Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Let me start this post with a refrain I'm sure you are all sick of hearing (as sick as I am of saying it): I am soooo damn tired right now. Yawn. :-O

Here I am at 4pm on a Tuesday afternoon in Manhattan in a Starbucks on 75th and First Avenue. Not at work. Called in sick. Truthfully, I am still a little sick from my cold. But that's not why I called in to "tap out," as firefighters say in NYC.

I am walking around right now in the only clothes I own that are not currently at the dry cleaners or at the laundromat. Not one single stitch of clothing remains in my house. Can you guess why?

Bed bugs. Effing bloody bed bugs.

Now, technically speaking, we still don't have them. No infestation, no biting, no midnight marauding. Yet.

But they're coming. They are in our building, and I'll be damned if I'm going to sit there idly while they infiltrate. I will go Hiroshima on their asses before I let that happen.

So this weekend, the B/F and I strained ourselves to the breaking point packing up our entire bedroom. Every. Single. Item.

Thrown out were: one formerly elegant Turkish rug bought for about $400 several years ago, a dresser bought from a flea market, also many years ago, and tons and tons of clothes. Since I have to pay for all these clothes to be washed, I ruthlessly pitched anything that I do not regularly wear (that part felt good, actually).

We threw out boxes, old shoes, ill-fitting jackets, tatty drapes. Anything and everything we don't need.

It took hours. And hours. And then we hauled everything else to the dry cleaners and the laundromat. The total bill for that alone? Easily $400.

The exterminator: $375 with tip. Then there's the $200 we spent on protective gear for the mattress and pillows. Another $50 for kennel we had to haul the cat to for the day (neither the cat or either of us can be in the apartment for six hours after the spraying).

The cat's in the kennel, the B/F's at work (late, wearing his only clothes) and I've joined the ranks of vacant-eyed, computer-carrying Starbucks seekers. When one gets too crowded, or the music too annoying, I move to another.

What I really want is to lay down on the bench seat here with its pretty brown cushion and take a nap. But I'm afraid I'll get bedbugs. So I won't.

There are many people in here, but only two of them are talking to each other. I guess this is why Manhattan can feel really lonely sometimes.

As I ramble between Starbucks, I am hoping to burn off the 500 calorie cookie I ate after lunch. Guys, it was a doozie of a cookie. I'm okay with eating it. It wasn't on plan, but heck...I have no plan for today other than to survive until 7pm when I can go get my scared-to-death cat and go home.

As I ate my cookie (which I did after a bowl of oatmeal with raisins this morning, then a lunch of miso soup, chicken and broccoli and brown rice), I had a thought: Can I retrain myself so that for the rest of my life I can eat less and be happy?

As I work to lose 25 pounds, I'm also going to be working on this mental/emotional goal.

I'm going to try and use a self-hypnosis technique: I'm going to picture a big rubber band around my stomach. (Essentially, I'm imagining I've had lap band surgery, but without the anesthesia, possible death from complications and whopping medical bill.)

My task will be to eat, but without stretching the rubber band. And to walk away content and sated with what I've consumed. Not stuffed and heavy.

I'll report back as soon as my vagabond shoes are back at home and in my regular routine. Tomorrow, if all goes to plan.

And thanks for the comments to my last post. Big hugs to you all. (Sans bed bugs, of course.)


  1. I thought you didn't have the bedbugs? Oh no! Why did you have to throw out the rug?

  2. We don't necessarily have them, nobody has been bitten yet. But I don't want them thinking they can come in here, so I set up a protective barrier around the apartment, which required extensive cleaning and a thinning of bed-bug friendly things (like the rug). It was exhausting, but I feel like I can sleep easily tonight.

  3. Wow, Ish. Talk about an interruption! I can just see you going all Lady Macbeth on the apartment. Hehe! I bet you slept well last night, though.

  4. I keep hearing about these rotten bed bugs everywhere. I feel like they are taking over the earth...and I don't like it!

  5. I am so glad this isn't a problem here yet. It sounds like you are taking a proactive approach though. It is expensive to do so though. I wish you the best with this. Hopefully your efforts will pay off.