Tag Archives: personal

haters & suckers

Welp. Things were pretty heavy the last time I was here. Currently, things are less acutely heavy, though I suspect they will remain at this mid-range weight until we get our hands on whatever little person is coming our way. I am trying to not go to the crazy place with this, and instead do things like *trust the process.* What this actually looks like is what A. referred to as being a “drunk hater.” According to her, this is in fact part of the process. Since I trust her, I will also trust that. And the fact that she told me that ovulation test kits are for suckers. SUCKERS.

In other news, I have thoughts brewing on the nature of female friendships, career ambition in your baby making days, and sharpening the tools in your toolbox. I think it’s best that I address these things when I am not in the throes of drunk hating.

You’re welcome.

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hearts beat

On November 11, 2006, my dad died. It was sudden. His heart was beating, and then it wasn’t. He wasn’t old. He wasn’t sick. He was sweet and quiet, cried at the sad parts of movies, called me on Sunday afternoons, saved articles for me, and laughed at all my jokes. Sometimes they were good jokes. He was dear, and I don’t care anymore about any of the ways that he wasn’t. It doesn’t matter now, because he is gone, and I am here, and I regularly wish that he was too. Like when that boyfriend broke my heart, and when I made the (perhaps irrational) choice to pick up and move to Texas, and when I found my way in Austin, completed a graduate program, and met the man I would marry.

On April 30, 2011, I celebrated my wedding to that nice Texan boy. I wish that my dad were at our wedding. Not because of the speech he would have made, because he was much too shy to make a speech, and not because he would have walked me down the aisle, because I may well have insisted that I walk my own damn self down the aisle, and not because we would have danced together, because, honestly, he hated dancing, and while he would have participated in the ritual, it would have been with sweaty palms. I wish that he could have been there because he would have been sweet and quiet and cried at the happy parts, laughed at my friend’s jokes, and he would be so happy for me.

On July 6th, 2011, I took 6 pregnancy tests, all of which were positive. I would have liked to call my dad, who would have cried at this happy part. It’s what we wanted. We hit the baby jackpot- newlyweds in our thirties, and a pregnancy that couldn’t have happened at a better time. We had enough money, we live in an amazing city, I wouldn’t be at my most pregnant in the unending Texas summer, our baby would be born in the spring, when I feel most smug about Austin’s incredible weather.

The tricky thing about finding out you are pregnant when you are only moments pregnant is that you board the dream train early. All your bags are packed for this journey. You are thinking already about having to figure out the mold problem that you are too lazy to tackle in your rental house bathroom, because you cannot put your precious little nugget in that tub. And how you will rearrange the second bedroom so that a changing table might fit amidst your husband’s guitars.  You know that it is a risk of the heart to love this little collection of cells before it has proven it’s stickwithitness, but you can’t stop. You’re all in. And you just have to think that all good things are a risk of the heart, right? This is the stuff of life. And really, most babies are ok. We have no reason to think that this baby won’t become an actual, real baby, right? I mean, it’s a perfect situation. We are all going to be perfect. I have struggled enough in this life, so surely my quota has been reached, right? Yes, yes, everyone assures you, everything will be ok. Now, they ask, what names are you thinking of? So you tell them. Penelope is cute, right? Penny June. Or Alice. And if it’s a boy, we have to call him James after my sweet, quiet dad. That will be so nice.

On July 21st, 2011, I would have sent my dad the little sonogram picture that proved that this was the real deal. The picture looks like a chicken nugget. But this robust little chicken nugget had a chicken nugget heartbeat. And he probably would have cried. I know I did. I was so relieved that indeed, this was a live one. And everyone assured us that this was a great sign, that the nugget’s stickwithitness was nearly certain now. I believed them, because most babies are ok. And we hit the jackpot, obviously, so there was no taking that back.

On August 1, 2011, Scott and I went to check on the chicken nugget, give it the chance to show of increasing definition, its great strides over the last weeks, like a good strong nugget would do. And this didn’t happen. The nugget was harder to find. It was smaller. It looked different. There was no heartbeat. Of course, the ultrasound tech was a fool. He was bad at his job, and that is why he couldn’t find anything on the screen. I didn’t look at Scott. I waited for the tech to admit that it was his first day and he was a fool. But he really just said some words, who knows which ones, about how he wished he had better news, and he was sorry, and some other things I didn’t listen to because I was concentrating on not believing him.

