i guess, looking back, one could say we knew what we were doing when we named the mouse algernon.
the house on oriole had a history of mice long before i moved in. an old home, rented for so many years by so many tenants, never fully vetted before being flipped again. new critters like al find their way inside every time the weather turns cold.
if we’re dripping our faucets, we’re setting out traps, and finding new housewarming gifts in the pantry, and the pots and pans, and the drawer under the oven . . .
we tried peppermint oil . . . it’s supposed to encourage the mice to vacate the premises AND leave their breath minty fresh. we tried boxing up the food . . . they still came ’round, leaving presents, and eating everything but the center of the leftover butterfinger on the second shelf. the wrapper? sure. the center? not so much.
it really makes me wonder about butterfingers.
by the fifteenth evening in a row of fresh evidence in the dinner dishes, roommate e (ENFP/enneagram 8/mama bear) decided enough was enough. she slapped some peanut butter on those sticky traps and turned on the olympic ice dancing competition.
ten minutes later, a creature was stirring in that dreaded oven drawer, and three girls were letting out screams that had nothing to do with charlie and meryl’s ice antics. the rest of the story is pretty predictable – more screaming, a wriggling rodent on a sticky trap, a now sainted house boyfriend in rubber gloves, more screaming, and a trash can burial for our 5th roommate algernon.
the next morning, al was joined by his brother alejandro. by the weekend, we were huddled in the dirt basement – where the former residents apparently held some cross between a kegger and a seance – waiting out tornado sirens.
it’s a rare dull moment in this season of life, and i’m trying to ride the waves of terror and suspense all the way to shore.
i left my number for a stranger in december -
that he never called is far from the point.
i said yes to a first date in february -
that he isn’t my next great love is part of the process.
i’m telling my money where to go.
i’m setting goals that terrify me.
i’m challenging myself to do things i’m not great at . . . on purpose . . . and maybe even fail at them . . . in public.
i’m just doing the next thing and paying attention to how it feels.
there are surely surprises hiding in the pantry. things that will make me jump or cry or break out in a cold sweat at the very thought. but all of those things – even the literal four-legged ones (r.i.p. al) – are so much better than boring. they are felt deeper, linger longer, and are honestly just so much more fun.
in that same spirit, we’ve changed our house motto for the time being from a favorite spice girls lyric to this more appropriately empowering sentiment: scary > boring.
take it, run with it, do something scary, and report back.