a current mouse or one from long ago. It’s not like apartment complexes clean behind their fridges between tenants. (Trust me, they don’t. We found two different magnets and another weird piece of plastic back there that weren’t ours.)

So, we have set traps and caught at least two mice. There was a slight sense of victory when we caught the first one, because we knew we had one… but I have heard too many times that if you SEE one, there are like five more that you don’t see.

There’s also a sense of guilt, because mice are kinda cute when, ya know, they’re not uninvited and terrifying you with their uncleanliness and potential to spread disease… so I don’t feel good about catching them.

Either way… it will probably be a while before I feel comfortable enough to say they are gone. And sleep there again.

And even then…all my apartment complex offered to do was give us some glue traps. So… who’s to say they won’t just keep marching in one by one (hoorah, hoorah)? Because they obviously have a place to come in and yet the apartment complex isn’t doing anything to prevent it. (We plugged up where the cords to the fridge and stove go through the wall, but I’m guessing there’s a nice big hole behind the dishwasher we can’t get to.)

Thanks, apartment complex!

 

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Losing Hope

It’s such a strange thing: hope. There are some moments in life when that’s all we have. Hope. Faith in prayers. Hoping beyond hope that the thing we are dreading will never come to fruition.

But what happens when hoping has no purpose? When the “if” becomes “when.” When there’s no reason to hope someone will get better, because you know they won’t. When the treatment stops. When the worst becomes inevitable.

When there’s nothing left to do but wait. Wait for the news. Wait for your heart to skip a beat every time your phone makes a noise, wondering if it’s time; if you’ll finally hear what you wish you never will.

What is the point of hope in the first place if it only lifts you up to let you fall even farther?

“Let me tell you something my friend. Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane.” — Stephen King

Don’t.

I’m staring so relentlessly at the floor, I’m almost surprised when my eyes don’t burn holes into the tiles.

Don’t listen.

They keep speaking. I stare at the floor. At the table. At another person. At my lap. I stare anywhere, as long as I can avoid looking the one place I don’t want to look.

Don’t listen.

But I have to.

Don’t cry.

Don’t cry.

Damn it, don’t cry!

I keep my eyes on the floor, my gaze becoming more intense, as if staring at ugly floor tile could staunch the tears threatening to form in my eyes. Already forming in my eyes.

Damn it, stop.

But I can’t. When you’re a crier – a real, unrelenting crier – most things set you off. Being happy. Being sad. Angry. Frustrated. Disappointed.

Frustrated with yourself for crying because you’re sad and disappointed.

Don’t listen.

Don’t cry.

Just don’t.

The Thing All Women Do That You Don’t Know About

This is an amazing read.

Drifting Through

image: Shutterstock image: Shutterstock

There’s this thing that happens whenever I speak about or write about women’s issues. Things like dress codes, rape culture and sexism. I get the comments: Aren’t there more important things to worry about? Is this really that big of a deal? Aren’t you being overly sensitive? Are you sure you’re being rational about this?

Every. Single. Time.

And every single time I get frustrated. Why don’t they get it?

I think I’ve figured out why.

They don’t know.

They don’t know about de-escalation. Minimizing. Quietly acquiescing.

Hell, even though women live it, we are not always aware of it. But we have all done it.

We have all learned, either by instinct or by trial and error, how to minimize a situation that makes us uncomfortable. How to avoid angering a man or endangering ourselves. We have all, on many occasions, ignored an offensive comment. We’ve all…

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You’re so negative

You know that person no one likes being around because she just complains all the time?

You’re starting to sound like her.

You’re so negative.

Yeah.

Switch places with me. I want to see anyone take this on with a positive attitude.

Because even the most positive people can’t. Trust me. I’ve seen it.

Madness

Drip! Drip!

The sound repeated all day.

Drip! Drip!

Each worker was given a sink at his desk.

Drip! Drip!

She sat and listened to the sink all day.

Drip! Drip!

Her neighbor’s sink steadily dripped. She put in headphones, but they did not help. Even over the sound of the music in her ears, she could hear it.

Drip! Drip!

She thought about the tool that could fix the situation. It sat within the same room, just 20 steps away.

Drip! Drip!

She longed all day to find the tool, to fix the dripping sink. But the office had one rule: No one must touch another’s sink.

Drip! Drip!

Drip! Drip!

Drip! Drip!

The sound drove her mad. At many points, she considered finding the tool. And not to touch the sink — no, that was not allowed — but to attack her neighbor.

Drip! Drip! Drip!

She envisioned striking him over the head all day long.

Drip! Drip!

Maybe if he was gone, someone else would come in. Someone who would make the dripping stop.

Drip! Drip!