A Shadow of My Former Self

I took a trip back in time on Saturday.  I left Mr. X and our napping children, stole his car and headed across the lake to meet up with two of my friends from college, both in town for our 15th reunion.  I was very excited to go.  I looked forward to the reminiscing, the visiting of old haunts and the telling of old stories.  And, frankly, I was just as excited about not having any children or husbands in tow.  I was a single gal, at least for an afternoon.


Photo by zimpensifh, Creative Commons

I was also excited because one of the two friends I was meeting up with was an ex of mine.  I had a major bee in my bonnet for this boy for most of college and frankly, a few years afterwards.  Even when we were dating, though, I knew that we could not be together for any long period of time because we just brought out the worst in each other.  But, we did have a chemistry that was undeniable.  The last I had heard from him before the Facebook Era was right around the time I was getting married to Mr. X.  The Ex called to see how life was going and to report that he too had found someone and was getting hitched.  I was surprised, to be honest, since he had terrible commitment issues when I knew him and I couldn’t see him changing this so quickly. I wished him well, but was a little piqued that I still wasn’t the right lady for him.  Ten years later and he is now divorced and a single father of two.   And I am a happily married mother of two.

I would be lying if I said that I didn’t have at least a spark of attraction left for him.  But why? Because he was the one who sort of got away even though even at the time I knew he wasn’t right for me? No, I think it’s mostly because I never quite knew where I stood with him – did he like me, did he not like me? I could go through a garden full of flowers picking petals right and left and still wouldn’t have found out the answer. I wanted him to like me, I wanted to be The Girl He Wanted because he was the boy that I wanted.

When I joined Facebook in 2010, we reconnected.  We caught up and eventually came around to discuss our time together.  He apologized for leading me on, and I apologized for coming on too strong.  But, neither expression really captured what was going on. We were playing a game of push and pull with exquisitely bad timing and misreading of signals as only young adults can do so well.  At that time, I allowed myself to think about actually being with the Ex again and felt an almost immediate rush of … revulsion.  He wasn’t what I wanted.  But, I still wanted to be what he wanted. I still wanted to know, once and for all, if he really ever wanted to be with me.

So, fast forward to yesterday, sitting in the university center which was at once so familiar and also so modernized to be unrecognizable.  His mannerisms are driving me crazy again and we’re bickering, just like we always did. I said something about how I loved that my phone chirped and he said, “God, I missed you.”  “Missed who?”, I said. My phone? “No,” he said. “You.”

Later, after dinner hearing the really terrible tale of his divorce, I hugged him and kissed him on the cheek before leaving.  I realized in that moment that I still care about him, but now, it’s the same care I would feel for a brother (if I had one).  I wanted to mother him, make sure he was doing ok and find him a nice girl. I wanted to give him words of encouragement for getting through the tough years of being a single parent and getting his business off the ground.  Most of all, I wanted to tell him it was ok, I know that he did want me, just the way that he should.

On the Chopping Block

Ah, the best of intentions.

I made myself so many promises of delayed gratification – if I could just make it through the in-between period, I could have made it to the promised land, the land where all my dreams came true. I could have been proud of myself for sticking it out, for making it through the inevitable rough patches.  I could have held my accomplishment aloft for the impressed gazing of others.

But, today, I quit. 

Obviously, I am speaking of this foolish pledge upon the auspicious celebration of my birth:

silly resolutionCan you guess which one it is?

Need a hint?

It’s not No. 27. Silly people. The quilt is almost finished and I’ve already contacted a lovely organization that will take it.

Nope, it is No. 28 – officially on the chopping block as of today.  I can’t stand it anymore, which may be inversely related to the increase in the temperature as we hurl our way out of May into hell that is June.  The thing that makes this so funny is that I knew myself when I made that pledge. I knew I would reach that point where I would want to chop it off and I made the pledge to push through. So, what changed my mind?

