Thursday, January 25, 2007

Oliver Stone Theory

My mom has always thought that there was something wrong with me.

I have to admit, having to fight with horrible acne and my weight has not been fun. But Mom always insisted that these things were CONNECTED, along with my general laissez-faire attitude towards things like...oh, I don't know, my cavalier attitude towards school, and my tendency to sleep for 12 hours at a stretch.

I always felt like it was sort of a cop-out to blame every problem that I had on some mystery disease. "Yes, I am screwed up, but if we find the magic connection, all I have to do is take a pill....BING! All better!"

I did humor her though. I've had tons of blood panels done over the years, testing my thyroid, hormones, you name it. Nothing abnormal ever showed up.

Then yesterday, I went to my new acupuncturist. He looked over my paperwork, and paused at my fertility charts.

"Where on earth did you get this chart?" he asked, scrunching up his face.

"Oh- I had to make my own spreadsheet. My temps were a lot lower than all the pre-fab ones I could find."

He raised his eyebrows at me. "Didn't that strike you as a little odd?"

"Well, yeah, I asked my doctor about it, and he said my labs didn't show anything unusual."

"You're dipping down into temps of 95. This is a huge red flag that you're hypothyroid, which is a major factor in undiagnosed infertility. It would explain your acne, the weight, and the problems you've been having getting pregnant."

I sort of blinked at him. I actually read something to this effect in numerous places, showed those same charts to my doctor, and he pooh-poohed it.

Anyway, I was still sitting there stunned, when things got even weirder. Evidently, the new acupuncturist practices some kind of allergy abatement, called NAET. He asked if he could run some NAET tests on me. I didn't know what the hell those were, so I sort of nodded dazedly.

He explained that NAET involves me holding a vial in one hand, and then he would test my body's response by pulling down on my free arm to evaluate strength or weakness.

Aside from making me feel like a human slot machine, stuff like this makes me do that internal eyeroll. (aka, "What a load of crap!") But I acquiesced, and what the hell?

Evidently, my body is not processing iodine correctly, which would of course, affect my thyroid function. He also detected imbalances surrounding calcium, and my progesterone levels.

I was still skeptical, but polite. "Um....okay."

He laughed. And then he said, "Let's should have a tender point...about HERE." And he poked me gently with a finger, and I yelled "OW!" and jumped about three feet into the air.

He continued, "You're probably prone to X, Y, and Z. You're going to need to cut out caffiene, which will help with X and Y. Regular treatment to restore your system's balance should help with Z."

That was the part that really freaked me out. These were symptoms that I hadn't bothered to mention to him, stuff I have dealt with for so long that I just considered it to be something that EVERYONE deals with, but evidently not.

So we chatted some more, and he gave me a bunch of options, and ended with, "Look, I could be wrong. But I advise you to also go to your regular doctor and have him run some heavy-duty thyroid tests, and see if you can get a medical prescription if you feel more comfortable with that. If your doctor won't listen, I advise you to find someone who will. I think this is something you should pursue, before spending thousands of dollars on IUI's and IVF, which have a very slim chance of working, especially if you are hypothyroid."

On top of that, he prescribes Chinese herbal medicines in pill NO MORE ASS TEA. Hallelujah!

So I had a lot to think about. We chatted while he stimulated points on my spine with massage, then he placed the acupuncture needles, and I was knocked out, which never, ever happens to me. They came back in a few minutes to revive me, and the rest of the day is a blur.

So- I can try (again) to get my doctor to do more tests. or I have another option, to purchase natural thyroid online, which freaks me out a little bit. Hopefully, my doctor will listen to me!

Sunday, January 21, 2007


Hi to all the Grrl Geniuses!

I never realized that leaving an actual comment would make people wonder who I was. Hopefully, you are here because you find my comments to be well-thought out and insightful, and not because you're wondering who on earth this chick is who keeps spewing the dreck. So welcome!

Oh, and to that person who keeps finding me by Googling "1999 Chrysler Sebring + how to change battery"'s behind the front bumper. Go ahead, ask me how I know.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Fat

It is that time of the year. The year when we are all waging the war against The Fat. The magical time when Weight Watchers waives their membership fee. Most people have made the resolution to lose 10, 20, 100 lbs., whatever. Actually, statistically, most of those well-meaning New Year's resolutions have tanked by now.

By the way, I am embracing the word fat. It isn't a "four-letter word". I am reclaiming it, much like the words "gay" and "bitch" have been reclaimed over the years. Because, you know, fat isn't evil. It's been stigmatized over the years, and used as an insult, etc. But underneath it all, fat is just...well, fat. Some people might find it offensive, but there it is.