Two days later, I cried as I changed into that hospital gown, and put on a hairnet. I didn’t realize it was a Catholic hospital, and this would mean that I would be asked to consent to a Catholic group infant burial for my glimmer of a child. I consented. The nurse told me that they would let me know about the memorial service. I asked to not be notified. I don’t think this was an infant. I believe that it might have become an infant, but it wasn’t one yet. It was not a full life, nor a full death, but it was a very real loss. The loss is what we carry. There was not an option for the burial of our dream. I suppose we have to coordinate that on our own.

Our first pregnancy ended.  There was a heartbeat, and then there wasn’t, and in its place are broken hearts. There should be a mathematical grief equation that will guarantee that this will be the worst that it gets for us. We get to have everything be ok now, right? Surely the universe or god or the forces of nature would not ask us to endure this again. Our grief shield will protect us. We will get a reprieve, right? We will keep walking, and keep hoping, and keep our hearts open to the next glimmer of a child, the one that we can know more fully. And then we will touch with our hands, in this real life, a round little baby with the cheeks I imagine kissing, and big brown doe eyes. Right? We will meet that little spirit that we are supposed to parent, the one that I have to imagine is back to swimming in the ether right now, waiting for the right time to show us her heart.

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Three thoughts for Thursday

I don’t know that much about marriage, really. But I will take solace in the knowledge that no one is reading this. (Which I know be true, thanks to site stats that indicate that the only visits here seem to have been directed by internet robots. Or whatever. I guess internet robots aren’t really a thing. Some crap site. Point being, no one is reading this, stop being self conscious.) But marriage is on a newlywed’s mind. And I’m coming off wedding planning, which, despite what one may think, included a fair bit of marriage planning, and then someone gave me a book about marriage (full disclosure, it’s Elizabeth Gilbert’s Committed, and I am a little embarrased to be reading it in the first place. It is annoying and self-aggrandizing and kind of off-putting, but I also appreciate that she went ahead and put some of the conversations that intelligent progressive women have about modern western marriages (and left out a lot too) in a book that is at least a quick read for someone like me, who loves reading but has become increasingly distracted by the internet and reads less and less). So I have some thoughts.

A thought: People seem to think of my relationship as more worthwhile now that it is a marriage. I might admit that so do I. I have mixed feelings about this. I think your relationship is important even if you aren’t married. But I also might think that my relationship is more committed than yours, and not because of the state recognized shit, or because we had a wedding, but because we made personal vows before our loved ones and asked them to be our community as we walk though this life together. Am I being superior?

Another thought: Your relationship is central to your emotional biography. It is a story you tell the world about yourself, and a story you and your partner tell yourselves about yourselves. This story is told in a squijillion iterations throughout your lifetime, and perhaps beyond. I’m not counting on that, but still.

Third thought: Your relationship will never look like mine. And I don’t mean that in a snarky, I am more evolved and better than you sort of way, I just mean that we are in our own relationships. We can learn from other people, and thank goodness for that, but marriage is no one size fits all kind of deal, and  barring some abusive, deal breaker behaviors, I’ m in no position to judge your marriage (even though I might want to. I’m human.)

 

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xoxo

I don’t have a lot of pictures of my dad. At least, not many pictures that would be uploadable. To give you a mental picture: 6’2”,  thin, dark brown hair, cut in a perpetual boy’s regular style, short beard, big brown eyes, occasional glasses, shy, but liked to ask you questions, soft spoken, willing to laugh at your jokes, universally adored, born and raised and stayed in southeastern Massachusetts, do the right and responsible thing believer, John Kerry style Catholic.

A good man. A real man, faults like the best of them, but a good man. A man I miss everyday, and today a little extra. Make sure you love your dads a whole lot when they’re around, because as much as you can love them a whole lot when they are no longer here, it’s just not nearly as good.

 

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i *might* complain too much. sorry boutcha.

