Military spouses have a saying: “if it can go wrong, it will and only when your service member is away.” I thought I could escape Murphy’s Law during Andy’s TDY (“business trip”) for Air Assault school, but boy was I wrong! After weeks spent trying to fix it, it’s finally 100% resolved and I’m able to talk about it now. Of course, I’m still a bit upset about it, although I can at least laugh about it now!
I discovered we had bed bugs while my husband was away.
I must state: Andy and I are clean people. Spic-and-span. We keep a clean house since cleaning is ingrained in my soldier husband’s mind, and Andy actually enjoys cleaning. But bed bugs happen to even the cleanest of people. We can’t say with certainty where we got bed bugs (our sketchy apartment may have been the culprit) but that’s a moot point.
I was changing the sheets one Sunday morning before church and I saw it. The tell-tale sign of bed bugs. Red and black spots on our box spring cover and an honest-to-God actual bug crawling around. I freaked out with a capital F. I called Andy screaming and crying because Oh my God, they are in OUR HOUSE. I went to church horribly upset, didn’t speak to anyone, and left before the service was over. I came home, had a texting conversation with my husband, and started a fight because it was his fault we had the bed bugs in the first place. After I finally regained my senses, I realized it didn’t matter how they got there, just that they had to leave, and I apologized to my husband.
I slept on the couch that night and first thing Monday morning, I called Housing/Maintenance for pest control to come spray. They arrived Tuesday morning, and the pest control guy literally looked at my mattress and sprayed it. That’s it. He didn’t look anywhere else in my house to see if they had spread, just told me to call back if I still see them. He was literally in and out of my house in 15 minutes. (After asking around I’m not the first person to have issues with the on-post housing’s pest control.)
I decided to toss the mattress and box springs, since they may have been another culprit in what caused the bugs in the first place. However, in order to prevent spreading the bed bugs throughout the house, I couldn’t drag them out the door– they had to be physically lifted– and I don’t have the muscle strength to do it myself. So, I had to ask a neighbor’s husband for help. It was absolutely embarrassing and horrifying because I didn’t want our neighbors to think we are dirty people. He graciously hauled it in Andy’s truck bed for me, and I drove it myself to the on-post dump.
The dump was a story in itself. It’s very hard to find, at the north end of post. I drove for 20 minutes, including a large stretch of gravel roads, but I finally made it there. I followed the sign that said “Landfill” because that’s where I was taking my mattress. It took me up a dirt road to the top of the landfill, but I have never been to a landfill before so I assumed that’s what I was supposed to do. A landfill employee in a truck followed me up and yelled at me that I wasn’t supposed to go up here, but I didn’t know because there weren’t clear signs and I’ve never been to a landfill before. I went back down the road and dropped off my mattress and left. As I was driving home, I suddenly began bawling because I hate when people tell me I’m wrong because I want to please them and it’s embarrassing (I’ve done that my whole life) and I was trying so hard to get things under control and my husband wasn’t even home and it wasn’t fair.
I sealed off the bedroom until Andy got home, sleeping between the couch and the futon in the living room. I was paranoid and anxious to sleep, afraid that the bugs were still there. Once Andy got home, he cleaned the entire bedroom top-to-bottom, we washed every single thing in the room, and he vacuumed multiple times. He also inspected every other room in our house, and thankfully did not see any other signs of bed bugs. Once he felt sure they were gone, we moved our air mattress into the bedroom and began sleeping in there at night, although we did still keep the door shut during the day just in case.
We ordered a new mattress and box springs online, and not only was it expensive (almost $1,000– draining our entire emergency fund!) but that was another fiasco in itself. The delivery driver never showed after we confirmed the delivery, the logistics agency refusing to answer their phones, the delivery team being unable to access post because they didn’t have their ID even though we reminded the scheduler they would need ID, etc etc. After 3 scheduled deliveries, we finally received our new mattress and box springs in January, and not a day too soon as my back was really hurting after sleeping on anything-but-a-real-bed for 1.5 months.
It’s been nearly two months since the Murphy’s Law event, and I’m glad to say it’s over. I just hope the next TDY is nowhere as difficult/stressful/emotional! A girl can dream, right? 😉
Do you believe in Murphy’s Law?
Tell me about your first or most memorable Murphy’s Law experience!