When I started this blog, it was supposed to be a "fascinating" portrayal of my weight loss, hence the name. I posted what I had for lunch every day, posted inches, posted weight loss and gain and possibly charted the phases of the moon, and then I realized that it was the most boring thing ever, and I just sort of abandoned it.

I went through a few more weight loss phases, one more just before Christmas, and then I had my infamous baby-related melt down, and I just stopped.

I am thinking about getting back on the horse again, but I am not sure how much I want to write about it here.

The thing is, all those goals for 2007 I was talking about? There's another that I hadn't shared, and it is this:

I am letting go of The Hate. The Hate of The Fat. The Hate for my body, and all the ways it isn't thin enough, or muscular enough, or smooth enough, or, let's face it, good enough, for me.

That's the thing. This is strictly MY problem. My husband has no quarrel with what I weigh or how my body looks. So that means that the problem lies with me and the media, and about 20 years of social programming.

I still intend to watch what I eat and exercise. But I also intend to buy clothes and do things that make me feel good about my body now. If I want a black satin shirt, I will buy it now, and not "when I lose 10 pounds." If I want a manicure, I will get one, not as a reward for a good weight loss week, but because I deserve it. Because I do deserve it, damn it!

I am going to be positive about The Fat. And I think that society is following suit, because in the last few weeks, there have been some bizarre corrolaries to my realization.

Last week, as I was driving to the store, I saw a teenaged couple, walking along together. The guy was a typical, cute, skinny, tall 15 year old- skater-ish fashion-wise. He reminded me a little of a puppy, when they are all head and tail and paws, right before they get that huge growth spurt.

The girl was around the same age, and was probably a size 16-18. She was wearing a really cute jacket and a scarf headband and she had on lipgloss and adorable boots and figure conscious jeans that hugged her and accentuated every curve.

As they went, they held hands, occasionally smacking at each other playfully, talking and laughing, and they only had eyes for each other.

Am I crazy? When I was that age, 15 to 20 years ago, that NEVER would have happened. EVER. First of all, the only clothes you could get as a plus-sized teen were the exact opposite of fashionable. You were lucky if you came home from the mall with a paisley caftan. Second, no boy your age would be caught dead in public with you.

Am I wrong? Am I remembering this incorrectly?

Maybe so, but every time I mention this to a friend, they treat it the same way- like I had been driving along, and just happened to spot a unicorn.

One of my best friends mentioned that she has put on weight, and her boyfriend seems to find her even more irresistable with her new curves. She sheepishly confessed that she's considering losing some weight, so maybe she can get some sleep!

And if anyone deserved it, it's her. I think her last boyfriend had a temper tantrum every time she would gain 5 pounds, and would say things like, "Why won't I bring you flowers? Let's see- if you lost weight, maybe I'd bring you flowers." Ouch.

Even more positive- The Golden Globes.

I was riveted. Not only were there the usual size zeros present...But usually, the only larger ladies that you'd see were Queen Latifah, and, well....that's it!
This year, there was America Ferrera. Jennifer Hudson. And Salma Hayek, who is not exactly plus sized, but is definitely curvier than the standard Hollywood frame, and she had the guts to wear white grecian-inspired drapery. They looked so lush and gorgeous standing up next to the stick thin starlets.

Anyway, it made me think. Maybe the rampant fat-hatred is dissipating? I certainly hope so. I think it's about time.

Do I look omnipotent to you?

Heading out to work yesterday, I pulled into the left hand turn lane behind a big white truck.

I sat, waiting for the light to change, and idly sipping my Diet Lipton Green tea (love. LOVE!) and enjoying the fact that it was Friday. I checked out the back tailgate of the white truck, and noted both the holy fish and the JesusFREAK bumper sticker. Well, that, and the fact that Mr. White Truck was in the turn lane, but he wasn't using his turn signal.

The light turned green. The truck didn't move. Okay...

I have a policy for horn usage. The thing is, my car horn isn't a peppy, delicate little beep! It seriously means business, and I have no control over the volume. Whether I tap it or punch it, it's loud no matter what.

So if someone is snoozing through a red light, I give them three seconds to respond before I use my horn. If you snooze for three seconds at a green light, and you aren't using your turn signal, I reserve the right to assume that you are too busy talking on your cell phone to notice what's up.

So, I honked. Heaven help me! Let the flailing begin!

