i gave him my snake

i’m already laughing as i’m typing. like ben (my sweet husband) and i say often, “who are we?” i’m convinced we are not the only odd birds out there. and if we are… so be it.

what wonderful memories i have of meeting ben for the first time. we fell in love. deep love. and it changed us forever. so i’m proud (and mildly embarrassed-if that’s possible) to say that it started with a snake.

my roommate and i, for my last year of college, felt like it was time for a pet. and how cute would it have been to get a little puppy? cute but very inappropriate for college students. we decided that we would get a tiny turtle. like a teenie, tiny turtle. a turtle so small, that from far away, you might think it was a greasy penny. we made up our mind. we were going to buy a little turtle because little turtles are so cute -and would be especially cute in a little aquarium in our living room. we made a trip to the pet store. but the smallest turtle was not the teeny tiny turtle we imagined. the guy there told us that it was illegal to buy or sell turtles in virginia that were smaller than 4 inches in diameter. we were very disappointed –  BUT. you know what teeny, tiny things i did see? …teeny, tiny snakes. and they were cute. and for all of you snake haters, let me just tell you that snakes are some of the most docile creatures out there and make really great pets. and just for the record, spiders are way more scary.

so i convinced my roommate, mandi corbett, (who was adamantly against the snake/wouldn’t even look at it) that it was a good idea. and she was swayed, really swayed. i believe there are still pictures of her with the snake on her head.

so we named him atreyu. you guys, he was so small. i took him in my pocket places. places like school, i even traveled with him in my pocket on an airplane to california. (unbeknownst to southwest airlines and those innocent passengers sitting next to me). i took him everywhere. i guess you could say we were good friends.

so it would only make sense for me to carry him in my purse to the coffee shop where i worked at the time.(the european cafe, that my best friend, wendolyn, owned at the time). i paraded behind the counter and showed her atreyu. of course, kindred spirit that she is,  liked him right away. even though she warned me not to show anyone in the cafe i had a snake, i was feeling a little hyper and sassy and disobeyed. a guy comes to the counter. he asked for coffee. i said, “hold out your hand.” he did. and i placed atreyu in his hand! (keep in mind that i had never met him before and i had no clue what i was thinking) so he smiled. he smiled real big. ladies and gentlemen, this man behind the counter was ben myers: biologist, reptile lover, at the time had grants from the government to study the timber rattlesnakes, had three snakes in his basement (one of which was an bermise python-holy cow, those guys are so big!), the only guy, out of millions, that would actually love the snake i placed in his hand.

and so we chat. needless to say, he came back to the cafe. over and over again, until he had me. hook. line. and stinker.

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