It was a week where I realized something about myself.
As creepy a critter as they are, I can't bring myself to kill a stink bug.
I'll spot one of them from time to time in the house, scooting nonchalantly across a ceiling or scaling a wall, just out of the blue suddenly somewhere in my midst where I don't particularly want one to be.
My reaction is always the same, very predictable.
I kind of scream. I register my level of disgust at its presence with a "yuck" or two. Then I take bold and swift action.
I scramble for a piece of paper on which to scoop this boxy brown intruder. It's a process that isn't always so cut and dried because they're not at all cooperative once they realize you're not thrilled by their presence. I head to the nearest door or window to fling the stink bug into the great outdoors, out onto a pile of snow for a little bit of fresh air.
So long, stink bug!
I confirmed my aversion to this insect the other morning in the office just as we were digesting the news that there is this remarkable abundance of squid all of a sudden off the California coast, and there's this rush among people to reel them in ASAP.
"I feel bad for the squid," I confessed to some colleagues as I watched the enthusiastic calamari catchers load their boat with these water wonders, even though I felt a little hypocritical since I've eaten squid a time or two. Gulp.
I had no sooner expressed compassion for the squid that I followed up with my reluctance to do away with stink bugs.
One co-worker came to my defense, reminding me of the consequences of killing a stink bug - you know, the stink and all. You really don't want to squish one under foot.
I admitted I took the coward's way out and banished the bug to what I assumed would be its frosty demise.
"Would you want to knit it a sweater?" a co-worker wondered aloud.
So much for comforting me, a kid who attempted intervention when I would catch peers doing away with ants with the sun through the magnifying glass trick.
I don't know. I'm OK with taking out flies and mosquitoes, but a stink bug - I guess I fear repercussions. Who knows - maybe its family will come after me or something.
I've even felt bad about getting rid of those funky little beetles that look like lady bug knock-offs.
I was sweeping them up at my mother's the other day, cleaning a windowsill in what was my old bedroom, when I thought I could hurry up and empty the sweeper outside. Let the bugs go live their lives happily ever after somewhere else besides inside where I am.
Better Half gave me that are-you-nuts look.
So, bugs oddly have me on their side. I don't want to cohabitate with them, but they do get another chance to do whatever it is that insects do.
And that doesn't "bug" me at all.
(Kiaski, a resident of Steubenville, is a staff columnist and features writer for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and community editor for the Herald-Star. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)