2007-11-16

Oh Grandparents I Love Them So


On Tuesday I receive a phone call from my husband's grandmother. She is trying to determine what to get her precious grandson for Christmas. My husband is into video games, violent ones with blood and guts. She and her husband are fundamentalist Christians unaware of their grandson's atheism. They pray before every meal, have Jehovah Witnesses come to testify in their home. I play it safe and recommend a gift card and a few PG rated movies. I then get the dreaded question, "When are you guys coming down?"

I hate this question. I love my husband's grandparents. They are the sweetest most loving people in the world, but............

The last three or four times we have stayed down there:

I have broken out into a rash from either the detergent or something on the bed linens. I still have some scarring from that and it was over a year ago.

I have woken up to find bugs on me or in the bed

I have realized at night the upstairs area where we stay is crawling with these:



Yes that is a big ass waterbug. Like big enough to eat small children waterbug. Their house is older, and I understand Houston is full of them, but at two in the morning on the way to the bathroom, I don't want to see that staring at me as I enter the bathroom, in matter of fact, I just refused to go to the bathroom the rest of the night and basically crawled up into a ball and just basically sobbed quietly as I was too scared to even make a sound for fear the waterbug might hear me. We need an exterminator bad.

The house is older, and where we are staying is one of the newer additions to the house. When I say additions, the house started off in the 1940s as a two bedroom one bath house. It has now been expanded to two kitchens, an office (actually used for business), two additional bathrooms, and the upstairs space where me and my hubby stay that serves as a living area during the day and the fold out sofa bed turns it into the guest bedroom at night. The sofa bed is at least 15 years old and the feel of the metal bars against your back is probably more reminiscent of sleeping like you are in a prison vs. an actual bed. I contemplated sleeping on the floor a few times, but the bug thing stopped all that nonsense. I will say that that propping my feet up on the wood table and sleeping upright in a chair did work for at least two hours last time we were down there.

So my options are as follows:

To avoid rashes and bugs, using medicated Gold Bond Powder from head to toe to kill off anything I might have an allergic reaction to.

To bring my own can of raid and contaminate me and my husband as I spray the bed sheets and everything else under the sun, including the upstairs bathroom where Senor Waterbug was taking residence.

To bring in my own linens and burn them upon departure

Wrap myself in saran wrap from head to toe to limit human to bug contact

Or stay at a nice hotel close by and visit with them in that manner.

I don't want to do that, as they might take it as an insult, but dang it, staying with them is like living hard.

Let me add this disclaimer:


The house is nice, the house is clean, but being that they are older and never go to the upstairs space, they don't know what goes on up there. They are happy in their cocoon of safeness downstairs. They assume it is clean, even if it hasn't been cleaned properly in five years. During the day the bugs hide, and everything is rosey, and I am sure the detergent they use is great, just not for my skin.