Finding the Awesome in the Not so Awesome…
“Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite”, my mom would sing routinely to me as I went to bed in my little mermaid pajamas. This was always such a silly, calming phrase up until two months ago when I began to notice red bumps all over my boyfriend’s arms, shoulders and even ears. Then I started to slowly notice them on me too. Being a slight hypochondriac, I thought one of us had some rare disease that we passed along to the other. My mind started churning and I tried to think of what else it could be. Moral of the story, after two months of research and one free inspection, we discovered we had the dreaded bed bug among us. I was in denial at first. I even got angry. I’d heard all the mumbo jumbo about how hard it was to shed these little disease spreading buggers so I knew we had to do something. …And I was in dire need of doing this the least toxic way possible. So, our Journey begins..
Part of the whole “in denial” phase was thinking that we could do this damn thing on our own. We’ve got some serious pride. So we (well mostly my boyfriend, god bless him) spent an entire day steam cleaning, laundering, spraying, wiping, vacuuming, and washing the premises. We bought new pillows, sheets, bed frame, sprays and mattress protectors. I thought for sure the problem was solved better than my A+ high school math exam. For two weeks after our war with the buggerooskis, we were still winning. No bites, no bad dreams, no heebe jeebees. Until one night, I saw the dreaded, non-itching, red bumps on my arm. So, we bowed down to the fact that we may never be in the army.
I started calling around to different companies. Everything from organic, natural to loaded with awful chemicals. I wanted to stay as natural as possible because that’s how I roll, but the most natural warriors come bearing high heat as the solution. For a whopping $1,800.00 you can have a company come over and use high heat to kill the bugs and their eggs, which sounds amazing if you’re loaded. Not only is the high heat the solution, but it is high heat to your bank account too. So, after many conversations, we decided to go with a company who used both organic and chemical methods. They said the organic had only a seventy five percent chance of working. I had an inner battle over this one. I decided to ask them to use the more natural method on the beds and the chemicals elsewhere. We sleep on the bed and I didn’t really want my boyfriend, my dog and myself to inhale chemicals while in dreamland.
So today they came and sprayed. We emptied the house of our dog and 3 bunnies, rugs, shoes and the multitude of other things we had to bring out in sealed plastic bags. Trust me, it’s a process. If I told you everything we went through in its entirety the last two months…I’d be writing a novel, so I’ll spare you. I wish this upon no one. Well, maybe the casting director that didn’t cast me for the part I was perfect for. But nonetheless, I’m praying that our method of choice works. My mom said I have to have faith in the method I chose, follow the rules and do the best we can do. Sounds like a relationship.
Apparently bed bugs are an infestation these days. Practically an epidemic. Our only two explanations: We had been in a hotel in Vegas a couple weeks prior to the marks appearing and my family was in town and stayed at a hotel and could have brought them over too. So honestly we have no idea how they infiltrated our life. Bed bugs are pretty much a mystery and how to get rid of them are an ever bigger one. I wish I had the perfect routine to suggest but it seems there isn’t one. Go figure.
You may be wondering why I’m sharing this story. As poopy as it may seem, I had a day of laughs amongst all of my pissedoffness. As I sat in my local laundry mat, my rain boots, purses, towels, rugs, dog toys and half melted heels literally flew out of the over stuffed dryers. We were told to heat everything for 90 minutes to kill them. I was on the phone with my mom hysterically laughing at the fact that everyone in there was talking about me and wondering why I had clothes and other items projectile vomiting out of the machines. I have made many friends here at the laundry mat, talking about my ridiculous situation. I didn’t know there were so many friendly people in the laundry mat, who would be willing to help you re-stuff your dryer, keep you company, and share other silly stories of their lives…so you don’t feel so alone and crazy. Even the owner of the laundry mat tried to help me save my dog’s bed, which looked like the pillow had a really bad sushi dinner and spewed its stuffing everywhere. It was a kind effort on his part, but it ended up in the trash anyway, along with two purses and three of my favorite shoes.
My boyfriend and I got closer because we had no other choice than to laugh. We ended up spending the night at his friend’s house, having a slumber party with wine and pizza. It actually turned into a fun social gathering involving humans and dogs. The next night my boyfriend and I cuddled on the couch because our bed was still not ready to sleep on. We barely slept, feet in each other’s faces. But when we woke up in the morning numb and hanging off the couch like monkeys, again all we could do was laugh. So during this crazy mess, I discovered many human connections, friends who will always be there for you when you need them, and a love that can rise above any buggy situation. Sometimes you may not understand why things are happening, but when you find yourself crying because you are laughing so hard on the phone with your mom, because she has a visual of her daughter in front of 8 dryers playing catch and throw back, you know there has to be some sort of purpose to everything. And if you can’t see it, try to look for it. I’m sure you’ll find it. It’s always there.