I can’t believe I’m typing this sentence, but this post is about roaches. Yup. (I’ll spare all of us and not include a picture.)

I grew up in Mississippi in a house with lots of trees in the yard. Ergo, we had roaches. Not that there were swarms or anything, but I would definitely see them around. And then the pest control guy would come, and after that we would only see dead ones. And so the cycle went.

I had a friend who was deathly afraid of them due to an unfortunate experience with one. I have a vivid memory of one night when she spent the night. We were watching some kittens for the weekend for a friend of my family’s, and she and I were sleeping in sleeping bags in the room with them. At one point, we noticed a kitten playing with something, which turned out to be a roach. She jumped up onto a chair like a shot. I laughed at her…but then calmly proceeded to go wake my dad up to kill it. Clearly I knew what men were for. ;-)

My college also was graced with numerous cockroaches. Sometimes if you were walking back to your dorm at night it would appear that the sidewalk was crawling away from you. I somehow was the designated brave roach squisher on my freshman hall….oh, how times change.

Since then, my encounters with roaches have thankfully become few and far between! In our last apartment, I think I saw one the entire 2-ish years we were there. Lately we’ve had a few that seem to be coming in through the pipes. When you live in the South, they seem to be a fact of life in the warmer months. It’s been infrequent–one now and then, in the kitchen or bathroom where it’s pretty obvious how it got in. But they seem to be particularly big ones, and I can’t handle them. Andy is clearly the designated cockroach killer in my life, and he rises to the occasion beautifully. And I have thus completely lost my tolerance for them. The other night after he was asleep, I saw one in the bathroom, and I didn’t want to go in there the rest of the night. I lay in bed in fear that it would somehow get up and crawl across me as I slept. I’ve now acquired my friend’s desire to jump on top of the furniture if I see one. No longer am I Laura the Brave Roach Squisher of my college days.

I’m curious as to how this phobia developed. I mean, I know it’s not unreasonable–roaches are pretty gross. But why did I used to not be that bothered by them but now can’t stand the mere thought of them? Our brains work in mysterious ways.

Do you have any phobias that have developed as you’ve gotten older? Who deals with the creepy crawlies in your household?

Laura Lindeman

Laura Lindeman