The guy shot out into the intersection, and began making wild "WHAT?!!!" gestures in his rearview mirror, alternated with shaking his fist at me. He changed lanes (again without signaling) to get next to my car, and kept gesticulating angrily the entire time. Hello, road rage!

So I get into the turn lane to get on the freeway, and he screeched towards me and cut off another car, then swerved at my car like he was going to hit me on purpose.
He was going to make me fear for my life, because I had the audacity to HONK at him!

As he roared off, I held my bottle of green tea aloft in a jaunty motion. Which could be construed creatively as "Here's to you!" Although the expression on my face was probably closer to "Up yours!"

I didn't voice what I was thinking. But I totally wanted to scream out the window, "Hello, you hypocrite? JESUS can SEE YOU!!!"

Friday, January 19, 2007

Salon Selectives!

Okay, I have found my salon. I went in today at 3PM to see Michael.

I got a chance to peruse the scenery, because I was a little early. I immediately felt right at home, and settled in with their ridiculously large stash of trashy gossip mags.

I just knew it was gonna go well.

They had leopard-print haircutting drapes. That was my first clue.

The second clue? Michael's button-down shirt was the same color as my hot-pink sweater.

Third clue: The guy names his brushes, and refers to them each individually as "she", like most guys refer to their cars. How can I resist?

So, my hair is shinier and silkier post-cut than it has been for a long, long time. I honestly feel a little creepy about it, like someone else's hair got stapled onto my undeserving head. I told Michael he was a magician, and he shot back, "No, I'm a BEAUTICIAN!!"

I loff heeem.

And it was reasonably priced, too. And no, I am not sharing any more info with you beeyotches, or you will try to steal Michael away from me.

The Sweetest Thing

The Man just called me on his way home from work.

"I am going to sing to you," he announced.

Then he cranked up the stereo in the background, and sang along with "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling".

I love this guy, and while he technically can sing, most people would argue that he probably shouldn't. But I loved it. I giggled like a teenager through the whole thing.

Actually, don't tell anyone, but I got a little teary, too. Ah, the Cheese! It is back. And I have been feeling a little taken for granted lately, and this nipped that neatly in the bud.

After a couple of verses, he said he just wanted to let me know he was thinking about me.


As much as certain aspects of life kinda suck right now, I am glad I am going through all this crap with this guy at my side. As many stupid decisions I have made over the years, made the right move when I decided to marry him. I can't imagine life without him....and I just have to conclude that I am a lucky, lucky woman.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

You Can't Stop Progress

This has been a phone-call filled morning.

However, I have made progress on a few fronts, which is a Good Thing.

I now have an appointment with a local acupuncturist. My thinking is, if I get started on the medical procedures in tandem with Eastern medicine, I need to have someone local. I can't be jetting off to SF and rushing back. Plus, the last nightmare with Greyhound (which I still have not written down, because I don't want to re-live it)made me realize that it was more stress than I needed to get up there and back.

I feel bad, because I loved my acupuncture place in SF. But this will save a ton of time, not to mention, they are much less expensive than the place I was going to, PLUS I won't be paying for gas/bus tickets/food and shopping in SF twice a month. And I will be able to teach on Fridays and go to meetings, which will mean bigger paychecks for ME.

I estimate, after adding it all up, I'll save about $3-400 per month doing this, not to mention avoiding the craziness of so much travelling back and forth.

I talked to Mom. I have been worried about the whole situation, because these treatments are expensive, and she and Dad just bought a brand new house in Carmel. I felt uncomfortable cashing in my chips and asking for the help that has been offered. She basically told me not to be a dork. I explained that if we exhausted the early possibilites, IVF was like buying a Honda Civic every few months. She was undeterred, so at least that is something we don't have to worry about.

So I called my doctor, in order to get the ball rolling on a few procedures that I still can't think about without getting all squirmy. Hopefully, he will actually call me back so I can line things up. So that's done. And while it makes me squirmy, it's all in a day's work to these guys.

In less ovary-related news, I think I have found a new salon. I suspect it will be pricier than what I have been doing, but I don't go in a lot, so I am not to worried. If The Man complains about cost, I will just point to the acupuncture savings above and tell him, in a kind and caring way, that he can go suck it.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Oh those crazy kids!

Naturally, the weekend that everyone selected for "cold weather" camping seems to have broken a few cold weather records. I am still trying to get warm!

Otherwise, I had a pretty good time,but the good stuff is too boring, so let's get to the whiny stuff!

