what lies beneath.

I have hesitated to tell this story, for several reasons.

1. You’ve already heard me talk about roosters, rats and raccoons. What more can you take? I mean, really. I don’t know if I want to start setting a precedent here.

2. It was one of the most traumatizing experiences of my life.

3. It really scared the crap out of me.

But, hey. Aside from #1 above, aren’t #2 and #3 the makings of just about the perfect story to tell the world? I‘ve already told you I peed my pants, so let’s do this thing:

Last November, I planned a family trip to Hawaii. It was my mom’s 60th birthday and she had just finished breast cancer treatment so we were all in the mood to celebrate.

It was a large group: my mom, brother, his wife, their two children, John and I and Olivia. We wanted to stay together and naturally, we needed a pool.

I love pretending like I know what I’m doing, so I offered to coordinate the details.

Not gonna lie: it’s kinda high-pressure to plan something like this for a large group, especially for a stress-job like me. There’s really no way around feeling personally responsible for everyone’s satisfaction, even if some things might be out of your control.

So anyway, we get there and the place was good enough. Nothing to write home about, but it was large, there was a fridge for the wine I mean snacks, and it had a pool.

So far, so good.

Fast forward to the first night. The kids are all tucked away in bed and the adults are sitting around the kitchen enjoying a celebratory cocktail. Laughing, and laughing, oh the good times.

Pretty soon, we start to peel off, one by one, headed for bed. The last four standing were my mom, my husband and myself.

And the 4th person standing?

Well, it wasn’t really a person so much as a big, huge, black cockroach in the middle of the kitchen floor. Except he wasn’t standing so much as darting mockingly across the room like a demented version of the Gingerbread Man. I for sure heard him shout, “Hee hee, you can’t catch me!” as he scurried under the table.

Well, we DID catch him, with a Solo cup and my screams, and kicked his little crunchy butt to the curb, aka the toilet.

Oh, was I shaking. A) I had never seen a cockroach in real life. We live in the Pacific Northwest, people. We have slugs. B) Fear and panic that I had just checked us all into the Roach Motel and we were only on NIGHT ONE rushed through me.

This was going to be a long night.

In the next scene, we find ourselves in bed. I am just dozing off when I feel something tickling my hair. Surely I am dreaming but I’d better do a cursory sweep of my head just in case AND WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT??? I SWEAR I JUST FELT SOMETHING CRAWLING IN MY HAIR!!!!

No, no, love calm down. Says John. Go back to bed.

I frantically rush around, looking for the light switch, and when I finally find it the glaring spotlight is cast onto ………………… THIS: 

Right about now I am picturing all of you saying, “Yeah right, Melisa. Good one. You are just joking. Ha ha.”

Oh, what I wouldn’t pay for this to be a joke. The only discrepancy between the photo above and the actual nightmarish scene was I think the real cockroach was bigger.


Ready for what happened next? As soon as the light came on, he darted back down behind the bed. And then, guess what? Oh, that playful little trickster! He darted BACK UP onto the bed! And not just the bed, but MY PILLOW! Oh, for the laughs.

I’m pretty sure this is what he said to me:

Come back tomorrow for the exciting conclusion! You know you want to…

On tonight’s to-do list? A scalding hot shower to try and wash this memory off.

What do you have planned this weekend? I’d love to hear from you!