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Archive for the ‘the kind of girl I was’ Category

Have y’all entered MY GIVEAWAY yet?! If not, you probably should. I guarantee this story will make you want to take a very cleansing bath.

Tonight, while catching the Top Chef finale at Sister’s to root on my imaginary boyfriend, Kevin (so cute!), Sister and I became aware of an uninvited guest in her kitchen. I was headed in to grab some water when a huge mouse scampered across the floor. And let me say, though I’ve always mocked the cartoonish stereotype that any woman in the presence of a mouse immediately shrills “EEEEK!” while jumping on the nearest ottoman — dude. Totally came to pass. The wonderful experience also reminded me of the time earlier this year when my house in California hosted its own plague.

For much of last March, I woke up every morning from dreams that minnows and crawdads and other hideous beasts were swimming underneath my skin. I’d jerk myself to consciousness in the wee hours, scratching bloody rivulets through my thighs and lower stomach. But since this was a pleasant change of pace from my usual nightmares (killing former flames in car crashes is often thematized), I bandaged myself up and thought surprisingly little of it. As the days passed, I started scratching a lot, but none of the four guys I lived — not even The Ex — had any bites or complaints, so I chalked it up to an overactive imagination.

Then, on April Fool’s Day (of course!), I was in the bathroom, brushing my teeth, and saw a little speck scuttle across my thigh. Holy friggin’ shit. I scoured my skin and saw two of the little dudes — translucent beasts, the size of a pencil point, looking in every respect like miniature crabs. Wait, did I say translucent? Right before my eyes, one of them turned a glowing crimson. The little dude was recharging his hit points by DRAWING IN MY BLOOD.

After some discretionary shrieking, stared down the bathroom and everything looked normal except — jesus, the whole wall by the toilet was moving. It was covered with the bugs so thick that the drywall looked like it was shimmering. But translucent, right?, so you could only see them if you were looking for them. Judicious application of my google fu revealed that not only did we have tropical rat mites, but, inevitably, somewhere, rats lurked.

Frantic calls to all the big extermination companies could only get us an appointment for a screening a week later, with treatment beginning after two weeks. TWO WHOLE WEEKS. During which time, The Ex and I had no choice but to launder our sheets every night and sleep while under siege.

Except for some freaky reason (I blame menstrual pheromones?), rat mites are more attracted to women and children than men. So despite the fact that The Ex was sleeping next to me, he woke up with his skin whole and smooth as a fresh-baked dinner roll, while my stomach and thighs were bitten into a purple, craggy mess. In fact, I’m not prepared to swear my skin wasn’t oozing at some point. (Forgive me. I do so relish the grotesque.)

All that said, the grossest part of the story? I called in the biggest-name extermination company in the area to take a look at the problem, and ended up taking a day off work to show the guy around. What’s the problem?, he asked; tropical rate mites, I told him with authority. He didn’t even ask where they were — just flipped over the mattress, said he didn’t see anything and couldn’t diagnose the problem without a live sample, then got ready to leave. But wait!, I said, and showed him the squirming wall of arachnid delight. Without a living sample, I can’t diagnose the problem, he said, bolting for the front door.

Um, dude, what about all those live mites I just showed you? I asked, then forced him to come upstairs and look yet again. Again, he shook his head and charged toward the door.

I don’t understand why you won’t take a sample, I told him.

There aren’t any mites in your house. It’s all in your head. Are there any men who live in the house? Maybe I could talk to one of them, he conceded to calm down the poor little lady.

It can’t be in my head! I may or may not have shrieked. Look at me, I’m a fucking leper. I showed him my upper arms, purple and bloody with little raised bumps the exact size of tropical rat mites.

Whether he used precisely the phrase “menstrual hysteria” is for historians to debate, but he finally agreed to take a sample of the mites from upstairs, incorrectly (it transpires) identified them as avian mites, then told me to have my boyfriend call him.

I didn’t, of course. I called another extermination company, who managed to eradicate the vermin in less than a week and not even reify the patriarchy while doing so. Still, I ended up feeling shitty and mistreated for weeks after the encounter, but never got up the balls to do anything about it — not even write a pissed-off Yelp review.

Just one of those stories that reminds me of the kind of girl I was, and the kind of girl I’d really like to never be again. Now, of course, it would seem like child’s play to call a manager and complain my way up the corporate ladder until I was sure the incompetent jerk would feel some repercussions. It’s nice to look back on what I’ve done for these past few months and think that I totally wouldn’t take shit from this guy again; I wouldn’t take it from anyone. Except vermin, I guess, ’cause you kind of have no choice about that.

[Edit: My mega apologies! The Ex wants the world to know that he was bitten as well! I just didn’t remember, because apparently he suffered in silence and anyway I was too busy fending off rogue vampires and leper colony recruiters! So spare a little sympathy for him, if you’d like.]

These lovely descriptions of my feasted-upon flesh provided under the auspices of TMI Thursday, hosted by LiLu. Be sure to check out her Post Secret TMI Thursday today, where I promise I am not scarring your eyes with any more of my grostesque secrets.

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