I didn't feel _too_ old, which is saying something, as I suspect I was the only one there over the age of 30. The Man hits the big three-oh next month, and it's all downhill from there, including two brothers who came with another young-ish couple. The oldest brother was 22, and his little bro was a sweet, blond and babyfaced 17. I just wanted to feed him spaghetti and tuck him into bed like a little baby. I suspect that this is proof that my hormones are in overdrive.

The dogs were, surprisingly, fine. Everyone seemed to love them. They were tethered to the truck in the daytime, and then got to come near the campfire with us at night.

There were a few potential bombs that I just defused or ignored. We played Apples to Apples, which is the bomb diggity- I love that game. However there was a lot of this: "Ok...I don't know who this is." And then they show me a card, because I am the resident old woman of the hills, so I should know. And the name on that card? Cary Grant. CARY GRANT. AIIIIIIIGH!

Also, my husband's brother's wife (not to be confused with my brother's wife) kept saying freakish things, but with perfect candor. Example A: "Your hair is so beautiful. It makes me want to kill you in your sleep." Uncomfortable Pause "Just kidding!!!" Or Example B: "You are so cute all the time. It's really annoying! But you're nice, so I can't hate you. Uncomfortable PauseJust kidding!!!" And then she would laugh.

And I would try to chalk it up as verbal diarrhea instead of outright bitchery. She's kind of like Luna Lovegood, in a way, but every occasion where we hang out is rife with comments like this, and she just sort of blurts this stuff out

Another thing, the guys on this trip are techie guys. There was a lot of "My router is bigger than your router" or whatever. And the subject of feminism came up, and the group consencus was pretty much, "bitter man-hating lesbians with armpit hair, blah blah blah". Until I spoke up and said that I was a feminist. Since I was the only woman there wearing makeup, and since I am neither visibly hairy, man-hating, nor bitter, they backed off a little after that.

In fact....well, what can I say. MAMA HAS STILL GOT IT! Mostly because I am stupid and oblivious, but hey.

Yeah. I forgot that if you baby and feed a 17 year old boy, they inevitably try to follow you home. I didn't really think about it, but we played a lot of games on the camping trip- Apples to Apples and Association, and since he was usually sitting next to The Man and I, I tried to use cues that were within his realm of experience. Partially because I am nice and I could see that he was feeling awkward, and partly because I died a little inside every time he asked "What's Devo? Is that like TiVo?"

Add to that the fact that everyone (Including the 17-year old, I am guessing) was drinking.

We were playing Association, and my brother-in-law said something like, "Dork", so I said The Man's name, (because that's one of our pet names for each other), and he grinned and said, "My wife is a bitch!" and we both laughed. And then it was my pet 17-year-old's turn, and he said, "Can I have her then?"

Of course, everyone found this hilarious, mainly because A. Everyone is DRUNK, B. I am a little less than exactly twice his age, and C. The Man is twice his size and is known to be extremely posessive and could snap him like a toothpick.

And OK, I was secretly delighted. (So much for feminism- Flattery will evidently get you quite a bit of slack!)

Delight turned into slightly drunken trepidation when I was staying up late with the girls and the little guy attached himself to me like a barnacle. The Man was visibly wary, yet amused by this, and lurked within our tent with the flap open so he had a clear view of the proceedings. As soon as I finished the last gulp of my drink, I made the most graceful exit possible, and he went off to his tent by himself.

The Man: I hope you are proud of yourself. Poor little guy.

Me: heehee! He's my BABY.

The Man: How wasted are you?

Me: heeheeheebwahahahaaa!

The Man: Yeah. This is hilarious.

Me: That little boy thinks I am HOT. HOTT!

The Man: Sweetheart, he's 17. He thinks farm animals are hot. He's probably gone off to hump a tree or something.

Me: heeheehee!

The Man: (relenting) I think you're hot too, you know. Not that you care.

Me: Hey, obviously, I do care. I am in the tent with YOU, so you have nothing to complain about.

The Man: OK, watching him try to hit on you was kind of cute.

Me: I actually found a semi-gallant 17-year-old. Too bad that the 17-year-old girls don't appreciate gallantry.

The Man: I hate to tell you, but the predatory women will have him jaded and bitter by the time he turns 21.

Me: Well, that sucks.

The Man: I always thought so.

We got up this morning and packed up the caravan, because The Man had to work today. My little 17-year-old ran over to me and gave me a huge hug.

"I hope I see you again soon! You were so cool. I am going to miss you!"

