Wednesday, November 16, 2011

And now they're going to refer to us as the Genital Table.

Which, now that I think about it, is better than the Bedbug Table.

Also, this makes me think of the phrase "the curtains don't match the drapes" - which is not actually the phrase, is it? It's more like "the curtains don't match the rug" or something like that, I think.

And anyway, this has nothing to do with curtains. Nor really the rug. Or it sort of does. Depending.

Also, I'd like to point out that while I wind up in a lot of penisy genitally kind of conversations, I am not always the initiator. I don't know if this matters to you, but I just want to have that out there. OK?


What this post mostly has to do with is this: BEDBUGS.

Which we do not have. We don't. Really and truly.

But because of these friends, on my last trip to NY, staying in a Hilton, I set my suitcase on the desk, and immediately hung my clothes in the closet not touching anything. My typical behavior is to just let my suitcase explode organically as I try to figure out what to wear.

Also, I only changed in the bathroom, perched on the tile floor. It was very hard to force non-maternity panty hose on a preggy belly balancing on one foot and holding onto the sink.

The price of paranoia. And not being organized enough with hose for business meetings.

I tiptoed across the room in my underwear. I don't know why, but it seemed like the less surface area on the floor, the better. I wore disposable socks from the doctor and threw them away on my way out the door.

Thus visiting the bedbug capital of the world seemingly unscathed.

But anyway. We had dinner with friends last night who had bedbugs. They have just, after months and months and two expensive rounds of house treatment, just gotten rid of them.

Doesn't just hearing the word bedbug make you all clenchy?

The wife, M, said there's such a stigma attached that she's just been telling everyone to get it all out in the open. Kind of like when she got out of prison.

I'm just kidding. She hasn't been telling anyone about the bedbugs.

Oh, I crack myself up. However, candid as she may be, I told her I'd write about them anonymously.

So - get this - the second treatment, which has a one-year warranty - leaves residue on the floors, walls, everywhere. And you cannot clean or mop for two months or it voids the warranty. Nor can you move any of the furniture. For a year.

What they said was that you move out for the weekend, the bedbug people come in and put all this (ostensibly child- and pet-safe) chemical all over the house. And then after 48 hours you move back into your house, unpack, and start living your normal life.

In fact, you have to. Because you are the bait.

The bedbugs have to think life is back to normal so they come out of hiding and head towards you and then walk all over the poison and die. And you have to wait for their sticky sticky eggs of evil to hatch so they can do the same.

I dislike insects and suspense and I think this combination would pretty much kill me.

So far, it's been a couple weeks, and they haven't been bitten once.

Now, there we were, last night, discussing this over Thai food at this nice, low key place with very friendly service. We always seem to wind up there when the four of us meet for dinner.

We were across the table from them, listening intently. For my part, I was slack-jawed, goose-bumped, with arms clenched tightly across my chest.

It's the universal pose of warding off evil, no?

And then our friend M said, "But they don't bite palms of hands or genitals!"

"They don't bite hands or genitals?"

"Or maybe it's that they do...The bedbug guy said something in particular about the hands and genitals...but I was too upset to process it."

"Genitals seem like a prime target. All that blood flow. I'd want to know."

Unfortunately, this was said in the moments juuuust prior to the moment that our server chose to refill our water glasses. So he was reaching in, hovering across the table, as M said:

"Anyway, my genitals are always covered when I sleep, making them hard to bite." She looked across at us and shrugged. "I don't know about your genitals."

And our server, this very gracious man, paused, ever so briefly, mid-reach.

He kept the same smile, but you could tell that he'd heard, processed, and couldn't quite decide if it was better to just keep pouring, or back away.


  1. You have better conversations than most people I know. If I were the server, I'd have been thinking that I'd want to come back and check on you more often, just to see where the conversation went.

  2. FIrst, EEEEEEWWWWWWW! Being from Florida, if we ever fear bedbugs, we'll just leave our suitcases in the car for a day or two. Temps over 120 kill them. (I'm certain my car gets WAY hotter than that in the summer)

    Second, Nick should have been "Oh no. I'm a freeballer at night. That would totally cramp my style!" :)

  3. I've always heard it as "the carpet doesn't match the drapes."

  4. Jessica - Well, thank you. And I don't know - I don't think I'd want to be in a conversation about other people's genitals.

    cla517 - That's actually a fantastic idea. I don't know how hot my car gets in DC, but it's gotta be hotter than 120.

    And while it's surprising he didn't, I'm so glad. I see no need to discuss his business with good friends.

    Megan - Yes! That's the expression! Thank you!

  5. This post made me laugh and it was a public service announcement of sorts! I find your bedbug avoidance tactics both funny and very wise. So glad you don't have bed bugs, hope your friends home is back to normal too. Thanks for clarifying you don't always introduce the topic into the matters to me :)

  6. M here. The funny thing is my husband was most disturbed that I implied Nick is fat. The fact that I was discussing genitals with ya'll didn't phase him. Speaking of which, Nick, not gentials, please tell him I'm sorry if I offended him. I was only defending my food choices, which he commented on several times!

  7. HK - I'm glad it made you laugh and I'm glad for the public service. Seriously - you aren't supposed to set your suitcase on the floor in hotels anymore! Everything up! And I'm glad it matters to you. :) Matters to me!

    M - Oh, god, don't worry about that. He's not offended. And he was only commenting on your food choices because he had food envy. You did notice how fast he inhaled the rest of your dinner, didn't you?

  8. The powder is called Diatamaceous Earth, I think. I don't have the bedbugs, but had some pretty stubborn roaches. The powder slowly kills them by drying them out from the outside in.


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