MOMMY, DEAREST

wellbehavedMy mom is always clipping articles out of the home-town paper to give me that feature one of my former 40 high-school classmates. At first it was engagement and wedding announcements, which I took as a passive-aggressive reminder of my own “spinsterhood” since I was a month shy of turning 30 when I got married. Aside from a couple of other classmates, who were either gay or a few cards shy of a full deck, I’m sure I was one of the last to submit an engagement picture to the editor of the paper who may or may not have doubled as the fire chief, the motel manager and bar owner. The type of newspaper who could take the highest quality photograph and make it look like a wanted picture from 1885.

From there, the articles she would clip would be the assorted birth announcements (many before I even graduated from college), travels “abroad” – you know – to Kansas, and even the tiny postage size blip that was published weekly of persons hospitalized back before HIPAA took away that spot of joy from every retiree who ever subscribed to the paper solely to snoop in on their neighbor’s colon issues via the printed word.

Twenty-five years later, she still shows up with clippings and I’m wondering if she’s rubbing my face in the accomplishments of my lame-o classmates or if she’s under the impression – a highly mistaken one – that I give a rat’s ass what any one of them are doing (unless of course it’s being booked for indecent exposure).

The most recent was an article featuring one of my classmates that I hung out with quite a bit before I suddenly dropped off the face of the earth and never heard from again once I realized that ohmygodI’vebeenlivinginavacuum! and that people really did do something with their spare time other than park on a low-maintenance road and indulge in keggers until the county sheriff came by to drop off his daughter break things up.

My “friend” had been awarded Nebraska’s Young MOY (Mother of the Year, don’t you know?) according to the blurb under the picture of her, her husband and five children. Good for her *yawn*. The article sat on the counter for a couple of days and one morning I read the full article as I had actually put away the cereal box,  effectively leaving me with nothing to read.

It was a blah article, to say the least, but by the time I read through it, I found myself annoyed deeply. Why? Because the article listed the requirements necessary to be nominated for MOY of this organization, with this one standing out in particular:

  • Has been married to her husband, a man, in a legal ceremony.
  • Of course! Why, you can’t be a good mother if you’re a single parent or have a husband (do they come in any other form than “man”??) through common law, don’t you know?! And heaven forbid ~whisper~ a lesbian might be a mother, much less one that is an excellent mother! No awards for you since only women in hetero relationships qualify as good mothers (that should bring some interesting google hits).

    My mother’s innocent attempt to keep me somehow connected to people I haven’t talked to in two decades only reminds me of why I cannot maintain contact with those who won’t see beyond their white-picket fence lifestyles. I can’t even imagine how they might react if their moms clipped an article about me if I was ever outed as a blogger, an infertility blogger, a donor-egg-recipient, infertility blogger! I can see their June Cleaver aprons curling up in horror now.

    ASYMPTOMATIC

    I couldn’t figure out how the National Infertility Awareness Week slip by me or how come I didn’t ever recall it being this close to Mother’s Day when that was the due date of my first miscarriage back in 2004….

    Oh. They moved it. That was nice of them to tell me. So it’ll be a couple weeks of emotional schizophrenia. Thanks.

    So, this is my post dedicated to NIAW. First review this post and come back to the picture below as I’m not sharing it with you to impress you with my obvious housekeeping skills. You’ll have to come up with your own poetic waxing as I’m too mentally fried to do so.

    2009-063

    SICK AND TIRED – LITERALLY

    The male residents of my home are both out of commission. Some call it the ‘flu, but because that’s completely erroneous. I call it gastroenteritis.

    I’m touchy about it right now because 1) I am fucking exhausted. Up several hours last night holding my son’s head out of bucket and trying to remain caring and strong while freaking out that he was going to puke on the carpet; 2) I mentioned it to my family and I should have known better as soon as the words were out of my mouth as my Dad immediately concluded they both have the swine flu; and finally 3) my hands are so raw from repeated handwashing that I described them in a tweet as feeling as if I could feel each hair follicle pulse from the tightness.

    With all the world-wide hype going on, you’d THINK that they would make sure to report that the swine flu does NOT bring on vomiting and diarrhea. Influenza – aka The Flu – is an upper respiratory ailment. Are you hacking up a lung? Are you having difficulty breathing? Are you so congested that when you blow your nose snot comes out of your eyes? Then you probably have the flu, NOT a GI – congratulations.

    Are we clear? Good.

    You know I’m next, right? And poor ZGirl…it’ll take a miracle for her not to get it as well and since it’s not the 24 hour variety (the gastroenteritis), I see a hospital visit in my near future.

    NO THANK YOU, DR RUTLEDGE

    Occasionally I do get hit up for reviews and ads on my blog from outside sources. Today I got one from Wellsphere.

