Archive for June, 2006

Learning to Fly

There’s so much I want to write about, talk about and think about, like the delightful Vietnemese nail salon employee who held me down against my will today and waxed my eyebrows at no charge (“You eyebrow HORRIBLE! Need wax! Much wax! YOU LOVE IT! WAX! FREE WAX! YOU NEED! EYEBROW HORRIBLE!”). I want to respond to all of your comments and emails, and most of all, I want to read what’s happening with all of you.

Except, I can’t. I’m leaving tomorrow on another adventure, this time to sunny Syracuse to visit my family in beautiful Union Dale, Pennsylvania. I will feel right at home, as half the population of Union Dale, where my parents have a second home, lost their teeth around the turn of the last decade, and think that the Internet is something dangerous that brings nothing but evil porn and angry credit card thieves.

I’m flying again, of course, this time with a layover in La Guardia, and I’ll get in to Syracuse sometime in the wee hours of morning, Sunny trapped in her bag like an angry mule, dreaming of a nice soft piece of grass she can finally relieve herself on after snoring loud enough to rise above the hum of the engines.

No updates again until Tuesday, where I will have many stories of babies! Babies that belong to my younger sibling! YOUNGER! SIBLING! Toothless townies! People who still spend an hour each morning curling their bangs! Pegged pants! Double socks! Def Leppard!

*Tom Petty. Pink Floyd. Probably a hundred other people.


Mama, don’t make me fly again. Please. I’m so tired.

7 comments June 28th, 2006

Yellow Light

In some ways, this weekend was wonderful. I got to eat Chinese food, take Sunny to the beach, see my nephew compete in a championship Little League farm league and drive around my state. Most of all, I got to see Adam’s grandfather hold our new nephew, which was just about the most moving thing I’ve ever seen, ever, in the history of things on this earth. And I can’t believe I said ‘moving,’ but it was, so you shut up. He’s 87 and perfect.

I also spent at least 11 hours wasting precious brain cells wondering how why a dog was wearing a raincoat throughout the weekend. A dog is not meant to wear a rain slicker, and it is most certainly not at home in the Natick Mall food court next to the Sbarro. But…alas. I can’t go there and really, I could, to a dangerous degree.

But a dog also is not meant to wear a hat with sunglasses on top of its head and a tennis skirt, either, but that’s all I’m saying and I promised myself I wouldn’t go there.

But I want to.

So bad.

But anyway.

Home was a weird thing to see. I expected to feel pangs of nostalgia when I saw fishermen at the pier loading in their catch and hauling out the lobster traps for another trip out to sea, and I did. It was raining softly, and the man in the yellow rain jacket might as well have been the Morton’s fisherman, and for all I know, he was. It was so beautiful out there – so green, lush and authentic in that New England way that only exists in postcards and the North Shore.

I was also stressed, which terrified me. I went to bed with chest pains every night. On the plane heading down there, I saw a man with a pile of papers that were clearly analyst reports and financial tables and I was pretty sure I was going to have a panic attack at the sight of him, because I’ve BEEN HIM. This may or may not have been exacerbated by the fact that we were mid-climb and he stood up and started reaching into the overhead bin and pulled out an actual, full-size Swingline stapler and began sorting through the paperwork, stapler in hand before we could use electronic devices and let me tell you, NO ONE BREATHES before we can use electronic devices, much less STAPLES ANALYST REPORTS. THERE IS NO STAPLING DURING THE INITIAL CLIMB. And how did he get a Swingline on that plane? You could kill someone with a Swingline! The flight attendant, who introduced herself on the PA system as “Mrs. Nichols,” had to come over and restrain the man, who was not pleased that his frenzied stapling was interrupted. And again: Mrs. Nichols? Why not Jane? Annabeth? MRS. NICHOLS.

