Most people don’t like bugs. They cringe at the thought of a cockroach, feel a slight wave of discomfort when killing a spider, and do their best to avoid bees, hornets and other mean, stinging bugs.

I am not like most people. Unlike more balanced, naturally experienced, and reasonable people, I have a CRIPPLING fear of all arthropods, regardless of form or affinity for land or sea.

Yeah, I’m sure you’ve heard that before, and I know I have a penchant for hyperbole at times, but there isn’t an iota of embellishment in this sad tale.

After a week in Puerto Rican paradise and an exciting day out and about, Boyfriend and I were having a low key night at home, readjusting to real life. We grabbed a bowl of fancy ice cream, opened the windows to enjoy the early summer breeze, put on my favorite movie (Star Trek: Into Darkness), and settled in on the couch for a good snuggle. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw something flitting about and immediately jumped up.

“THERE’S A BUG IN HERE!” Boyfriend was completely undisturbed, perfectly captivated by the movie. I sat back down and tried to keep it together, telling myself it was probably a harmless moth.

Three minutes later when it buzzed in my ear and it was clear this bug was not in fact harmless but instead a blood-guzzling evil mosquito (and one very close to my face), I lost it. “MOSQUITO! MOSQUITO! KILL IT! KILL IT! KILL IT!”

Boyfriend jumped up, ready to pounce, waiting for it to come into sight. Thirty minutes later, still standing but far less vigilant and more inured to the realization that this was about to be our whole night, Boyfriend decided to give up. “Let’s just watch the movie and when it comes back, I’ll kill it. I can’t do anything if I can’t see it.”

He’s a damn reasonable person, so it was hard to argue. Five seconds into the movie, though, the mosquito made its reappearance, and I let forth a blood-curling scream. “THAT’S IT! NO MORE!”

Boyfriend could tell I was teetering on the edge of complete insanity, and so he rallied. Never one to half-ass something, he thoroughly researched the best ways to kill a mosquito (this obviously would not have been my first move, as I am a) not patient and b) a woman of action, but I applauded his efforts). Next thing I knew, all but one of the lights were turned out and he was standing like a trained killer against a wall.

I started walking towards him when I noticed the mosquito chilling out on the floor. In one swift movement, I grabbed a shoe and smacked down with all the force in my body, letting forth a wild cry that probably terrified everyone on my floor, and possibly even people a few floors down. I sobbed and ran away and left Boyfriend to check if I had successfully killed it.

After confirmation of the death, I gloated relentlessly about how I was the fierce one in the relationship and thank GOD I was there to save HIM, until I started to feel woozy a few minutes later, and realized my finger was in excruciating pain. Boyfriend of course thought I was being excessively histrionic, took a look at my finger, told me I was probably fine and ushered me back to the couch to finish watching our movie.

The next morning, when my finger was swollen and hard to bend, I waved it right in his face. “DO YOU SEE WHAT I DID TO MYSELF? WHAT I SACRIFICED FOR YOUR SAFETY?” He examined my turgid knuckle and felt a wave of shame and guilt, apologizing profusely. A call to my father the doctor later only made the situation worse.

“You should’ve taken the ring off. Now you’re going to cut off all the blood to the finger, and you’re going to have to rush to the ER and they’re going to try to cut the ring off so you don’t lose the finger.” (Sidenote: now we know where the flair for drama comes from.)

I managed to get the ring off, and while I was very uncomfortable with a giant, swollen finger, I learned to live with it. One month later, my finger is still slightly swollen, I still can’t wear my favorite ring, and I discovered that my finger won’t bend as fully as my other fingers, which has now become my new fear and obsession.

But I was not the only victim in this traumatic incident. Boyfriend has since mandated that no window should ever be open in this apartment again, for fear of other future epic bug battles. And while he probably wouldn’t admit it, his gentle looks of love are now tinged with pure fear. Just the way I like it.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

Makes ~24 muffins

Adapted from

smitten kitchen

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ¾ cups sugar
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup chocolate chips (my preference is Guittard milk chocolate chips)
  • cookie butter, for drizzling

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk. Mix in oil and sugar, then zucchini and vanilla.
  4. Combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and chocolate chips.
  5. Mix into the wet mixture. Divide the batter into muffin cups.
  6. Bake muffins for approximately 20 to 25 minutes. When muffins are done, allow them to cool.
  7. For cookie butter drizzle, spoon a tablespoon or two of cookie butter in a small microwaveable bowl. Microwave the cookie butter until it gets nice and slightly liquid-y. Drizzle or smear the warmed cookie butter on top of the muffin for a sweet touch. YUM.

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