    A very flattering, yet strangely canned, email from Dr. Geoff Rutledge on how they wanted my blog content to be part of their HealthBlogger Network at wellsphere.com. I’m naturally dubious of these requests but this one immediately made me go “huh??” when I read this in the first paragraph:

    We carefully reviewed your blog, and based on the high quality of your writing, the frequency of your posts, and your passion for helping others, we think you would be a great addition to the Network.

    Uh…ok.

    And…HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHahahahahaha!

    I did check out the website (dull) and from there I googled, “what’s up with wellsphere” and that brought me an article titled, “How the Blogosphere was Scammed.” That doesn’t bode well, does it?

    I can only guess that some of you would have received the same email since scammers hunt in packs. If you did, my advice to you is to think twice about it and make sure you read the article about scams. My posts may be shit, but they are MY shit.

    THIGH MASTER

    I don’t exercise. I have a million excuses why including problems with shin splints, asthma, time, space, equipment, aversion to sweat, etc. The last time I routinely worked out was between 1987-1991 when I was teaching ballroom dancing for a living. Since then, I’ve been coasting by on my father’s skinny genes to keep me in the single-digit sizes.

    I’m not sharing this to brag, so stay with me.

    This weekend, even though the weather was shit, I bought some plants for my containers and dragged what seemed like a hundred clay pots and containers from my garage, and set about adding some color to my porch.

    tippingOne of the projects I took on was my tipping flower pots that I plant wave petunias in. It looks similar to this (here’s the link in case you want to do your own. I can’t vouch for their method of installing the center rod as mine is a couple welded plates, so more permanent and stable).

    Back to my point since I’m sure you’re wondering how this project and my lack of physical activity have anything to do with the other.

    So there I was, adding my little petunia plants to the pots, working my way up from the bottom. I’m kneeling in front of the pots, transferring the plants and as I move upward, I have to go from sitting on my heels to full-on confessional type kneeling, and then back down again to retrieve the next plant. At the maximum, I only had to do this a dozen or so times. Mini-squats, if you will.

    Today? I’m feeling the burn, baby! No. Kidding. I think that has to qualify me as the wussiest woman on earth.

    What routine exercising do you do? Is it because you like to or because you feel like you have to? For those of you that like it, you’re weird.

    WHAT’S THAT SMELL?

    Why is it I only think to chew a breath mint AFTER I’ve had an unexpected conversation (face to face, of course) with someone? I know altoids are powerful, but there’s no way they can waft back into time.

    Speaking of smells, I hate/despise/loathe the smell of J&J’s baby lotion. I received some sample-sized bottles and thought, hey, I’ll keep one in my purse for those days I’m wearing sandals and forget to treat my heels. J&J is crap, et al. Gerber’s oatmeal baby lotion on the other hand? Yummmmm.

    On the same vein as the halotosis cover-up, why is it on the day I decide to forego makeup and contacts, one of the visitors to the office is a hot, tan, skier from Colorado? I’m sure I made quite an impression:

    marcCould this possibly be a case of Art imitating Life? I wonder if she has a line somewhere in the movie that goes something like this, “I just wanted it more, so of course it happened!” Whatever. You have to cut her SOME slack for marrying a living zombie.

    Wouldn’t it be kind of cool to have a boyfriend/husband named Jesus?

    • “Jesus, you’re snoring AGAIN!”
    • “Yes, Jesus, I shut off my text notification from Twitter.”
    • “Jesus, I wish once, just once, you would pick up your dirty sandals off the bedroom floor!”

    *************

    While drafting this, a co-worker popped up behind me and asked, “What’s Punch Drunk?”

    “It’s what happens to you when you pop up behind someone at work while their drafting a blog post. Duh!”

    NOW FOR THE COUNTER-POINT

    Wasn’t that nice of Aunt Becky to come over here and ramp up my stats? Here she thought I was doing her a favor letting her get a blogging fix when instead I was reaping the rewards by being ass-dimples deep in comments.

    It was a bit odd to have several commenters profess their love for me…until I remembered, “Oh, yeah. They are professing their love for Becky. I feel so dirty.”

    The topic I gave Becky was one I had been mulling on for some time, and one I’ve attempted to cover before. I wish it was also one I felt as optimistically about as Becky and her readers do. Now it’s not because I don’t believe you can’t form BFF relationships via the internet. It’s because I can’t.

    Outside of my family (and even then, it’s just a couple), there’s only one person who I have maintained (and I use the word loosely) a friendship with for any significant length of time: my husband of almost 12 years (plus 5 years prior to our marriage). Even with a life-time commitment made emotionally and legally, there are plenty of moments when I could merrily club him to death with a frozen log of cookie dough on any given day of the week. He’s lucky I refuse to sacrifice the cookie dough in anger.