I never expected that I’d end up feeling like I couldn’t breathe – like I’d be forced to go back to work at that awful place and make a living shilling technology products and ingratiating myself to mouthbreathing freaks in polyester turtlenecks for coverage in IT weekly publications. Talking to investors and discussing the stock market like I have the slightest clue what I’m talking about (I don’t, and I can’t add 2 + 2, so PLEASE do not ask me how the market works. Despite an embarrassing number of years in financial communications and corporate governance, I have only a rudimentary understanding of SarBox and why stocks go up and down, and I’m not sure I could explain the difference between buy-side and sell-side analysts without confusing the hell out of both of us. There was a day when I could, rather vividly, but today is not that day.)

I could only picture these horrible scenarios, plus the hundreds of hours giving proverbial blowjobs to executives in exchange for a reprieve on that last PowerPoint presentation, and getting shit on by low-level editors at the New York Times because they have nothing better to do, and no one else to poop on but me. Yes, all this was mine, for a nice salary and a hearty helping of my soul.

I couldn’t see a world beyond those confines in Massachusetts. I couldn’t take myself out of the mold I was in the last time I lived there, and I couldn’t see myself living there any other way. I said this before, and I thought I was over it, but the chest pains sealed it: I’m not. I can’t see my life the way it is now anywhere else. I can’t see how I could go back and be a low-level employee the way I am here, when I was so much more there. I can’t see myself being good enough to be a writer at a tiny publication by day and pursue a writing career by night, in additon to being a real person the way I do here. It was easier here, where there was no paradigm for living – no expectation as to how I would be, who I would be, or what I would become. No expectations. I like that.

I guess, um, I like it here more than I thought. But I also couldn’t imagine a life here, either – away from family and friends, an expensive flight for even the simplest of family events. Sigh. Thank God we have a year to figure it out.

Maudlin. Sorry. Just picture a Shih-Tzu in the rain slicker and a tennis skirt. Because it happened.

*Remy Zero

11 comments June 27th, 2006

Eye in the Sky

I’m off for the weekend to In-Law Palooza. This time tomorrow, I will be in Boston – my beautiful Boston – which is just about the most exciting thing I’ve ever imagined, because I will get to see my city again for the first time since December. The skyline! The weather! The Atlantic Ocean, which will be a proper navy blue instead of the very beautiful, but very wrong, turquoise! The only downside is that this trip isn’t a fun trip, it’s an In-Law Trip, so every. single. blasted. second. is scheduled with in-laws, and we’re leaving before we can even see friends or my family.* But there will be sightings of the Charles River, and actual Boston Chinese food with actual duck sauce that doesn’t come in packets, and I will breathe a little easier just seeing it.

The thing that’s giving me endless angst is that I have to fly there, and if I’ve never mentioned it, I hate flying with a white-hot passion that is paralleled only by my lack of enjoyment for having my period for 23 days straight, which I also have the pleasure of experiencing at the same time. (Yes, yes, I’m going to the doctor. Ahem.)

So, the flying. I hate the flying. Last time I flew, to distract me from the terror of that initial climb through the clouds, I made up a list of all the horrid things I would rather be doing than taking off in an airplane. An actual smattering:
– Having my period for 60 days straight (I had no idea I was a prophet)
– Getting my nose pierced in my septum, at least 11 times consecutively until it was dangerously perforated
– Eating sauteed bull’s testicles with tomato sauce
– Cleaning up 100 piles of dog feces from a dog other than my own, with my bare hands
– Shaving the dead skin off of a male stranger’s toes
– Having four back-to-back breast or thyroid biopsies
– Getting my blood drawn 100 times for an entire day
– Getting into the stirrups for 50 – yes, 50 – consecutive pap smears

So, if anyone has a way I can work out some kind of deal to do all of these things in exchange for getting me to Boston, stat, I’m all ears. Sunny is coming with us, however, as we’ll be sleeping at my sister’s, and she’ll have round the clock puppy sitters in the form of my nephews and yay, whatever.

