In Which I Log My Complaint Against the US*

Dear United States of America,

While I was living in Mexico, you wooed me back to your shores with promises of safety, prosperity, and never-ending Nutter Butters. While you’ve followed through on the safety and prosperity bit (and yes, the never-ending NBs), there are a few smaller promises that I don’t feel you’ve fulfilled.

*Unceasing power!” you bragged.

“High-speed internet, right at your fingertips!” you gloated.

“No critters!” you exclaimed.

Well, I’m here to tell you that these promises have fallen short of my expectations.

During my first week of work I was up late reading when suddenly ZOOMF! The power went out. (Yes, that’s the sound the power makes when it goes out. Don’t question it.) I was sitting in the cinder-block basement putting phone numbers into my cell phone when the house plummeted into darkness. And thank god, because if the phone hadn’t been in my hand I might still be trapped down there.

In Mexico the power went out regularly, but at least it came back within an hour (assuming it was a technical problem and not a lack of paying the bill) but YOU, USA, you made us wait almost an entire DAY before the power went on. Unacceptable.

Same with the high-speed internet. I used to dream of the day when I returned to the US and could play Bejeweled at the speed at which it was intended–I mean, of the day when my searches for important and time-sensitive articles zipped through the intertubes at speeds that send your heartrate zinging. Yeah, that. Within a week of losing power for an ENTIRE DAY, our internet (and phone) connection was cut–also for an entire day. What’s with that?

And finally, the critters. I’d grown accustomed to opening my cupboards with trepidation, never knowing when a two-inch cockroach might land on my head (or arms, or feet, or food that I’d just prepared and was sitting on the counter). Chasing jumping spiders and squashing ants with my fingers had become part of my daily routine, but I never expected I’d need those skills in the land of plenty.

The basement where I’m residing is filled–FILLED!–with scary spiders that blend into the wall so I think they’re holes. Just when I convince myself that the holes aren’t out to get me, they race across the floor at mach speed (or pretty damn close) their beady eyes focused on my extremities. I have a hard time squishing things that might leave a mark (ants are hollow inside so they don’t count) so this constant barrage of crunchy, gooey things needs to stop. (My dad would also like to add his two cents here as he doesn’t appreciate being dragged into the basement to kill the spiders I trap with shoe box lids and save for him. Also , it’s his birthday today so this would be a lovely gift.)


In closing, I believe my stay here in your land of spacious skies would be more satisfying if you could please follow through on your promises so that my greatest concern is what CD to listen to while cruising past your amber waves of grain.

Melanie Avila


*Please, for the love of all that is good in the land of fruited plains, understand that I’m teasing. But I really would appreciate it if someone could do something about these spiders.


20 Responses

  1. There used to be a packet of powder called Demon WP that when mixed with water and sprayed was quite the eradicator of spiders. Not sure if it’s still available but if it is get you some.

    • That sounds scary. I do think we need to do something because there are a lot down here…

  2. Bug bomb.

    I used to have a stash of them when I lived out in the country, I bought them in bulk.

    Max, shadow and I would go for a long walk while a few of those went off in the house. In the spring this was every week.

    Nasty little creatures those spiders, nasty.

    • If I’d thought ahead I would have done it while I was in Kentucky. Oh well.

  3. Spiders!


    I ain’t coming visiting till you get rid. That should be MORE than enough incentive! ;-)



    PS – Also, boo on the lack of power/intertubes

    • Sadly, Michigan has lots of spiders. We live on the water so that just makes it worse.

  4. I’ve heard that people often end up having a harder time re-adjusting when they return to their native land, than when they move to a foreign country.

    Hope you solve the electricity and spider problem. (spiders don’t bother me in general, but I wouldn’t want them crawling around my cupboards)

    • Gypsy, it hasn’t been as bad as I expected, but there are still little things that surprise me. The blatant entitlement by some, for example…

  5. i want you to know… my week is off to a better start because of you. Hysterical. no really, Hysterical! Just fyi, in some cultures, spiders in your living space is considered good luck. I’m just saying is all.

    this from a guy named kraefish

    • Kev, if you liked this, wait until Wednesday…

      I’ll keep that in mind about the spiders. Perhaps I can send all the smooshed ones to you.

  6. Ok. That’s just wrong. Talk about from the frying pan into the fire. We can now coin a new phrase – from the cockroach to the spider.

    Too bad they’re psychotic attack spiders. Otherwise you could pretend they were nice spiders, like Charlotte, and live in peace.

    • Robin, the irony hasn’t been lost on me, especially since they’re practically as big as the cockroaches. *shudder*

  7. Very cute post. I lived in the rain forest for a year and fondly remember the sh*tty internet connections, power failures and of course, the creatures! We had lizards and tree frogs on the kitchen walls.

    In San Diego now & the creatures aren’t much better…rattlesnakes in the garage!

    • It’s definitely something you have to get used to. I think it was harder getting people back in the US to understand how things would just go off for a bit.

      EEK to the rattlesnake!

  8. Ew. You poor thing. Gah, I loathe spiders. So sorry, you’ve been disappointed. Hey, you got some good things too ;o) Hope it gets better for ya. Critters are annoying, but wow, what you had to live with in Mexico, dang girl, I couldn’t do that!

    Hope all is well ;o)

    • Oh I haven’t been disappointed. This was all in fun. :)

  9. Icky, sorry about the spiders! That would freak me out. Can you fumigate or do one of those bomb things?

    Sorry about the power going out too. On more than one occasion, I have used my cellphone as a light. It’s surprising how much light they give off!

    • I’m hoping they’ll just go away without me needing to actually DO anything.

  10. “their beady eyes focused on my extremities”?

    My, my…someone certainly thinks a lot of themselves.

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