And all I could think of was, "Awwww.....They're so cute when they're that age!"

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Pact (we're not high-maintenance or anything)

jennasaisquoi: Well...are we going?

SecretSqwrl: I look like crap. I want to go, but I don't want to change out of my sweats. Dilemma!

jennasaisquoi: Dude. I am wearing a fleece top and trackpants. I'm not changing.

SecretSqwrl: So we can look like crap together!

jennasaisquoi: In the interest of full disclosure, I will probably put on some lipstick.

SecretSqwrl: I will see your lipstick, and raise you some waterproof mascara.

jennasaisquoi: Done.

jennasaisquoi: Let's go forth to look like crap in Target!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Because Civilization is overrated.

The Man and I are going camping this weekend.

(I just called and cancelled the acupuncture appointment. Who knew? I was double-booked!)

This will be our first camping trip together. That rumble you hear may be the approaching hoofbeats of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Anyway. Camping is something that The Man's brother and his wife and their friends are into. They have repeatedly invited us to come, and we have always dithered about it and turned them down. Usually what it came down to was that my husband didn't want to go, because he is a total homebody.

It wasn't until there were repeated comments about my propensity for girlieness, AKA high heels and makeup and their incompatibility with camping, that made me realize- they thought it was ME! They thought I was the one who was putting the kibosh on the whole thing. (I do not want to speculate that my husband may have used me as an excuse to deflect blame...but he's done it before.)

So...we discussed it, and decided that maybe camping would be a good way to get out of the house a little more and spend positive time with The Man's brother and his friends. Hence another goal that we both made as a unit this year- we are going to entertain more often (more than the yearly event at Christmas Eve, anyway)and also to make an more of an effort socially (this one is mostly him.)

So The Man asked for, and received, a tent for Christmas. We made a list of stuff to bring, including dogs (why? WHY? He just wants to bring them.) The Man checked the campsite info, and realized not only that dogs are allowed, but the place has Wi-Fi. The irony of this is killing me, but he of course is delighted by it.

I went through my stash of cold weather clothing, because we will be in Big Sur and it will be freaking COOOOOLD. This is when I realized that I am inadequate, clothingwise, for camping. I have one plain black V-neck wool sweater. And about 30 more that are made of cashmere, lacy, and/or sparkly.

I do not own any sweats. I do have some tracksuits from a bygone era, but every time I wear them my sister-in-law has a tendency to make innocent comments about "looking like J-Lo", and I really want to avoid an international incident.

I do have jeans and sneaks and hiking boots. (Oh, and one black thermal top with a skull and crossbones on it. I don't know where it came from, which is a little freaky-deaky.) I suspect that the reason I can't find my silk long underwear is because I inadvertantly donated it to DAV. (Oops.) So I am not completely screwed.

My hair will be a big old snarly curly creature of the night, because we'll be close to the ocean, so I won't have to worry about styling it, because running a brush through it will be impossible. Makeup will be minimal. No biggie. I can do this., If all goes completely awry, we totally have a backup plan. I will have access to a house in Carmel for the weekend. (Shhh...don't tell on me.)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


So, I made some goals for 2007. A lot of them can be inferred by other stuff I have posted here, but one of the big ones is to write more, especially here. Woot!

Plus I just want to bump that depressing mess that was the last post further on down the page. I do feel better after putting it out there, though, so maybe it was worth it?

So yeah.

Another goal? To not put up with sub-par service. And to reward excellent service.

Which means that I will talk to the management if someone is exceptional and deserves accolades (because this is rare!) And also, if you suck- for example, forgetting one order, getting the other order wrong, bringing the forgotten order out to the table cold, never refilling our drinks, and giving me the hairy eyeball when I have the temerity to ask for a dessert menu or a fork that doesn't look like someone spooged all over it- you're probably going to have a problem with me.

(For the record, this actually did happen, and not in a $7.25 all-inclusive place either. We're talking $25-30 entrees, not to mention cocktails and dinner salads! And I said nothing, AND tipped the guy fair market value- because the waiter was new. And because I am a sucker.) But I maintain that I will be a sucker NO MORE! All bets are off!!!

My first assignment? Is a biggie.

I have to fire my salon.

I love the guy who does my hair. That's the upside, he's fun, he does The Man's hair too (so, convenient!) he knows how to treat curly hair and he does a decent job most of the time* and he's reasonably priced.