But again, I have to FLY to get there. And while I’ve spent hours and hours taking Xanax, learning the inner workings of plane engines, velocity, physics, etc. so that I could be less afraid, I’m still scared. I’m better than I was – there was a time that I would actually scream at people who dared talk during takeoff. Yes, scream. Last year, I turned around to a couple who looked at each other and dared to go “Whoa!” as we turned immediately after takeoff and screamed, “YOU SHUT UP. JUST SHUT UP. WE’RE FINE AND THAT IS JUST INAPPROPRIATE. DO NOT ‘WOO’ WHILE WE ARE ON THIS PLANE. ANOTHER WORD, ANOTHER ‘WOO’ AND I WILL SCREAM.”

Um, except I was already screaming, and I really wish I was kidding. Once we leveled off, and I was more accustomed to flying, I was mortified as they whispered about me the whole time, making fun of my bad hair day (which was legendary, even to my frightened eyes) and kicking my seat. I finally turned around and shouted, “I’M SORRY. I AM AFRAID TO FLY AND CANNOT HANDLE IN-FLIGHT DISTURBANCES. I’M ASKING YOU TO SHUT UP AGAIN, PLEASE. I HAVE BAD HAIR AND I DO NOT CARE. I AM AFRAID TO FLY.”

And then I started crying, right there in their faces, and rocking back and forth and, um, yeah. Because we were about to go down deep…deep…deep into the abyss of the Atlantic and strangers were making fun of my hair and I was screaming at them.

To prevent a repeat performance, I plan to take a Benadryl to numb the pain, and mimic, as best I can, the effects of a Xanax, while I pray Sunny doesn’t start howling like a wounded coyote from her safe stow underneath the seat in front of me.

And such, no real updates here until Tuesday. Have a great weekend, everyone.

16 comments June 22nd, 2006

White Rabbit

Currently, we’re keeping a list of pros and cons of living here vs. somewhere else. Our list currently looks something like this:

Pros:
Nice beaches
Warm weather
Ubiquitous air conditioning

Cons:
A bizarre culture that debates regularly whether or not to eat the squirrel they shot in their backyard with the bb gun, and whether squirrel is better stewed or fried, if edible
The perpetual availabilty of frog legs in restaurants
Devastating hurricanes
Hallicinogenic poisonous toads

The last bit will be the subject of today’s lesson, which is: don’t write about how scared you are about talking to your kids about drugs when you should be more worried about your dog taking it upon herself to lick a trippy frog that could kill her.

S. mouthed a trippy toad – you know, the ones you heard rumors that if you licked ’em, you’d start tripping? Yes, they really exist here. The mouthing happened last night on her late night walk around midnight, right after I wrote about all of my trippy experiences and how drugs are good! Great! Everyone drop a tab! Before you launch off on me that I am an idiot, I thought it was a rock, you see, and had no idea until she dropped it and was all…confused. And although she foamed at the mouth, staggered, was completely disoriented, and I’m pretty sure was seeing trails when she moved her paws back and forth in front of her face, apparently, we should be lucky she survived at all, as it was a small bufo toad, and not a large one, which surely would have killed her.

We spent the night on the phone with the emergency vet, who assured us that if she wasn’t seizing uncontrollably, she was fine and would recover and also mentioned, in a casual tone, that if she did start seizing, well, there was nothing we could do, and bye bye puppy!, as there is no antidote, only prevention. And so, we hosed her down outside and screamed things like, “Live BABY! LIVE! BREATHE FOR US!!!” while we stuck the entire force of the hose down her mouth to rinse away the rest of the venom. I’m surprised I didn’t drown her, truthfully, such was my panicked zeal. Also: I’d never heard of a poisonous bufo toad and I never THOUGHT that the cute little benign toad that’s been taking shelter outside our front door would be a Weapon of Mass Hallucination and Deadly Poison. But lo! Bufo toads are trippy AND deadly, like all drugs can be! Here is my lesson! Don’t do drugs like the dog! DANGER, puppy! And JonnikerSpawn!

And then, you know, we didn’t sleep as we waited for her to start seizing and die. At one point she stopped snoring, and I ripped her out of her bed and pretty much started doing mouth to mouth, sobbing like a drunken fool.

“OH MY GOD! COME BACK TO US!!!” I was wailing like some sort of deranged banshee who’d lost her silver comb.

