Pest Control

At one point in our marriage we let our home become overrun by cockroaches. It was like one of the plagues out of the Old Testament- a punishment we would simply have to endure, a pestilence we were powerless to control, anymore than we could have controlled locusts or boils or the death of our first born. I feel like I'm telling you I let my toddler eat dog food- which I did but only because he loved it so much and our mailman assured me that all of his children had eaten dog food too and turned out just fine.  It started slow. One little cockroach scurrying from Point A to Point B across the kitchen counter. But it escalated quickly and the invaders began to conquer other territories of the house. The dining room. The living room. Our bedroom. We bought Raid and little cockroach motels but all of our attempts to help ourselves were fruitless, spitting into the wind. And for a long time-- weeks? months? -- instead of asking for help, instead of calling one of the dozens of pest control enterprises in town, we did nothing. And I think this is because, to some degree or another, we were both in complete despair. Largely, our marriage consisted of bitter fights and angry silences. Neither of us worked enough to cover all of our bills and we each expected the other to do it, but neither of us would. I sought relief in an online affair and my husband in hours of shooting zombies in video games, both of us living out fantasy lives instead of rebuilding the ones we actually had. Projects went unstarted or unfinished. Every night we ate ramen noodles or rice and beans or whatever else required minimal effort. We felt stuck and angry and like the state of our house and marriage was happening to us, not because of us. Eventually everything blew up, and from that point on began to improve. We called pest control, and a therapist. The cockroaches and despair are gone and I miss neither one.