Two words: hair drying.  It has become a PAIN.  And, as the hair grows, so will the pain of drying it because I have uber thick tresses that require a maximum blast of hot air multiple times over to dry.  The time to get ready in the morning which is already inching upwards will continue to inch, and I will begin to resent the locks that I so lovingly dreamt about.  I will also get very annoyed when I am drying said hair in an already humid bathroom on an already humid morning and will be sweating while drying my hair when I haven’t even finished drying off from the shower.

I gave it the college try and feel no guilt about jettisoning this particular pledge.  Quitters may never win, but at least I’ll look damn good with my new short do.

Panic! At the Bunco

Monthly Bunco has been a relatively safe outlet for me. I can meet up with lots of women, enjoy girly conversation and not be worried about surprise pregnancy announcements or bulging bellies since all of the women are the parents of at least teenagers and are much more interested in discussing what the people down the street are doing (or not doing) to their lawn.  Monday night, I presented myself on the steps at the appointed hour for our monthly get together and greeted friends right and left. It was shaping up to be a typical low-key Bunco affair.

I made my way to the kitchen and commenced dishing with my neighbor down the street about something really trivial and stuffing some awesome cheese into my mouth.  I was simultaneously eyeing up the bar and debating if I wanted a red-wine hangover the next morning. 

This train of thought came to a screeching halt when something waded into my peripheral vision, that looked an awful lot like a large, swollen beachball of a belly.  It broke the waves ahead of its owner.  It had that slow movement favored by people carrying a lot of weight in the front.  Sure enough, it was a pregnant lady. At my bunco. WTF?!

If you could have taken a picture of me, the imge would be me with very wide eyes, with hand bearing cheese on cracker frozen in place on trajectory to meet open mouth that is now open for another reason.  In other words, I looked like a freaking deer in her very ample headlights.

I unfroze, ate the delicious cheese, and headed out to the other room away from this paragon of fertility.  I debated for about 20 seconds if I could excuse myself from the festivities.  But, I decided that this was a good challenge: could I stick it out, have a good time and manage to avoid her?  I was going to find out. I decided right then and there that neither this interloper nor her giant stomach were not going to run me out of my bunco night!

But, she kept following me, being introduced by the Judas of a neighbor who brought her along to meet the girls.  I developed a sudden interest in the backyard, answered the door when the doorbell rang and tried to get the hell away from her.  I got trapped in the kitchen , though, with her and some of the ladies where the first question asked of her was, “So, when you are due?!” Ugh. Preggo declares herself to be 7 months along but, “huge” – her words, not mine.   This started the ladies who had popped babies previously to chime in with their stories of being huge and ending up with twins.  Preggo dispels any notions that she is carrying two – “We only saw one heartbeat!”  Double ugh with knife stabbing. 

Not a moment too soon, it was time to go to the tables. Mental notations of where Preggo was heading were made and I went into the exact opposite direction.  I proceeded to eat too much chocolate while beginning what would turn out to be a spectacular losing streak (10 out 12). 

Losing on the fourth game at a given table means that you have to move to another table. Winners get to stay.  Needless to say, I lost the fourth game and headed to my second table where I breathed a huge sigh that Preggo was at the other table, at least for the next four games. 

Luck, that bitch, ran out on me again, and I lost the fourth game meaning I had to go to the third table where, you guessed it, she was sitting, enthroned.  This was easily one of the hardest things I have had to do in a long time.  I sat at the table and actually conversed with a very pregnant lady who I am pretty certain got that way the way most people do.  And you know what?

It wasn’t that bad.  We had a decent conversation. She made a few gratuitous preggo references, but all in all, it wasn’t terrible.  I am at that point in my infertility journey that I have a very visceral, usually negative reaction to visibly pregnant women, but sitting there with her, I was able to see her as someone I could relate to, even if she is pregnant and I am not. I was so proud of myself that I stayed there, I talked with her and was able to forget that she had what I did not.