    A couple of the comments really hit home as to why internet – specifically blogging – friends are made. First, it is easier to find a connection with someone of similar interests or experiences via blogging. I found infertility blogging while googling the instructions for follistim injections. From there, I was introduced to several women who had experienced miscarriages. I also found out that secondary infertility wasn’t an oxymoron. Through blogging, I found Suzanne, a fellow Nebraskan who was going to the same clinic as myself and “shared” some cycles with. Blogging via a specific niche gives one “automatic” connection with others in surprisingly similar situations.

    Next, everyone who blogs is beautiful, smart and funny. OK, everyone but me is beautiful, smart and funny as I am but a Gnarly Troll, and as such, mightily attracted to all things shiny and beautiful. Women can be horrid, petty, back-biting vipers to each other in person. I’ve been instantly sized up by the private school’s Moms who carry Gucci diaper bags, drive Mercedes SUVs, and wear heels even to wrestling meets just because I may or may not be wearing pajama pants and my husband’s sweatshirt with flip flops and chipped toenail polish. But did you see that? I’ve done the same. I take one look at them and I perceive them to be snobbish, unhappy and uptight trophy wives. Just because of the way they LOOK.

    With blogging, there’s no snap judgment based on our appearance or surroundings. The “Haves” and “Have Nots” are assigned based on whether or not one has gone through infertility treatment; or has had a miscarriage; or is pregnant. That brings us back ’round to the first example: birds of a feather and all that.

    And finally, finding someone In Real Life (IRL) who understands what we (for sake of this post, “Infertility Bloggers”) are going, or have gone, through, is incredibly difficult, especially for those who live in low populated or isolated areas, e.g. northeast Nebraska. Even my husband’s love and own brand of support would not have been enough to get me through these past years. That’s not his fault, it’s mine.

    This brings me to what I said in the beginning of this post. I would love to believe that all the friends I make from my blog will be my friends in a year, two years, ten years from now, but I don’t. I couldn’t maintain any friendships from high school, college, and even am struggling to keep the friends I had from my job I just lost in January. I’ve carried torches for many bloggers over the years and I can count on one hand how many are still around. Real life always seems to get in the way whether it’s due to a birth, cancer, being outed, divorce, or feeling left behind in the community, all of which I’ve seen happen to my blogging friends.

    I love so many bloggers (and those of you w/o blogs who stop by), very deeply in fact, but I try to remain aloof because it’s too painful to be rejected and ignored and avoided, which seems to happen when I openly wear that Girl-Crush-Heart on my sleeve. If I wouldn’t appear so stalkerish – not that I don’t now – I would probably email many of you daily, if not call the ones who have foolishly provided me their phone numbers. I have to reign myself in frequently from appearing too needy, too desperate, and altogether, too pathetic. Yes, really, I do try to tone it down, but I’m obviously not very good at it.

    I seriously get a lump in my throat thinking about how in 10 years, all the men and women I know right now will be on to bigger and better things and not worrying about maintaining a relationship with a Nebraskan blogger who didn’t write remotely well; who wasn’t particularly funny or witty; and who probably didn’t convey in action or word how much she appreciated your friendships.

    STONE COLD SOBER, AS A MATTER OF FACT

    ~ Guest post by Aunt Becky

    This morning when my own blog somehow got a Case of The Monday’s (on Tuesday. Dumb blog doesn’t even know the days of the week.) DD offered me the use of her own blog so that I could once again fill The Internet with my pointless drivel. Because my Twitter account only allows me to say stuff in 140 characters or less which is not NEARLY enough blathering for Yours Truly, I was most pleased to do this. Plus, DD is kind of my own personal hero, so I kinda got hot and bothered thinking about posting on HER blog.

    Which, because I am not clever enough to come up with a topic on my own, brings me to the topic I’d begged her to give me. Can you be honest-to-God friends with people you meet on The Internet?

    It’s tricky, yo. But after thinking about it for 30 seconds as I refilled my eleventy-ninth cup of coffee I think I have my answer: yes. Even after the posts I’ve dedicated to how self-serving and self-important blogging is (put down the pitchforks, I have my own blog, so what does that say about me?), I can honestly say that I have met a handful of people I would actually call my friends.

    Back in January and February when my daughter was born with a part of her brain hanging jauntily out of the back of her head, a condition called an encephalocele that we weren’t aware she had, I took to my blog. Somehow the act of writing down my feelings and putting them into a cohesive form rather than the scattered bits of worry floating around my head made things ever slightly better. And The Internet, prayed for me, with me, and around me when I needed them. 

    In some tangible way that I’d not expected, having the collective prayers of people from The Internet made having to put my newborn through brain surgery was made slightly easier. Many times, the people in the computer were more present for me than the friends I’ve made outside of the computer. And because I was able to pull my feelings into a readable (okay, that’s debatable) format, many of the people who know my blog were able to tap into the real me. They didn’t have to see my frazzled hair or blood-shot eyes, they didn’t have to come over and witness for themselves the balls of dog hair floating about my house to know who I am.

