Shabbat Shalom: Welcome to the Ant Farm

Last night I went to Friday night serves at Beit T’Shuvah in Los Angeles. The choir was killing it, and I was with my pal Rachel and her fiancé Luke, whose dad is in town, so it was a good night.  My son opted to stay home as he was preparing for a test and the rest of his weekend was booked solid, so he used the night to study.

As I sat in services getting my Shabbat on, the text messages started to come in.  It started with a, “Call me when you can.”  Followed two minutes later with, “Mom, hope services are great, call me when you can.”  A minute later, “Mom, sorry to bother you, but can you call me when you can.” Thirty seconds later came,  “CALL ME ASAP!”

I rushed out and my heart was racing.  He is almost 16 years old, and even though I know he is fine on his own, in the 10 seconds it took me to get outside, I completely freaked out that I left my baby at home by himself. As I was heading out, I got my car keys ready and was prepared to head home right away.

My son answered the phone and I immediately started screaming, “What’s happening?  Call the police! I’m on my way!  Momma’s coming!!!”  He told me to calm down and began to explain there was an “ant problem” in the dining room.  He had to tell me about the ants three times before I was able to understand what was going on.

He had gone into the kitchen to get a drink and saw a few ants crawling along the floor.  He sprayed them with Windex, and looked to see where they were coming from.  He then discovered “millions” of ants in the dining room, flooding in from what looked like the floor.  He was overwhelmed by the massive amount of them.

Here’s the thing, I hate bugs.  Seriously, bugs gross me out and if I’m going to be completely honest, they scare me.  Ridiculous I know, but if I see a spider I flip out.  A cricket or a grasshopper, and it’s all over for me.  Wasp, bee, fly?  Forget about it.  I will scream as if I have seen a ghost. Bugs are not welcome in my home.

I am very clean and neat so the thought one ant, let alone millions, walking through my kitchen is disgusting.  I was anxious to get home to see what was going on, and at the same time did not want to go home and see what was going on.  I let my boy know where the bug spray was, and told him I would stop and get ant traps.

When I got home I saw the ants were coming in from behind a light socket, and yes, there were a million of them.  They were walking, in a lovely line, from the dining room to the kitchen, and after the initial shock at how many there were, and my desire to vomit, I put on my dishwashing gloves, got the spray, and began killing.

I was obsessed.  I cleaned the wall, the floor, moved my china cabin to clean behind there, emptied my kitchen cupboards and cleaned under there, and put ant traps throughout the kitchen and dining room.  As a vegetarian, killing animals makes me sad and uncomfortable, but I was on a rampage and the ants needed to go.

It made me sad to participate in such a mass killing on Shabbat, but there was no way around it.  I barely slept because I had to check that I got them all.  I imagined there would be retaliation and they were making their way to the bedrooms.  I woke up this morning to clean it all again. and found two stray ants. 

I placed them on a napkin and took them outside.  If they could survive the massive amount of ant spray, they deserved to a new life outside.  My fabulous feeling of peace and comfort after services, is now replaced with a feeling there are ants crawling all over me.  I hate bugs, and am on high alert that they may return. 

After a few days of insane heat, LA has cooled off so maybe the ants will be more comfortable outside.  If any managed to survive my massacre, I hope they are telling their friends to stay away from “that bad place”, which is my dining room.  It may be Shabbat, but I am prepared to kill again, so the ants should be keeping the faith.

*** Beit T’Shuvah’s Sisterhood is holding their annual HOLIDAY BOUTIQUE on Sunday, November 13th from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.  Stop by and do some fabulous holiday shopping!