And, I realized, walking home that night, that it hurt to be near her, but it was a self-inflicted hurt. No one else was involved.  She did not come to Bunco to flaunt her luck in my face. Even my neighbor who invited her (and knows some of our IF history) didn’t invite her to make me feel like shit.  And I felt such relief at this realization.  The power of the Preggo on me is only that which I give her.  And, I didn’t give her more than a centimeter.

I enjoyed my evening and I enjoyed meeting her.  I enjoyed deciding that my evening was not going to be ruined by her and I was going to have a good time even if she was there.  And I did.  I was a winner after all.

Some of This, Some of That

I have returned home, the prodigal blogger.  This trip, unlike the last one, was for work.  And, boy did I earn my bacon.  I also had my head scrambled by the end.  There’s nothing like being “on” at full blast for three and a half days straight to make you want to curl up and watch awful television for an extended period of time.  I’m not even sure what day of the week it is, except that, unfortunately, it is most definitely not Friday yet.


One highlight of my trip was that I visited a new city and so I can now scratch off No. 11 on my list of 33 things to do in my 33rd year.  Although, this so did not make up for having to put in my new age in the elliptical machine at the gym today.  It did not make a snide remark.  Yet. 


I am constantly amazed at the banality of people’s conversations these days.  I was forced to eavesdrop on the conversation behind me on the flight home because the lady was just so freaking loud and let me tell you, it was painful.  I think “so” has become the new “like” as the favorite crutch in conversation.  “You know” followed a close second.   I just wanted to turn around and say, it’s obvious by the awkward pauses in your conversation that neither one of you really wants to talk to the other, so why don’t you both shut up and spare me the pain of listening?


Hotel pillows are consistently as a rule of thumb too soft. 


It’s really good to be home.

Thigh Master

Ah, my peeps.  Thank you for your wonderful birthday greetings (and a special shout-out to Shelli, my fellow Groundhogger who also celebrated her birthday on this most auspicious of days). I am home, but I think I left my liver somewhere between Norway and Germany at Epcot’s World Showcase.  We had margaritas from Mexico in Norway. Japanese beer in Japan. German beer in Germany. Another Mexican margarita in Italy. It was absolutely bacchanalian. And, it was the perfect birthday celebration. I – hiccup – highly – hiccup – recommend it. 

Yeah, there were kids. Lots and lots of kids. But 90% of them were probably too young to have the stamina that is required to do Disneyworld and so were in major meltdown mode just about everytime I saw one.  A wailing child in the middle of the Haunted Mansion is an excellent cure for the infertility blues.  

And, there were some pregnant ladies. But you know what? I was actually glad that I wasn’t pregnant. I had plenty of energy to walk all over, I could go on any ride I wanted and I could knock back the liter (yes, you read that right) of beer at the Biergarten with the rest of the non-child-toting 20 and 30-somethings they sat us with at the communal tables.  In short, I was really able to enjoy myself.

And, I did everything within my power to enjoy myself. 

Well, I refused to go on Tower of Terror at Disney Hollywood. I love my man, but that love does not conquer my overwhelming fear of heights.  Luckily, I was able to use my birthday as an excuse not to be guilted into being dropped 130 feet in a randomly programmed nightmare. 

I was having such a good time, in fact, that I almost forgot that I had to start my Lupron.  But, I remembered! I also remembered that I had to give myself the injection in the abdomen.  Let me just say that Dr. Uterus never, ever required such measures. Hips – with their ample cushion of plumpness – were perfectly fine for him.  Not so for Dr. Salsa. Oh no. He has to be different.

So, that was how I found myself in the bathroom of our hotel room, listening to Mr. X howl with laughter as a sophomoric show, pinching my anemic abdomen fat and sticking myself with the Lupron needle.  And what did I get for my trouble? An immediately huge welt that itched and looking like I had swallowed one of those turkey timers.  Not a happy camper.

I called Nurse Chipper the next day and sweetly inquired as to whether this dreadful experience meant that I was allowed to return to my beloved hip injection site. No dice, but I was cleared to use the top of my thigh instead. 