I’m pretty sure she was just pissed off at my constant hovering and just wanted me to shut up, leave her alone and let her sleep, for she glared at me with glaring beams of white hot glarey death. This was also at 4 a.m., when she was so far out of the woods, she was in Camelot.

So: Hallucinogenic poisonous toads: bad. Beaches: good. Puppy: alive. Lesson for my future real kids: priceless.

*Jefferson Airplane, of course.

25 comments June 21st, 2006

Fame

I love celebrity magazines, celebrities, and all the trash that comes with it. When I was younger, I always wanted to be famous for…something, I didn’t care what. I can’t even IMAGINE what the hell I was thinking, given that I couldn’t even handle the attention lobbed on me at my own wedding, and the second I get a fleurn of hate comment anywhere, I’m all pissy and indignant and hurt. And also: I have no talent that would lend me to being famous. Nor could I possibly imagine bringing my dog anywhere public, let alone an event. I mean, honestly, Tinkerbell has no place on the red carpet, and neither does Sunny. And again: being the center of attention beyond a group of, say, two, is enough to give me mega-hives and also, weep into my hands. And also, I am usually shy in a large group unless I am threatened or scared, in which case I go SUPER DUPER OUTGOING, and start telling people – loudly – about that one time, at band camp, that I wore shorts that were too tight and got my first yeast infection and thought the world was ending because my crotch was about to fall off.*

Anyway, this does not mean that I don’t adore celebrity magazines, celebrity gossip and my GOD, celebrity photos and rags, yes! MORE! And here again, is where I go all counter-judgy on you – nothing irritates me more than people who pretend that they are above it, and go on and on about it like gah, those of us who care are somehow stranded in a giant cesspool of misery, like we have nothing better to do but wonder about Brad and Angelina and what about poor Jen? These same people usually claim they don’t watch television because there is more culture other places and television is the root of all evil. What, do you think it somehow makes you superior because you don’t care about Brangelina or Bennifer or – my God – reality TV?

Because I contest that if you are taking the time to lecture me about how stupid it is, and I am for listening to it, or how you just don’t care because really, that is just *trash*, and I should know better or be smarter or SOMEthing, then perhaps you do care, you just don’t want to admit it, and somehow, maybe you think it makes you a little more…highbrow than me, the same way you don’t want to admit to having to overcome the urge almost daily to eat butter with a spoon. Or maybe not, and I really am that shallow. But hey, leave me to my illusions as it makes me feel better to think so because yes, I am slightly embarrassed about it and I KNOW I should be re-reading Kierkegaard or something instead, but it’s US Weekly, I can’t help it.

Anyway: Britney interview, which I nearly mowed down the entire parking lot of Sweet Bay supermarkets to get home for. Hello, um, what? I felt overwhelmingly sorry for her because she’s just not…bright or cultured enough to see what’s really out there, and gah, I mean, Britney, come ON. It’s over, and yet, there I am, rooting for her to say something bright, and it NEVER HAPPENED. But let’s talk about what was transfixing about this interview: her boobs. Hello, boobs! BOOBS! And what was that thing – that CHUNK of mascara in her right eye, like an extra piece of chocolate dangling there in case she got a craving later? It was all I could look at, and it was the only thing that tore my eyes away from the boobs.

I’m wondering if she has extra, really, because I have a set of barely Bs that could use some perking up.

So, if you’re not the type to celebrity watch, I highly recommend it because really, it is SO satisfying, in that cotton-candy kind of way, and whenever you think life is bad, just remember: at least you can go to Starbuck’s uninterrupted, and no one is watching you when you pick your underwear out of your ass. Small gifts, people. I do ask, however, that you not get your celeb advice from Perez Hilton, because seriously, the man is a) a needlessly snarky jerk and b) a plagiarist, and has stolen many, many snippets from other bloggers all over the blogosphere, including my very clever friend Katie, more than once. And amazingly, he actually admitted it when confronted by throngs of angry perfumistas. So, you know, down with Perez, which is a shame.

And here ends the first in a regular series: Fluffy Fridays, to match how fluffy I look, as though I am stuffed to the brim with quilt batting, as yes, the bloating continues. Just put me on a parade float and pretend I am the Marshmallow Man.