However, there are a few big down sides- He occasionally completely ignores my request for the 1-inch trim, and goes for the 3 inch chop. I never know when this will be, and it kind of freaks me out (although, I don't freak out in front of him, I wait until I get home.) Sometimes he styles my hair for me, (sometimes he styles it the way I want, and sometimes he doesn't) but if he's really busy, he has been known to toss me a blowdryer and playfully tell me to do it myself- which I do without complaint. But I am still paying the same price. This seems abnormal to me.

Now the biggie. I called once in November, once in December, and left messages that I needed to schedule appointments. He has not called me back. I have cut him some slack, because he has new staff in the salon- maybe they are deleting his messages?
But this is a continuing problem, and I have asked him about it before. He blames the answering machine. Which smacks of the "Oh! I dropped my cell phone in the toilet and lost all your contact info!!!" crap that single girlfriends have reported to me. With the addition that I PAY the guy a not-inconsiderable amont of money every couple of months, and he still can't be bothered to call me back.

Reasonably, if I was dating this guy, he would have been kicked to the curb long ago. I questioned whether I may have inadvertantly pissed him off: "Is it because I never got those highlights we talked about? IS IT???" Then I realized that I was being silly about the whole thing.

I know I am not a difficult client, so I am going to assume that he is just a flake, and that I need to find a new hairstylist, based on the criteria above. So I have been asking around for someone who does long layers, knows how to handle curly hair, and isn't a flake. (Anyone?) I haven't gotten one solid lead so far. And my split ends are getting really heinous.

Monday, January 08, 2007

A bunch of stuff I don't want to say, but probably should.

I am fully back into the throes of work- today was my first day back, and it was nice, although I dreaded it until I was there. Huh.

I have a light work week, and then I go back to the San Francisco Acupuncturist, and tell them that I have been horrible at my ass tea consumption. Yes, again.

This is something that needs to be changing, as several monumental decisions have been made over the holiday season. Most of which were made after I had a meltdown of monumental proportions on Christmas Day. It was one of those days where right off the bat, I knew it wasn't going to go well, but I seriously underestimated just HOW not well it was going to go. If that makes sense.

This is hard for me to write. I like to put a brave face on things, and a lot of this just seems weak and foolish to me. I feel like a selfish, horrible person for feeling some of the things I am about to write down. The whole damn shebang just embarrasses me.

When you're part of a couple who has been having trouble with the whole baby thing for awhile, I have come to the conclusion that Christmas is torture if you're infertile. TORTURE. We get a lot of those Christmas cards with the happy families on them, and TV is inundated by children's toys and accompanying gleeful little kids. It's just a contant reminder.

I should explain that Santa still visits my parent's house with stockings for my husband and I (I fill those) and my sister, and my brother and his wife. The youngest of this group is my brother's wife, who is about 25. And you know, Christmas is a holiday for children, etc...and suddenly, everything just seemed pointless, with nobody left to believe in Santa and wake everyone up at 3AM by running around excitedly in the footie pajamas. We have transformed into cranky puffy-eyed adults who are wearing ratty sweats, who just desperately want to sleep in until 10, but we can't, because the relatives are coming and we have to roast the goddamn turkey.

But I was fine. I helped fill the stockings, came home to our house, and set out the Christmas treats for the pets. Which just seemed even more pathetic, but I was really OK. I didn't share my feelings with my husband, because I have been a little depressed about the whole "no kids" shebang, and I don't want him to worry about me. (That sound you hear? That is Fate, laughing at me.)

The next morning, The Man and I were planning a leisurely awakening at 7, so we could privately open our gifts to each other and be put together to drive over to my family's place.

So of course, everything goes....not wrong, exactly, but definitely askew. What follows is basically The Most Depressing Christmas Movie Ever. Well, you know....nobody died. That's about all I can say for it.

1. We overslept. Not by a lot, but enough to make things a little tense. We get showered, and I begin to put on my makeup.

2. As The Man lovingly watches me apply my mascara, I ask him how work was the night before. As it turns out, this was a mistake. Usually, he says, "Fine", and sharing time is over.

Today however, he tells me that he is irritated with a high-ranking officer because of something that he said. This is unusual, because The Man is fairly even-keeled, so I ask what happened. The Man says, "He asked me what we got our kids for Christmas. I thought about punching him, but I figured that would be a bad idea."

3. I put on a brave face, for oh, about 5 seconds, and then the tears just burst out of me. And when I say burst, I mean, I literally exploded, scaring the hell out of both of us. There was no welling, there were not even tears, this was floods and uncontrollable hysteria. I said a whole lot of horrible things about The Man's superior officer, and did not forget to throw a few stones at God and The Universe, which really freaks my husband out.

