BWB and I are in the wilds of Illinois this month for school-related reasons.  The apartment we are staying in is a tiny one-bedroom built over a garage, and we love it. We call it our little nest, and are waxing poetic about simplifying into a smaller apartment when we get home.  This conveniently ignores two cats, a 60-pound puppy, and our packrat tendencies, but it’s nice to dream.

While our furry critters are not here with us, we do have some other roommates.  Ladybugs.  On any given day we have anywhere from four to a couple dozen, mostly centered around the front window and living room walls.  They are the orange kind, which (according to the magic of the interwebs) are an Asian variety, imported because of their more voracious appetites.  They’re not quite as adorable as the little bright red ones, which are apparently being pushed out of existence by the foreign intruders, but they’re still pretty cute.  Wikipedia also informed us that these little ladies are known for invading homes in cold weather, being drawn to warm, bright places.  For the most part, we were content with the live and let live approach, since they weren’t really doing us any harm by crawling all over the walls.

That is, until BWB was attacked.  It happened in class, we were sitting there and suddenly he jumped, grabbing his leg.  He could tell he had a bug of some kind pinched in the cloth of his pants, and excused himself to the restroom to get it out.  Sure enough, there was one of the little orange arthropod.  Apparently they bite, too.  After that, he marched straight over to the program manager’s office and asked for them to send an exterminator to take care of the problem right away.  The manager said this was a common problem around here and he’d send someone over.

That was last week.  Fast forward to Tuesday, a sunny, glorious day, and the biggest crowd of ladybugs yet having Spring Break on our ceiling.  Mid-morning, there was a knock at the door.  BWB answered, and sure enough, there stood the exterminator, ready to commit ladybugicide.  BWB closed the door and we went to put on non-pyjamas.  I looked at him, and he gave me this ‘what have I done?’ expression.  I started laughing, and asked him if he wanted them to go away.  He nodded emphatically.  I asked him if he wanted me to do it.  He nodded again.  So I went back out to the door, laughing.  The conversation went something like this:

Me:  So, um, the ladybugs…

Exterminator guys: look stern

Me:  Well my husband, it’s just… well he’s gotten a little attached to them.

Exterminator guys: look stern, but puzzled

Me: Like, attached to the ladybugs…?

Exterminator guys: light dawns.  they start laughing.  a lot.

They left, saying they’d come back some other time, presumably after we’ve moved out.  After they left, BWB got a broom, swept them up off the walls and ceiling and took them outside.  A quick shake launched them all into the air — fly away home, hopefully.  When he was done, he came back in and sat next to me.  “Can I tell you a secret?  I don’t mind if they come back in, as long as they get something to eat out there.  They must be starving.”  Have I mentioned lately how much I love my husband?

Since then, he has changed his gchat status to “Married to the savior of the ladybugs!” and the ladybugs are still having a party at our place most mornings.  I wonder if we’ll find them crawling out of our suitcases when we get back to NOLA, ready to party down.  And you know, as long as they don’t bite us, we’d be okay with that.

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