*This actually happened, and yes, I’ve told people at parties.

**David Bowie

20 comments June 15th, 2006

Hold an Old Friend’s Hand

Well, no double pink lines yet. And it doesn’t look like there are going to be, praise whoever. But what’s totally bizarre is that I was kind of oddly disappointed, and yet, completely relieved.

There is honestly no way to win.

But what that means is that my hormones are basically out of control which: hate. And also: fat and bloated. And – ooh ooh, my favorite: HUNGRY.

Yesterday I opted for a super late breakfast thinking because I am a whale, that I’d just cruise right through the whole day, given that I had my brunch (a half of a bagel with cream cheese) at 11 a.m. I was doing SO WELL, you know, throughout the day on no sustenance, drinking cup after cup of coffee and praying for someone – anyone – to drop an entire crate full of fen phen, or even carrots or…something…when I couldn’t take it anymore. I was driving home (at 3:30, mind you, because my job is just that exhausting) when I suddenly found myself in the McDonald’s drive -thru, and before I knew it, I was down an entire Quarter Pounder with cheese, french fries and hot mustard sauce, and a diet Coke. You know, to save calories.

I ate all of this in approximately 2.5 seconds, and was COMPLETELY satisfied before I even knew what hit me. And when I say 2.5 seconds, I mean, honestly, that the McDonald’s is 2 blocks away from my house, and by the time my car pulled into the garage, I was done. Not even a crumb. 2.5 seconds.

And then I started crying, because I am a horse. And then, to make matters worse, I LIED ABOUT IT. I walked in with a McDonald’s cup and said I’d stopped for a quick soda, when Adam eyed me suspiciously.

“Just a soda!”

And then I got busted, because a) I am a HORRIBLE liar even though this one I half-believed, given that if you’d BLINKED, you’d have missed the shoving of the Quarter Pounder down my preternaturally wide gullet, and b) there was mustard on my shirt. Like, all over it. In large, blobbing blobs, all fresh-like and smelly, like infant poop.

So yeah. Period. Hormones. Quarter Pounder. Horse.

In other, equally exciting news, I am also a complete social dullard. Yes! Dullard! And also, picky! And did you know that trying to make friends is like dating? Because it is exactly like that. Exactly. There is this woman I know who is actively trying to be my friend, and, well, I don’t like her. And I PROMISED myself that I would try. Try, because I need to stop being so judgy and annoying because someone I meet isn’t one of my longtime friends, or even remotely like them. Because I need to accept that people aren’t going to be like the people I know in Boston, and I just need to accept them for who they are, and enjoy them, or so my therapist tells me.

Except: No, thank you.

This woman is coming on too strong, and we need to slow down the relationship. She calls A WHOLE LOT, and by a whole lot, I mean every day. More than once. And when I say no, I can’t do something, because, most of the time, I ACTUALLY CAN’T, because I have something I have to do, she pushes. “Oh, come on! What do you have to do? You don’t have any friends here, you told me! Blow off the work you have! Blow off Adam! Who needs to walk the dog? GO CAMPING WITH ME!”

First off, shut up about the no friends. Yes, I don’t have friends here, but mercifully, I have many other places. So, no. Just no. And secondly, um, camp? CAMP? I don’t camp. Like, ever. I’d like to think I’m all rugged and shit, but the very idea of going camping at all, much less here, where there are alligators and mosquitos and snakes and black widow spiders and scorpions and iguanas and SEARING HEAT gives me the heebs, and going camping with a woman who will not shut up under ANY HUMAN CIRCUMSTANCES, and tries to manipulate me into going camping is, well, my idea of the ninth level of hell.

So I’m trying to let her down easy, and it ain’t going well. I’ve had to turn off my cell phone – yes, TURN OFF, for extended periods of time, my cell phone. God help us, but how do you tell someone you don’t want to date them, when they are already married, and it’s not dating? But I don’t want to date her! UNCLE! I would rather stay home alone! I AM HAPPY THERE.

