He shakes his head at me as I scoop the crumbs from the counter and carry them to the trashcan.
“We’ll get ants.” I laugh as the words leave my mouth. It’s not the first time I’ve said this.
In the seven years we’ve dated, we’ve never gotten ants, in spite of the fact that he’s left crumbs after every meal he’s ever eaten in our home.
My mom says it’s in the male genes. My dad does it as well. Something is wrong with the male species so that they are incapable of seeing crumbs on a kitchen counter or a dining room table. It is up to the women to prevent the ant infestation of our homes.
I don’t know what causes it but I know that there is no way to stop it. I’ve accepted my role as crumb cleaner-upper. Matt thinks it’s just part of my OCD tendencies. I clean constantly.
I clean up crumbs because of the ants. I’m terrified of them. I know that they’re tiny and essentially harmless. I don’t care. They’re disgusting little creatures and I hate them.
You’re probably thinking there’s a back story to this. You’d be right.
I don’t recall how old I was but I was young enough where I still loved climbing all over dead tree trunks at my grandmother’s farm. This particular tree had once been rooted in the front yard. The tree was cut down and the stump uprooted so it laid on it’s side in the yard. It was a young tree climber’s paradise.
I ran outside one morning and went to the tree stump. I climbed up as high as I could. The roots were easy to grab ahold of. There was dirt everywhere but I didn’t care. It was fun. I climbed higher and higher until I placed my hand in the dirt and grabbed hold of the tree beneath.
But it wasn’t dirt.
It was a fire ant hill.
The pain was immediate. They crawled up my arm in a fury. It was planned and orchestrated. They knew exactly what they were doing. I screamed in panic. At this point in my life, nature was fun and entertaining; not painful and full of evil insects.
I jumped off the tree stump and ran toward the house as my family burst out the front door. The image in my head of me covered in fire ants is probably much more dramatic than it actually was but the pain was intensely real. My mother stripped me of my clothes as someone swatted the ants off me as quickly as possible. My father threw baking soda on me to help with the pain. They were everywhere.
Needless to say, I never went back up on that tree stump. I don’t think I went back outside for the rest of the trip. From that point on, any mound of dirt in the yard was avoided at all cost.
So do I understand that crumbs in my kitchen will most likely attract ants of the non-fire variety? Sure. But I don’t care. All ants are evil little tri-bodied assholes that I would prefer to stay outside my quaint little condo.
Is that too much to ask?
So Matt will continue to laugh as I nag him to pick up his crumbs. He doesn’t get it. He thinks it’s just me being my weird little OCD self. I’ll laugh it off and pick them up myself.
Because those damn ants will not be coming in my house any time soon.