I initially pouted (seriously, I pouted) that I was not getting My Way in this. But, Mr. X, sweet gentle loving man that he is, pointed out that maybe it wouldn’t be so bad because maybe there was more fat to work with on the thigh (why is this starting to sound like a description of the Thanskgiving turkey?).  I did some preliminary comparison pinching and wouldn’t you know? Plenty of deliciously cushioning fat.  For my second injection, it was strictly a thigh night and boy, was it smooth as silk. 

I am officially the thigh master.

Mrs. X, You’re Turning 33. What Now?

I’m going to Disneyworld!


Yep, the Mister and I are departing this world for the magical land of politcally incorrect rides, cotton-candy princesses and anthropomorphic animals.  I mean, really, what better way is there to inaugurate the year of 3’s than spending it in an orgy of rollercoaster-riding, Mickey-stalking-sighting, and general juvenalia? 

All of the pieces just fit into place: Mr. X had two free roundtrip tickets on Southwest thanks to all of his travel for work so we are flying for all of $10 (damn you, security fee!).  He also has a free car rental weekend, so free car for two days!  And, can I tell you what a deal we got on the hotel?  It pays to have your birthday land in the off-off season at the Most Magical Place on Earth.  It was as if Mickey was saying, “I dare you not to do this!”

I could not say no to the mouse.  I could not say no to my overwhelming glee at the idea of Mr. X and I frolicking through Epcot.  And, hell, it’s my birthday. I can do whatever I want. 

So, as you read this, I am either on the plane already or we have landed in Orlando and are making a beeline for “It’s a Small World”.  Either way, we have big plans and typing on a computer for four days is not one of them!  Au revoir !

ps: No need to thank me for putting that damn ear bug “When you wish upon a star” in your head. Your look of agony is thanks enough.

image: rdo_jeep

A Dark Night of the Stomach

Oh, dear reader. What a nightmarish 24 hours this has been.  Truly, a dark night of the stomach.

It started yesterday morning when I was feeling a little … off.  I have a weird stomach by nature – a touch of lactose intolerance and general grumblings if the food is too rich.  Breakfast should not have elicited any complaints, though. Toast, fruit and orange juice is pretty safe territory. But, I just kept feeling queasy and bloated.

By the afternoon, things were not looking good.  Bending down would bring waves of nausea and I soon realized that there was something very not right in the alimentary canal.  Stomach cramps were visiting far too often for comfort and making me generally miserable.  I signed off from work, climbed into bed and did my best impression of a mummy. I felt better in bed, but had to get up around 6pm.  I soon learned that moving around was not a good idea.

By 7, I was feeding the cats and the smell of the wet food sent me running to the bathroom for a nice rendezvous with the porcelain god.  I despise throwing up with every fiber of my being and so I try to avoid it whenever possible. It was not possible this time.

I spent the rest of the evening marooned on the couch, having been wrapped in a blanket by Mr. X, sipping Crystal Light to keep hydrated while watching Patrick Dempsey make a grand fool of himself in Made of Honor.  Silly boy should stick with playing McDreamy.  I also checked in with the porcelain god everyonce in a while, but thankfully, no more upchucking.

By 10, I was in bed, with a bucket next to me, fervently hoping that the worst was behind me (no pun intended).  I felt better this morning, and actually had a raging appetite at lunch, but now I’m feeling a little queasy again.  This bug is not completely knocked down, but I think he has finished having his way with me.

At least its CD 6 so I have at least a week to recover before prime babymaking time arrives.  Did I mention I still have a list-full of chores to do and next to no energy?

