Monday, May 12, 2014


More than getting your driver's license transferred, you know you've officially become a New Yorker when you have to deal with...

...bed bugs.

Yeah, I know.  Not the nicest hazing tradition.  Last week, my roommate Tom found a bed bug on his mattress and then all hell ensued.  Even though it was just one and even though my other roommate Pam and I didn't find anything in our room and none of us suffered bites, we decided the best defense was a good offense, i.e. preemptive war.

So I spent a lot of last week buying bed bug mattress and pillow protectors, standing in Walgreens debating over which bed bug spray sounded the most poisonous, scheduling an exterminator, and bagging everything I own in plastic bags.

John is my HERO because he literally held my hand through the whole thing.  He didn't groan when I had a 1:00 am panic attack and insisted we go to the 24-hour Rite Aid for bed bug interceptors for the feet of my bed.  He stayed an extra day to help me (read: do it for me) put the mattress protector on and wash, dry, and bag every single item of clothing that I own.  He dealt with me screaming every five minutes and making him check the cracks in the floors for signs of larvae. He even chuckled when I accosted a salesperson at Bed, Bath & Beyond and asked him if he ever knew anyone with bed bugs.  He is the best.  

And bed bugs are the worst.  However, I'm actually convinced at this point that we never even really had them, because the extinguisher said there were no signs of bed bugs anywhere in the apartment when he came to spray.  But it's hard to remember that with the combination of the fumes from the chemicals and the frazzle of living out of plastic storage bags for the next month.

Pity me.  And don't get mad if you call/email me to talk about your manuscript and I respond with a litany of questions about the lifespan of a bed bug. Or if I refuse to let you borrow a sweater.  It's for your own good.


  1. Omg, I feel itchy just reading this. I am in full sympathy with your episodes of panic, and even though I'm glad there were no further signs of bed bugs, I'm glad you went to war against them because the alternative is just unthinkable.
    I'll read up on bed bugs in preparation for questions haha.
    Good luck!

  2. I remember about five years ago seeing a news story about how bedbugs were making a comeback. I really have no desire to stay in hotels now! May your home be bedbug free!

  3. Oh, no! I should have guessed when you said it was a New York problem and not a good thing! My brother and niece had bedbugs in their old Brooklyn apartment a few years back and I know what a total nightmare that was. My brother isn't the neatest person, so it was doubly difficult to get behind every crevice. I believe that you can tell a ton about a person when you're in a crisis. And sometimes we need these crises to show us what really matters. I'm so glad you're all right!

  4. If you have kids down the road, now you'll be prepared for when they come home from school with lice. Sorry. *Shudder*

  5. THIS EXACT THING happened to me, almost. I found a bug in my closet and was CONVINCED it was bed bugs. My husband was SO sweet, but I swear, Carrie, I almost lost it. I was up all night scratching because I THOUGHT I might have them and I slept on the sofa for like 3 nights! I had welts from scratching, I swear! Then the exterminator said there were NO signs of them and a few nights later, I had bites!! (Turns out it was a mosquito!) but we spent a lot on exterminators, etc, just for peace of mind!! Gah, that is the WORST and I can completely relate. *small shudder* May you sleep in peace this week!

  6. I think the more imaginative a person you are, the more such a thought can feel like reality. I know stuff like that makes me insane because I have too wild of an imagination (also why I can't handle anything that's super scary - I'll wake up in the middle of the night convinced there really is an axe murderer at the foot of my bed.) We creative types suffer more than the average person when this stuff happens!

    On the upside - congrats! You are now a real New Yorker!