Last night, I talked to one of my favorite people in the entire world – someone I literally saw and/or talked to *every day* while I lived in Boston, and I love her to bits, to the point that it might be scaring her, because I am love-bombing her hourly, but really – she’s that awesome, and I miss her more than most people, because, again: every day. For two full hours last night, I talked to her – I mean, I cackled like I haven’t cackled in years. I was myself, live and in person, err, voice, to one of those people who really knows me, and I really know, and we really like each other and GOD, it’s been so long since I had that in person, I could cry at the memory, but it felt SO GOOD, because I miss her and it was so fun and, well, I smiled all day.

And the timing of that absurdly long talk was perfect, as it reminded me that I can’t settle, because I know what the real thing is, because I have it somewhere else, and I need to break up with the Desperado. I just can’t date when I have no intention of getting serious. I’d never talk to her if I moved back, or miss her desperately the way I do Ann and Erica and Eve, and for the frillionth time, I DO NOT CAMP, nor do I like being pushed into doing something. So no.

Conversely, there is this woman at the health food store that I am interested in, and I *think* she’s interested in me, but I think we’re too chicken to take it to the next level. We chat for at least 10-15 minutes every time I go to get my daily soup and water, and – drum roll – she’s from Boston and moved here a month after I did. And she lives under an anti-abortion billboard and hates it, and she loves my t-shirt that says “Your Body is a Battleground” and she’s funny and sarcastic and GAH, today – TODAY, she started to mention something about “forming a support group” for displaced and miserable Democratic Bostonians which would have been THE PERFECT SEGUE and we both knew it and then there was THAT MOMENT, and then another customer came along and I RAN AWAY, because I am shy, and also, weird.

I ran away from an opportunity to ask this woman OUT ON A DATE. I ran away and that moment, it may never pass this way again.

To recap: Hate. Fat. Bloated. Hungry. Freak.

*Tiffany. Dude, it’s from her SECOND ALBUM, which I totally had, and I saw her in concert and tried to stalk her on mall tours, and SERIOUSLY: Tiffany. Much better than Debbie Gibson who is an asshole. I met her in Petco once and it wasn’t pretty. I didn’t recognize her and was all casual and friendly because she had a cute dog and that’s the only reason, and she was, in a nutshell, FURIOUS WITH ME because of it. Seriously. There was acting out and stomping – ACTUAL STOMPING AROUND THE STORE because I was all casual, but again – I didn’t recognize her. Debbie Gibson = NUTJOB (or, as I originally wrote, nutjub, if you prefer.)

30 comments June 14th, 2006

What About Everything?

For the last time for a while: babies. Stop gagging. I know, I know – all the irritation of a Mommyblog, with none of the cute pictures.

My younger brother’s wife had a baby last week, which, hello familial prodding, and honestly, I don’t know what to tell them when they ask me when or why we haven’t. Someday the thyroid excuse is going to wear thin, and I’m going to have to come up with something better. This is annoying for about a million reasons, but mostly because I am knee-jerk honest, and an oversharer, and usually feel compelled to tell people the truth, and the truth is one I’m not comfortable with, but here it is.

For the better part of the last two weeks, with not-unsubstantiated reason, I have been convinced I was pregnant. ClearBlue “Easy” (a lie) tells me no, but I’m still not completely sure that the test is accurate. And the thing is, I hate my reaction, and I feel like there is/was something wrong with me, hence, all of the bellyaching and whining and “What about the CHILDREN?” questions and self-indulgence and…bah, just bah. Because, forget about the children, what about everything? Really, what about fucking EVERY.THING?

I am honestly disgusted at my reaction during this Time of Fear. I was panicked, looking about wildly for something, anything, familiar to hang on to. Flashes of utter sadness and depression and absolute misery flashed over me like giant bolts of malevolent lightning. I felt selfish and awful and embarrassed and just…miserable, and so I didn’t really tell anyone until today, when I was CONVINCED that it was true, and I was on the cusp of finding out, and all I could say was, “Erica, I’m NOT THERE. I AM HERE, AND THEN WHAT?” because I just…I just…I just wanted to go home, and I realized that I now know where that is, and I’m really and truly nowhere near there.