    The blogs with whom I have personally connected are of the same ilk. Maybe they don’t sit around talking about deep and meaningful stuff (preferably they don’t) but on some level I can relate to their owner. Maybe they make me laugh, maybe they make me think, maybe they just make me like them. And in some way, I feel like I know them.

    I’m not saying that everything that The Internet says is true. God knows that everyone has left the worst parts of our personalities (let’s hope) out of their blogs. I mean, I hate to tell you this, but my waist is not ACTUALLY 24 inches. Hell, it’s even possible that my favorite bloggers are simply PRETENDING to be who they say they are when they are really midget transsexuals living in Decatur. But it’s possible that the friends outside of the computer I’ve had for 15 years are actual midget transsexuals living in Decatur too. Maybe they just hide it really well.

    Stranger things have happened. 

    What do YOU think, DD’s Internet?

    RETIRING, PREGNANT, AND GETTING A CT SCAN

    What if I told you I’m retiring from blogging?

    I’m not. I just wanted to get your commenting juices flowing. You’d have to cut off my fingers to get me to stop blogging. Then you’d have to remove all pencils with eraser heads on them because I swear I would tap out a post, letter by letter, by holding one in my mouth.

    What if I told you I’m pregnant au natural?

    I’m not. I just wanted to get your blood pumping, whether in excitement or anger. And pregnant naturally?? HAHAHAHA ***wiping jovial tears away***! You guppy.

    What if I told you that the daycare dropped ZGirl on her head…again?

    They didn’t. I just wanted to make sure you’re paying attention. Still looking for a replacement though so that whole lightning doesn’t strike twice thing doesn’t help me much.

    So, do I have your attention? Good. You’ll need it for later.

    Now . . . run along.

    LIE TO ME

    I want to like the the new show on FOX, Lie to Me. I really, really do. Tim Roth? Brilliant on the big screen, “I love you, Honey Bunny.”  Only two problems I have with him: I can’t understand most of what he says so I have to turn the close-caption option on for my TV (stupid British accents – speak English!), effectively pissing off Mr. DD; and every once in a while, Roth cocks his head in a way that reminds me of David Caruso on CSI:Miami, and frankly, I find that as annoying as hell.

    carusotim-or-david

     

    (Sidenote: whenever I struggle to remember David Caruso’s name, I only have to recall the very first episode from South Park and the line: “Ike! Do your impression of David Caruso’s career!” “Aaaiieeeee!”) (OMG. That was 12 years ago!)

    And then we have Kelli Williams. Remember her from The Practice? Me neither, since I never watched the show, but IMDB is useful when it comes to links.

    Kelli, Kelli, Kelli. Her characther’s husband is cheating on her. She knows it. The rest of the characters know it, and I can’t help but wonder if the writers thought that they were bringing irony into their show by having an expert team of lie-sniffers ignore the fact that one of their team member’s spouse is lying to them all. On the other hand, how believable is it to write in a lying spouse in a show that sniffs out liars??

    kellikellinewActually, my annoyance with Kelli is the hair. It’s 80’s awful (left pix). It makes her look older than me, and she’s only 38. In a recent episode, (right pix) after enough complaints must have been made over the crusty and poorly constructed feathered ‘do, she sported a modern, if not uninspiring style.

    My husband’s happy about the change. I’m no longer screaming, “Brush out that horrid rat’s nest, you simp!” every time she steps into a scene. Unfortunately, it was a temporary change, or else the next episode is out of order, because the old hair-style is back.

    *****************

    This post had been sitting in my draft pile for a while and since no one out there seems to be in the mood to comment, even though I have given you the opportunity to hijack comments; or posted pictures of the adorableness that is my daughter, I thought I might as well publish this since it is completely and equally uninspiring and one less draft I need to look at.

    You are welcome.

    IT’S PRONOUNCED GROW-GRAIN

    This weekend, I decided to take on a couple of projects. One involved a sleep sack, but I’ll save that for another time. The other one was making some hair clips for ZGirl. Sure, she has the hair of a duckling, but hot glue a bow onto a baby duck and convince anyone that it’s not cute. Wait…you wouldn’t actually want to hot glue a bow to a duck, but you know.

    Here’s some pictures of ZGirl modeling each of them.

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    2009-0071

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    2009-012

    2009-014

    2009-017

    2009-0182009-022

    My favorites? The ones with feathers.

    What I learned? Hobby Lobby’s grosgrain ribbon in their fabric section is not of very good quality, but the stuff they keep in the crafts (scrapbooking) dept is of heavier/better grade.

    Also, I learned that a wooden clothespin is perfect for holding open the alligator clip while you are trying to either not burn your fingers or accidently hot glue your clip shut.

    Now I just have to figure out what to do with the remaining 14 1/2 feet of each pattern of ribbon.