Orange is the New Green

I get ‘itches’ from time to time.  ‘Itches’ can range anywhere from the desire to try again as quickly as possible with the medical establishment to get knocked up to the desire to renovate the kitchen. Another popular itch is for retail therapy.  The retail therapy itch started to build the other morning when I despondently viewed my closet and realized that I had just two pairs of pants that a) fit me and b) looked good with boots.  I’m sure you are shaking your head at this terrible dilemma and wondering how I could possibly continue to function. I tell you it was hard, but some nice wool skirts did help.  And, then some decent weather that allowed for non-sock shoes. 

tillweAs the week drew to a close, I realized that my situation was indeed dire and that I had not visited my favorite consignment store in quite some time.   By Saturday around 1:30pm, Mr. X and I had finished our general choring and running around, and I realized that the store was open until 4pm.  It was the perfect opportunity to scratch this itch, particularly since Mr. X had  headed to his cave to play that infernal game.  I snatched up my car keys and bade him farwell.  (Actually, I told him I was leaving him for the wonders of the consignment store.  He took it pretty well, all in all). 

Fifteen minutes later I was parked in front and could see the wonderful rows of clothes just begging for me to try them on, all organized like the rainbow – just like I do at home.  Almost as soon as I arrived, I was informed that items with orange tags were 50% off and that there were a lot of them. I tend not to instinctively pick the orange tag – or whatever color it is that month – item.  But, it was a nice piece of information to tuck away once I started making decisions.

I dived in with the jackets, detoured briefly to the dresses (Diane Von Furstenburg!) before making my way to the tops (meh) and a quick perusal of the handbags.  Then, it was back against the wall for a quick peek at the jewelry and then on to the jeans and pants.  I silently cursed the European numbering system for jeans and made a guestimate at what would fit.  I hit the black pants with a vengeance and then went through the button down shirts.  Took a gander at the belts (I didn’t know it was possible to make things so hideous) and then headed to the section that I save for last: the shoes.

The shoe section had been carpet-bombed in orange tags.  I inspected all of the size 8 shoes and found four candidates to audition for a place in my coveted shoe collection.  They would join the likes of Ferragamo, Calvin Klein, Ann Taylor, Nine West, and Bandolino, to name-drop a few.

I started trying on and trying on and trying on.  I won’t bore you with the details of the clothes because frankly, it became clear pretty quickly that my destiny that day was to buy shoes.  First, three of the four fit very well.  Of the three, two had the orange tags.  And do you know what shoes those were?  Oh, my.  I still cannot believe it myself:  PRADA and COACH shoes, people.  I got both for $90 or each for 45-freaking-dollars. 

I can’t decide what I’m more excited about – how gorgeous the shoes are or what an awesome deal I got.  Truly, that is a dilemma.

image: tillwe

Arsenic and Old Mrs. X*

I’ve been seeing on a few blogs this notion of having a list of things to do with the same number of items as the person’s age.  So, the older you are, the more shit you have to do (isn’t that always the way?). 

hugovkIn an embarrassingly short amount of time (ok, February 2, but it’s less than 2 months away!), I will turn 33.  I know to many of you this still qualifies me as a baby (or worse), but take a moment to reflect back when you were in your thirties and the odometer kept creeping up.  I would bet some of the very scarce cash in the economy that you felt just a little freaked out.  If you didn’t, well, good for you. Go have a martini and leave me to my momentary ramblings.

So, back to the project thingy.  I would presumably have to do 33 things during the year that I am 33.  I’ve given some thought as to what exactly would populate this list. I know that I want the items to be attainable – so world peace is out – and quantifiable – so not worrying as much is out.  I also want them to be doable – so becoming a doctor or an astrophysicist is really out. 

But, can I really think of 33 things that meet this criteria and are meaningful?  Maybe thinking of 32 things should be my first item.  For those of you are doing it, don’t be surprised if I lurk on over to your blogs to see what your answers are. 

One item that I know will not be on the list: getting and staying pregnant.  This is not because I think this is unattainable or impossible.  It’s just that I don’t want to set myself up for failure if it doesn’t happen or put (even more) pressure on myself to have it work out.  And, I want to focus on more non-IF activities, in the event next year is as barren as this year.

Keep an eye on the pages at the top of the site to see if I decide to take the plunge. 

(* I should explain the title.  Wikipedia has thoughtfully informed me that 33 is the atomic number of Arsenic.  I find this strangely hilarious.  Further link-clicking reveals that I am currently in the year of Germanium. Good times.)  

image: hugovk