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.
"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?)