I just wanted to go home and be with my sister. My friends. People who know me who would help me through it, because I wasn’t ready, and I wasn’t excited, I was just upset and sickened and miserable. And the thing is, that’s pretty pathetic. I’m THIRTY. Hello, if you didn’t hear me, I’M THIRTY. People who are thirty should know enough not to panic if they think they are pregnant. I AM AN ADULT, not a teenager. They should know that they are financially solvent enough to survive a baby (we are) and that the world isn’t ending just because a new life is beginning (is it?). But that’s all I could see: An ending, and that this kid – and Adam – would know that my first reaction wasn’t joy, but was, in fact, terror and loathing. And I wanted to go home and start it all over again. Home. Which is veryvery far away.

It took a long time for the rational thoughts to even come close to the surface. Ones that involved a baby, maybe. That I would name him or her after Adam’s grandma, whom I loved beyond all rational thought. That maybe he or she would have smooshy feet like Sundry‘s Riley (who is, if you’ve never noticed, the cutest baby I’ve honestly ever seen), and like to be carried around in a backpack and visit the ocean and laugh. That maybe I’d learn to be able to communicate with an Aries, because, FUCK, my kid could be an Aries and Capricorns don’t get along with Aries, really, at least in my experience and then OH MY GOD, I’d start to panic again, because: ARIES.*

I didn’t tell anyone. Not my friends, not my sister, and not even Adam, until today. Because I was too ashamed at how scared I was. How chicken I sounded, and what a pathetic wimp I am. How ridiculously stupid 99% of my fears were, and how, if I actually was pregnant, I wouldn’t be as happy as I think I should be, and how there are women – hundreds of thousands of really smart, capable, brilliant women -would give their eye teeth for a baby of their own, and the best I could do was fear it like a coming storm, and try like hell to outrun it.

I wanted to run so far and so fast that nothing, not even my own body, could catch me. And I still might be, and I’ll have to live with this, this awful fear right here in print, and we’ll have to see what happens. It will be okay, but god, what about it? What about a baby and my life and being a parent and what about everything? The closer I get, the further I feel, but at the same time, I realize that this is the only way it will ever happen for me.

I know that if I were pregnant – if now really and truly was the time for me, that I would love that child beyond all fathomability. The love would swallow the whole world. But what sickens me is that I didn’t want to, and I knew it would be in spite of myself. I didn’t want to love him. I didn’t want to move on. I’m not done with me enough to give me to someone else. I have things to do.

And this – this horrible dread, loathing and panic is why I fear infertility. I will never put myself through what I see so many women do every day to have a baby. Not because I disagree with what they do, or because I think it’s somehow wrong – no. It’s that they want it more than I do, and they have a hell of a lot more courage than I do. But strangely, if you asked me if I want children, I will still tell you yes, but I don’t see how I’ll ever get there without an accident, and, after seeing my own horrified reaction, I’m not sure I deserve one anyway.

*This in itself is ridiculous, because if my math is correct – and it’s not my strong suit – he or she would be a Pisces, which is, in fact, safe. A lot safer than an Aries.

**Carbon Leaf

16 comments June 12th, 2006

The Last Stop

Anytime I’ve thought I was pregnant in the last four years or so – even since I’ve been happily married and in a happy place to be able to have children – I panic like the world is coming to an end. Because, of course, once The Baby is born, the world will stop, and we will never be able to eat, breathe or sleep again and then the walls will crash in, the furniture will melt and we will all DIE BECAUSE WE CANNOT HANDLE THE CHILDREN.

I got like this before I was married – I tend to gravitate towards the counterculture viewpoint, and instead of seeing what’s shoved down my throat as desireable (i.e., a beautiful wedding, a husband, etc.), I am equally toxic with the counter position. In other words, just as many women irrationally desire a wedding and marriage with all the trimmings without really thinking about what it all means, I irrationally desired a dark life of solitude and singledom, because I wasn’ t like all those other women. I was smarter! Free to be me! I didn’t need no stinking wedding ring! And so, I made myself miserable for the entire bout of my engagement and created a prison for what was supposed to be a momentous occasion. And, of course, after all the bruhaha and my incredibly stupid freak-outs, being married turned out to be perfect and better than I could have expected.

