>Is This What It’s Like?

>….to be homeless? Nah, I’m being overly dramatic again. I have food and a way of cooking. I have hot water to take a shower. I have most all of my belongings. But still, this cureent state we are in is rather hellish.

I keep telling myself that I survived contractions so bad–basically was in an active labor pattern non-stop for 4 months–that there is no doubt in my mind that I can do this. I mean, really Andrea! C’Mon! Suck it up, right?

I am, of course, referring to the state of my house after I paid a crap-ton of money for the exterminators to treat it for cooties. (Incidentally, I am an ass and did not get them from my neighbors at all, and so I feel awful. By deductive reasoning, the exterminators hypothesized that I brought them home from a patient at work, which brings on a whole new scare factor!)

It was way worse than moving.When you move, you pack your stuff in boxes and move it until your old place is empty. What you don’t have to do is treat everything before you pack it away, which was very labor-intensive. You can pack stuff neatly instead of sealing it in plastic bags. And you don’t have to trip over the crap while you work your way through the house.

We went through over 250 black trash bags this past weekend. Somewhere after 250, I stopped keeping track. I just know I had to keep sending John back to the store for more. He finally had had enough on the last trip and brought home more than I asked for. I think fear motivated him. He had purchased those huge storage tubs,5 bottles of rubbing alcohol, a large bucket, 5 large boxes of garbage bags, and a ton of plastic sheeting with which to wrap the furniture, and he came home visibly perturbed. “Andrea! I am sure by now that the people at the store think I am trying to dispose of a body right about now, and I am not going back!” Poor John.

So now my basement is completely full of filled black garbage bags. We can’t start putting it all away until the exterminator does our follow-up 2 weeks to make sure there is no more evidence of cootie-infestation in my house. And even then, as we unpack the stuff, we have to treat it all again. Bag by bag. Honestly? This sucks. In more ways than one.

First of all, I have this addiction to designer handbags. It is my crack/ heroin/ crystal meth. Seriously. I live for the 2 times per year where I go and buy a really expensive bag. But the drawback is that my closet had shelves where they were all lined up neatly like a little army. They had to be treated somehow and the only things that effectively kill any hidden cooties are alcohol (NOOOOOOO!) and heat. And so I had to do it. I had to fill my dryer full of handbags that were on average of $400 a piece. I swear you would have thought someone made me put my children in there. I cried and fretted and whined and bit my nails for the entire 35 miutes they were in there. And when the dryer buzzed to let me know it was finished, I ran down the stars to rescue them as if Jesus himself was trapped in my dryer. Thankfully they all emerged unscathed.

This experience has also taught John just how much crap I buy. Nothing reveals a shopaholic like having to go through the house, item by item, mentally taking stock of what all one owns. In other words: Shit, I got busted! Good thing I am the breadwinner or I would probably be divorced right now. Evidence of my excess: Zach has 16 fricken snowsuits. And after treating load upon load of scrubs, John started counting as we were folding and bagging them. Lets just say that, since I am only obligated to 3 days a week, I could go most of the year without having to wash uniforms if I wanted to. And gym shoes—I’m a fatty, and I work long hours on my feet, running around a hospital on concrete floors all night. I am constantly in the market for the miracle shoe that will reverse the effects of gravity that my fat arse exerts onto my poor fat feet. I have paid a ton for shoes, only to discard them a week later because they didn’t do it for me. Mind you, these are perfectly good gym shoes, and are great for a trip to the mall or taking the kids to the park. Or running errands. Or even running on a treadmill. Just not for work. So I have to keep them, which translates to a closet full of gym shoes that have each been worn a week or so. So after raiding my closet, I don’t think I am allowed to buy anymore shoes. Ever.

In the meantime, every square inch of my basement is covered with trash bags. My living room furniture is gone. John and I have been sleeping on the living room floor for days now. (We tried an air mattress, but as uncomfortable as the floor is, it’s better than that air mattress, which felt like it would pop like a balloon every time you moved on it.) Zach is sleeping in his Pack&Play. About the only one of us unaffected is Evan–his bed had to be stripped and his dresser drawers removed so they could treat, and his stuff was also bagged up and treated, but he still has his bed because nothing was found downstairs. As a matter of fact, my computer has even been swathed in plastic for 2 days. Sucky.

So until November 10th, we have to live out of these bags. That’s when the follow-up appointment is scheduled. Lucky us.

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