I also did not neglect my perfect sister-in-law, she of the heinous bridesmaids dresses (which will return to haunt me later on this glorious day, by the way)who looks like Mandy Moore and has requested a new car- she wants to trade her sleek little luxury sedan in for an SUV. That alone has the alarm bells ringing in my head- this ridiculous fear that she and my brother will get pregnant any second, coupled with a horrible suspicion that it's kind of gold-diggery to demand an EXPENSIVE new car when you have one that works perfectly well and you've been married for less than 6 months.

4. While I am in puddles on the floor, and my husband is just trying to hold me and talk me down, and is gently suggesting that I might want to take back some of the things I said about God, if nobody else, the phone rings. It's my family. They need us to come ahead of schedule- my brother wants to surprise Miss Perfect with her brand new Hummer H3, it's parked in the driveway, and they are afraid that if they wait any longer, she will go outside and see it. I put on a brittle voice and tell them we'll get there as soon as we can, and maybe they should start without us.

5. Now any private time The Man and I have is shot, and I am a wreck, my makeup is shot to hell. He's not much better off, he has wet patches all over his shirt. I realize that any gifts we give each other are going to be overshadowed by the H3. I also realize that the tears have now taken over, and I am officially an emotional wreck- I am going to be crying intermittently at really stupid things all day. If I see a Hallmark commercial, or a baby penguin, I will just dissolve. This does not bode well.

6. We have to go- I am bringing the first course for Christmas Dinner. I try to un-snivel as best I can, put on the biggest, blackest sunglasses I own, and we load the soup, presents, and ourselves into the car. My cel rings- my dad. I don't answer. The Man's cel rings- again, my dad. Rinse and repeat TWO more times. It takes less than ten minutes to get to their house. The Man is upset, and I have descended from hysteria into a sort of sullen acceptance.

7. So we get there, and Dad meets us at the door. "We waited for you!" he says, hugging both of us. I thaw a little, and we bring the presents inside. Then I realize that when he said they waited, he meant "for the surprise car", and not, "to open the stockings." So we open our stockings by ourselves, with everyone watching, and urging us to hurry up, because they want to open presents.

8. Miss Perfect's gift to my parents is a framed 8x12 of our family at the wedding. From across the room, I can see myself in the picture, and if it looks that bad from across the room, I don't even want to see it close up. It is passed around for all to admire. My husband gives me a sympathetic look before he hands it to me. I pass it to my sister without looking at it, and she winces. Oh boy.

9. Because The Man and I have more presents than everyone else, once again, we are urged to hurry up, ostentestibly so we can get dinner started, but actually so my brother can present The Car. The Car is presented. We go outside to look at it. It is black with a red bow on it. WOO! It's colder than a witch's tit outside, so my husband, mom, sister and I go back inside almost immediately.

10. I am starting to feel more normal at this point. OK, we've gotten this far...and then my aunt calls long distance. She talks to dad and wishes him a happy birthday, talks to mom, and asks to talk to me.
"Hi Auntie!"

"Hey sweetie. Merry Christmas! Oh, please tell your dad- I forgot to say, your cousin Sondra is pregnant AGAIN. Can you believe it?!"

Just breathe. You're happy for her. Aren't you?

"Oh, give Sondra my congratulations."

"I know- Number FOUR! We're hoping for a girl, and we want red hair, because, you know..."

I realize that I am repeating, "That's great- I'm so happy for her!" over and over again. Like a robot. I feel the tears in my throat, and I know that I am going to lose it in front of my whole family, including Miss Perfect, who has of course just reappeared after a test drive in her new car. I start desperately trying to pass the phone off to someone, ANYONE, when my aunt says, I swear to God, "Can you believe it! I'm younger than your Dad, and I'm on my fourth grandchild already! How old is he today? 59, or the big six-oh?"

11. I practically throw the phone at my sister, who looks a little stunned. "It's Auntie! Sondra's pregnant again! Isn't that great?!!!" I trill. Then I charge for the bathroom. There's someone in there, so I manage the adjacent door- the laundry room. I don't bother to turn the lights on.

A note slips under the door.

"Are you OK?"

I manage a tearful "no". I am beginning to feel like a complete dork, which is not unbelievable, since I am hiding in the laundry room with the lights off. My sister comes in, followed closely by my husband. They take turns holding me while I alternately cry and try to explain what happened.