And, I’m kind of doing it with parenthood, and sometimes I feel like I’ve got plenty of enablement in the Mommyblogging movement. Instead of eschewing motherhood because it’s shiny! Happy! Wondrous! FULL OF LOVE!, I’m finding myself terrified of a world of exhaustion, sore nipples and what I occasionally interpret as a love/hate, (leaning more towards “hate”) relationship with one’s toddler. I realize this is part of the package, so before every mother on the Internet starts screaming that I am naive and foolish and also, cruel, to dismiss the trials and tribulations of Everymother, bear with me, for I realize this is entirely my fault. And let me remind everyone that I am on anxiety meds because I tend to panic about the worst of all possible situations, and every realistic reminder terrifies me to the brink of sanity.

It’s just that sometimes it feels like the balloon has been deflated – the pendulum swung too far in the opposite direction. My sister always reminds me of how lonely, terrifying and miserable her first few months with Marco were. She talks of bone-chilling sleep deprivation, isolating, wall-climbing loneliness that rendered her in tears nearly every hour, and how, at times, she almost wished she hadn’t run off and gotten knocked up, even though she tried hard – so very hard – to have him in the first place.

The reality of it all has stolen my dark underbelly. I have nothing to desire or eschew. The reality, unfortunately, seems quite bleak and so it seems, I may be forced to eschew it after all, out of sheer terror, because after so many of the things I’ve read/heard/seen, who the HELL would rightfully sign themselves up for this shit? WHO? I’m not being sarcastic.

Let me put it more postively, with some actions that might help, shall we? I wish sometimes that I could hear and read more about whatever moments there are of sheer joy in having children. How it’s not all bad. How marriages can survive without perpetual battles over childcare, screaming babies, the financial strain and General Torture that seems to accompany children. How, even though sometimes there are moments of such unadulterated misery that it is highly possible you just might impale yourself on a passing stingray, the vast majority – or, hell, I’ll take anything higher than 30% – is beautiful, and holds such moments of wonder that you think you might explode with love. How a marriage can survive when two people are committed, even though they might be, ahem, volatile personalities.

Somebody tell me. Somebody tell me what it’s like after the babies. After they stop being more interactive pets and become fully-formed human beings with opinions – when they become financial drains, and whiners, and Little League members and dancers who beg for costumes and wives or husbands who overindulge against the other spouses wishes step in, and then spend their money on haircare, handbags and golf lessons instead of the college fund and OHGODTHEWORLDISENDINGSOMEBODYSAVEME.

Because honestly, I don’t get it yet. I *crave* babies. I crave babies in little socks with little feet and laughs that bounce off the walls and fill the room like bubbles. But kids? Marriage misery? I can’t see it.

*Dave Matthews

12 comments June 5th, 2006

Being Boring

Adam got a labelmaker this weekend, which sent him into a labeling frenzy. EVERYTHING has a label now, from the bathroom supplies to the entire garage, right down to every single teeny nail in his toolbox, with a label that neatly identifies it as a “nail,” along with whatever specification. He tried to label the dog, but thankfully, she was too quick. When I woke up this morning, my forehead was neatly labeled “grumpy.”

Nice.

I don’t normally make coffee at home – I’m lazy, too tired most mornings and frankly, I make shitty coffee. Coffee also requires milk, which is generally gross, except for limited use in mudslides and coffee, and I can never drink enough to justify a half-gallon, or even a quart. I’d made a single, bleary-eyed pot of coffee the morning we left for vacation, then hastily tucked the coffee pot behind the drying rack of pans before we left the morning of our ill-fated vacation, in an attempt to restore order. Today, while cleaning, I unearthed it, and this is precisely what I found:

I don’t know what the schmutz is. I know. GROSS.

6 comments June 4th, 2006


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