There's something you probably don't know about me.
I am a compulsive bed maker.
No one else in my world seems to be worried about this, but I make beds on vacation, try to tidy up the hotel room and I can't leave the house for work without making the bed.
Now, those of you who have seen my space my find this odd. No, I'm not so bad as the Collyer brothers, but I can handle a great deal of mess -- as long as it's mine -- without batting an eye.
But an unmade bed is serious trouble.
Well, there are very occasional days -- like this one -- when I get up far too late for work and have an early meeting. No bed making.
But in the early evening, after dinner, I go to pack clothes for the lake and look at the unmade bed. May as well change the sheets.
What's this? Small, dark, mahogany-colored, hard, oval shaped bits all over the bed.
Not one. Not two. Many.
And I freak.
"Bedbugs," I scream to Gyppy, who has jumped on the bed. "Get off, get off now!"
He doesn't understand this, or why I unceremoniously pick him up and give him a toss. I run to get an envelope. I must have them to show the Bugman when I call him.
Odd. They're all dead. What's in my bed that I'm killing bedbugs?
I find them near the pillow. I find them by my feet. I am totally unraveled -- this can't be happening to me.
For weeks I've heard about bedbugs on every morning show I see before work; on the nightly news, on NPR. This cannot be happening to me. I've heard about the stigma people who have bedbugs experience and I'm paralyzed that now I have the stigma, too.
I note little white, husky things. Eggs, I am convinced. Or hatching shells. I don't know how bedbugs hatch, but obviously, these must be something like that.
I see the the lavender-filled neck warmer that I heat in the microwave to warm my feet or hold close to me on these cool fall evenings, all the more so since I've been having high fevers at night that are accompanied by chills. I go to strip the sheets at the corner and give it a toss to the other side of the bed.
More "bedbugs" appear. Odd. Are they attached to the neck warmer?
I pick it up -- shake it. More bits come out.
They're dead, too. And like the others, they seem devoid of legs, antenna, spots, eyes, or other bedbuggy body parts.
Yes. I freaked out over baked lavender bits leaking from my neck warmer.
I feel very stupid.
And very relieved.
But at least the sheets are changed tonight so I won't have to do it in the morning, because I can almost guarantee a restless sleep and late rise -- no doubt because I'll dream of bedbugs.
NOTE: This is a true story. If you use your neck warmer and get bits in your bed, don't assume they are bedbugs. It could well be your neck warmer or bed buddy. Just make sure those bits don't have legs.
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