I'm so sick of being like this, and I feel like I am ruining Christmas, which makes everything worse on some level. I wonder how long my poor husband and family will have to deal with a semi-psychotic madwoman who cries at the drop of a hat.

12. Eventually, I start to calm down, and head across the hall to the mercifully deserted bathroom to repair as much damage as I can. My sister and husband arm me with some Kleenex, and I decide to just make the best of it, play some Scrabble, and just get over it. But the looks of pity and worry on the faces of my family are totally my undoing. I make it through dinner, but afterwards I head to the kitchen and tell my dad that when The Man leaves for work (yes, on Christmas Day!) I am going to head home with him.

13. Dad wants to know why, and when I say I don't want to talk about it, just that I am having a bad day and want to be by myself and just get through it, keeps at me to stay, arguing with me that if I am depressed, I should be with family. Considering that my family seems to be about 50% of the depression equation, this seems a little like flawed reasoning. I finally just tear up again, because the more you've been crying, the easier it is to start again, and he finally relents and says he understands, and pats me awkwardly on the head.

14. In the car, I turn to The Man and say, "We're not doing this again. Christmas morning is just the two of us, or whatever, from now on." Luckily, he agrees with this. And we get home, and he goes to work, and I watch crap TV and eat junk food and put away our Christmas gifts, and I feel, amazingly, fine. Back to sanity. Which makes me evaluate my emotions a little bit.

I am growing to recognize that a big part of this whole problem is that The Man and I are both the oldest kids in our families, the first to get married, and the pressure is on to come up with the first grandchildren, and I think that those expectations, on top of my own, are just crippling me. I am not wanting to have kids just because my parents want me to, but it does factor in, and I just got overloaded.

15. When The Man got home that night, we had the talk to end all talks. So...we've tried it my way, and it hasn't worked. Now we're going to try it his way, which I am pretty unenthusiastic about, as it is going to mean invasive testing and more hormones (and therefore, more psychosis) and more doctor's appointments, and basically more crap for me to deal with. But, at least we're doing something. We mapped out the next year, give or take. I'll know more when I have spoken to my doctor about timelines. But there you go. It is definitely more reassurring to have a plan in place.

So this week, I need to find a local acupuncturist. My last SF appointment in awhile will be this weekend, and I feel good about that decision, particularly after my last adventure on the Greyhound Bus (another long depressing story, which I think I will just let go, considering what I just dragged everyone through!

So...I'm not thrilled with my life, but I am doing something about it.

And I sure hope that everyone's holiday was better than mine! (Although the crap tv and junk food part was pretty awesome- Did I mention that we had leftover cream puffs in the freezer?)

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy 2007!

It is 4:38 AM. I am wiiiiiide awake.

The Man and I had a nice quiet evening at home. We went to bed around 1:30.

At 2:13 AM, I was juuuuust dropping off to sleep, when his cell phone rang.

We both turned over and grumbled, but didn't move- we are officially prisoners of our new down comforter and pillows.

Then my cell phone rang. And rang again. Much profanity ensued on our end.

The Man picked up my phone and read the caller ID. "It's my sister."

This sister is the baby of his family. To be polite about it, she doesn't always make the best life choices. We both are groggily realizing that she could be stranded on the side of the road somewhere, or has had a few too many, or....well, the scenarios are endless. The Man is still staring blankly at my phone when it rings again.

"Hello? Um, yeah. Uh-huh. Noooooo....I don't think so. Did you file a police report? to you later."

At this point, I am wide awake. He hangs up.

"Someone stole her purse, and the Best Buy gift card we gave her for Christmas was in it."

"She called us at 2:13 in the morning to tell us that?!"

"Well...she seemed to think that we could cancel it or something." He pulled the covers over his head.

"Those things are just like cash. We can't do anything about it!!"

"I KNOW that. I don't want to talk about it anymore, just please let me get back to sleep!!"

"I can't believe anyone would call someone past two AM, unless they were dead or bleeding."

No response. He started snoring almost immediately.

So I am still awake, and spending my store credit at Macy's online. Hey, we got THREE down comforters and pillow sets this year. Be careful what you wish for. So I hopped online and got 2 sets of 600 count sheets, extra pillowcases, two additional bath sheets to match the ones we already have, and a couple of cute tops and a kimono-style dress. Yeeeha!

So...was Santa good to you all this year?

Since I am awake, I am setting goals for the new year. I am hesitating to call them resolutions, because well...resolutions are cheesy.

Hey, it's either that, or cleaning the kitchen.