You can’t kill it with fire when it’s in your car

I’m not a fan of spiders. Really not a fan at all.

To be fair, I’m not a fan of lots of different bugs. Like wasps.

Wasps are assholes. A wasp once made me crash my car into a light pole. The pole was okay; I was okay; the car was totaled.

After I did that, though, I learned my lesson. Instead of trying to kill a bug while the car is moving, now I pull over.

Imagine the scene: I was up in Madison, New Jersey. Late at night. A cold winter night. Before the dawn of cell phones. I had just left Drew University where I had been visiting my boyfriend at the time (now my husband), and about three blocks down the way, I spotted it.

A spider on my windshield.

On the INSIDE of my windshield.

Instead of running off the road, I waited, stretching my arms out as far as they could go so that I was as far from the windshield as possible. As soon as I could pull over in the snow, I did. I hopped out of the car, took off a shoe and stood on one foot in the snow bank, trying to kill the spider in the windshield.

I did it!

It was dead!

But then I was afraid to get back into the car because, and I know this is totally rational, once you kill a spider, all the other spiders know. They gang up on you. They get you. It’s like a gang fight in West Side Story.

Anyway, that spider was dead.

Since then, I’ve been lucky. Anytime I had a spider in the car, I also had a passenger who could remove it one way or the other.

Until the other day.

There was a spider.

In the car.

On the inside of the window.

Right next to me.

It was somewhere between the size of a pinhead and a VW Beetle. I can’t quite remember in the blur of fear.

But there it was.

And there I was.

Then, like magic, I got it out of the car! I refuse to say how, in case other spiders are reading this, but this image shows what may (or may not) have been its final view.



The real test of a relationship…

26013000 Ice cubes on blue background

There are a billion (okay, maybe a billion and one) pieces out there that purport to provide the ultimate tests to see if your relationship will last or if it’s doomed to destruction. Based on some simple characteristics or a few innocuous actions, you’ll be able to dump your partner or live a life of bliss.


Those are all full of shit.

The real test – the only test that matters – is what happens when you have a refrigerator that doesn’t make ice. In July. In Texas.

It doesn’t matter if you or your partner farts. Or picks their nose. Or scratches themselves. Or doesn’t change the toilet paper roll. None of that makes any difference in how well your relationship will run. Nope. The only thing is that damn ice tray.

Here’s the thing: when we moved into our house, it came with a nice, new, contractor-special, low-grade, standard refrigerator. White. Plain. Boring. But it had an ice maker.

I loved that ice maker.

Ice, all the time.

I’m addicted to ice in my drinks. The more ice the better. I would put in two ounces of a drink and twelve ounces of ice, then let it melt. Cooooold.

Then that lovely refrigerator bit the dust. Repairs – if they would be possible – weren’t worth it. But we didn’t have much money. So we did what we had to do.

We bought the cheapest refrigerator that had a fridge and a freezer.

It didn’t have an ice maker.

That’s okay, we told ourselves. We can make ice. It isn’t hard. People used to do it all the time. And it’ll save $50! That’s more than a tenth the cost of the refrigerator! Totally worth it!

I want to go back in time and bitch slap myself.

I haven’t had to make my own ice in 10 years. Ten years. Now I’m doing it twice a day. (Yes, I use that much ice. Don’t you judge me.)

I’ve also learned the ice issues.

First, I bought the cheap ice trays. Cheap doesn’t mean bad, right? Yeah. Yeah, it does. They have to be seated a certain way in order to stay one on top of the other. Ask me how many times I put them the wrong way and have water well up, covering the counter, floor, and my feet? At last count it was about 467. And that’s only been in the past two months.

Second, you discover the ice tray tricks. Things like always leaving one ice cube in the bin so that you don’t have to dump out the trays and make new ice. Things like sneaking a single ice cube from the trays so that you don’t have to dump out the trays and make new ice. Things like choosing to go without a drink so that you don’t have to dump out the trays and make new ice.

Third, you also learn how quickly your spouse catches onto those same tricks when you go to get ice and find out that the tricks have already been pulled and you’ve been screwed into the position of being the ice maker.

We’ve been together for 25 years and married for 20.

All the things we’ve gone through. All the things we’ve done. All the stuff that’s supposed to make or break a relationship. But it all comes down to the ice trays.