I hate ants.

I hate them with a passion. I fear them so much that I let them control me.

Those crawling specks with their grubby little legs that tickle your arm when you think you are finally safe. I want to be a far from the ants as possible, but they have taken over my kitchen!

I have not been able to handle the ants since their first insurgence on my home two summers ago. They were EVERYWHERE. I would be watching The Big Bang Theory or Pinning cosplay ideas online and something would bite me. The small black variety of ants bite too, although just a little nip is enough to scare me. I could not handle them, so my Dad became the Ant Warrior.

Every day, Dad battled nature as he sprayed poison on our counter tops and set “ant traps” in every corner of our home. The counter top poison freaked me out as I thought my father lost his mind. Thankfully Dad bought the “human and pet safe” spray that is mint based, explaining why certain rooms smelled like toothpaste. Every time the ants overtook the kitchen counters, Dad reminded Mom and I to not leave crumbs on the counter. He always seemed to know what the ants were after. “It’s water they want this year.” “They seem to like sugar.” “They are really hungry for carbs…” When the ant problem surged to a peak, Dad upped the ante 😉 and sprayed real poison around the perimeter of our home. The ant problem would diminish for about forty eight hours until they came back.

As the ant fight raged on, I became non-functional every time I saw a platoon of ants. I refused to step on the kitchen floor, requiring my mom to grab a snack for me lest I starve. I started to determine “safe” and “unsafe” rooms and confined myself to my bedroom as the last room left for me until I started finding ants in my bed. I could hardly sleep at night!

When my parents left for a vacation last year, the whole house fell to shambles. I avoided the kitchen, I hated feeding my cats since Mom covered the bottom edge of their bowls with sticky, ant-proof Vaseline that I always accidentally touched. The kitchen sink and dishes became a mess as I avoided what became of…

That’s gross. I will stop there.

This summer we have an ant problem again. I look forward to the days when Lee and I are married and living in our own home far away from the ants. As many wonderful things I have to look forward to in my upcoming marriage, the lack of ants is a highlight. I will feel much less shame making my husband save me than my parents, but that wont be a problem because where ever we live, we wont have ants. I have been warned that the bugs are worse in the South. I have been told that the mosquitoes are bigger than frying pans and alligators run amok in every neighborhood looking for a swimming pool to chill in. I get it. The South is muggier and buggier. But, even if that were all true, I am glad to know that my house or apartment will NOT HAVE ANTS. I look forward to the time that I live ant free!

I talk about domesticating myself and becoming a more independent adult. This ant problem is my most undesirable opportunity to do that.

I write this post because I made a milestone in my self domestication project. Today, I stood up to the ants like a super heroine. Just like Usagi Tuskino of Sailor Moon, without my superpowers I am a clumsy crybaby. But this morning, when I saw the ants overrunning the sink, counters, and floor I transformed from Ali the Rose to Ali The SUPER ANT KILLER Rose, brandished my Eco-Spray can and shouted “Eco-Spray Attack!”. Like a brave warrior princess incarnate from the magical past, I cleaned up the kitchen of ants.

I felt pretty proud of myself (and I really did role-play a Sailor Scout attack in my mom and dad’s kitchen), then transformed back to my ant fearing self and avoided the kitchen for the rest of the day.

Here’s how it happened.
I may not be a brave sailor scout ant warrior yet, but I am making slow progress toward taking care of my self and my home one challenge at a time.
Posted by:Alison Rushing

Alison Rushing is a journalism and art student at the University of Memphis. Rushing also works at a puppeteer throughout the year.

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