Yesterday we went swimming here:

It was super. Hubs was there. We floated on those tubes (that are most certainly made for children but only cost $4 apiece, so we buy them every summer) and ate too many potato chips and all the sour patch kids.  Our friends made us laugh until we cried. Then we celebrated an upcoming wedding with some dear sweet friends and ate sandwiches with cucumbers on them. I liked Saturday.

And now it is Sunday. Hubs has gone away again. I have an enormous & rather nerve-wracking work project that I need to get cracking on if I am to maintain sanity for the next week. And I would much prefer to look at beautiful pictures on design blogs of people’s carefree and gorgeous weddings/ dinner parties/ homes/ children/ crafty projects that I could never pull off. Because it’s Sunday, and at the risk of sounding like a complete asshat, I don’t actually get paid enough to work on the weekends.

This is an ongoing life dilemma for me. I work in the nonprofit sector. Before I worked in the nonprofit sector, I worked in public education. I choose these things because I want to feel connected to the way I spend my work life, to feel like it adds value to the world that I live in, and to feel like it matters. But sometimes I really wish that I chose money over value-added, or that I could shake my belief that those two things are mutually exclusive. Because sometimes I don’t actually feel like the work I do is all that meaningful on a personal level. And so then I get in this loop of questioning whether it actually works for me to try to work for meaning or if I should work for money and find meaning in other areas of life, because maybe then I would have the disposable income to really enjoy the non-working part of life. On days like today, Sundays where I need to research and write and think a lot about my job, I wonder if the problem is that I am not passionate enough about the mission or if I am just a little lazy or if it is some of both. It is unnerving to be 32, fairly well-educated (with the student loans to prove it. that’s mostly what proves it, right?), gainfully employed, and still really not know what I want from my career. I think other people at my age know what they want. Am I broken? Can I just take a year off and spend time with a talented life coach and work on my triceps?

So yeah. I’m cranky about working today when I would rather navel gaze.

Also, I definitely don’t want this blog to be about this, but life is kind of about this, so whoops. Oh well. Better luck next time.

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Nope. I don’t hate it.

I got married one month ago. We went on a honeymoon. We came home to Austin. Hubs left the following day. I haven’t seen him since then, but he will *hopefully* be home tomorrow evening, likely at an hour at which I should already be sleeping. He will be home until Sunday, and then gone again for a couple of weeks. And then back for a week, and then gone a few more. My calendar memory is weak, but mostly I know that he is mostly gone until August. And then we have no idea.

So I miss him. I miss him more, as this latest tour was immediately following so much awesomeness and love and crazyfuntimes. But I miss him often, and this has just become a part of our relationship. Because, my friends, my new husband is a working musician. So first, let me answer your questions:

  1. Yes, he gets paid.
  2. Lead guitar, mostly, but also banjo, mandolin, accordion, lap steel, etc.
  3. Maybe you have heard of the band he plays with. Probably not. I’m not bothered either way, so don’t worry.
  4. Nah, I don’t worry about ladies hitting on him on the road. I think it’s sort of cute and funny.
  5. Nope, I don’t hate it.

Let’s talk about #5. I would guess that 97% of the conversations that I have with people about what my significant other does for a living result in people asking me if I hate that he travels so much for work and them telling me that they would hate it. I don’t hate it, and it’s actually not super supportive of you to suggest that I do. When you tell me that your partner works in finance/education/ engineering/ oil and gas/ what the frick ever, I will never ask you if you hate it and then tell you I hate it. Because that would be awkward, right? So yeah. I don’t hate it for the same reason you don’t hate your accountant husband’s job. It’s his job. He loves it. He is fortunate to make a living doing something he enjoys, and I am pretty fortunate to be with someone who loves what they do. The traveling poses some unique relationship challenges. But it also requires us to reach out to other people in our worlds, to build lives that we find personally fulfilling so that we are the best people we can be for each other, to challenge us to figure out how to communicate and make each other feel loved when we are in different places and to not take the time we have together for granted. This is just life for us. It’s just a little different than yours. And dudes, it is totally not rosy all the time. I get mad about things and sometimes feel neglected and wonder how on earth  we will ever make a baby with this schedule. But I choose him and he chooses me and we figure it out. So nope, don’t really hate that at all. But thanks for making me explain.

 

*photo by Whitney Lee

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