Thursday, May 30, 2013

Stork's School for Teenagers

It is Thursday.

In other news, my husband was almost attacked yesterday by a used prophylactic.

He was outside taking a smoke break (I know, I know) and noticed a used condom on the ground - someone had apparently the night before been so fiercely turned on by the outside of a techy building that they just had to get it on. (I imagine this is also the sort of person that chronically masturbates to Princess Leia in her gold bikini and jizzes in his pants at 11:59 the night before they release a new version of Call of Duty).  As Bub was walking away a sassy gust of wind came along, hurled the condom into the air, and my love narrowly escaped the world's weirdest cum shot without even the benefit of being wined and dined first.

Now, I am 6 days into a 10 day progesterone regimen.  Imagine he had not been spared from this offending baby baggie and arrived home covered in jizz, saying 'honestly babe, I was minding my own business and was attacked by a rogue condom'.  I am a trusting person, but that would give me pause.  I also happen to believe that a progesterone fueled pause leads to punching.

From a few conversations I have had the past couple of weeks - with my lovely sister in law Bubella, reminiscing about high school with a few people, talking with my perpetually 15 year old half sister, and listening to the batshit antics of a friends' younger sister - I have reached the conclusion that I need to run a school for girls. Or at least release a heavy handed pamphlet.

A few guidelines, ye ladies of 90s origin who are braving the frontlines of teendom, from someone who has gone through it and lived to tell the tale.


1.  Bad Boys
I understand the attraction to bad or otherwise just mean boys, I do.  As I have stated before my husband perpetually looks like he either wants to fuck me or kill me and I am completely turned on by the resulting confusion.  There are few parts of 'bad boy' that are fine - the look by itself is totally doable, the idea that he stands up for himself and doesn't conform is even more doable.  That's about it.

If he drives 90 mph everywhere he goes (what's sexier than my very real impending death!), makes you feel like shit, or behaves as though giving a shit about anything (including you) is conformity - run, don't walk, away.  This is not badass, this is pitiful.  In 20 years he will be prematurely balding, buying himself Taiwanese hookers on craigslist, and living with either his literal mother or some poor woman who reminds him of her.  

If that's not enough to frighten you, another angle:  A man can drive crazily and treat women like shit, or he can have a big penis.  Ne'er the two shall meet.

2.  Bad Girls
I hate to be the one to ruin an ending for anyone, but that girl that is just a rancid bitch to everyone in High School?  She'll probably still be pretty in 20 years, and she'll probably live in a great big house in exactly the same neighborhood that she lives in now, and that house will be filled with beige furniture and beige little children.  

But while we're on the subject of her probable destiny, I can also with a fair amount of certainty assure you that she'll probably hate herself, her life, have absolutely no real girlfriends to speak of (except for that one and they really hate each other), a secret meth problem, an inability to get through a day without a chardonnay IV and her children will be forced to call the prematurely balding man I previously described "Daddy".  

And you will still be weird - only difference there is that there won't be a freaking day that goes by where you don't thank gawd you are. There's no point in stressing out about trying to please or outdo her now, believe me when I say, you've already won.

3.  Older Boys
If you are 16 and you're dating a 20 year old, you may be inclined to feel slightly puffed up about this.  Good for you, snagged an older dude.  This makes you a super hot commodity!

...unfortunately this also makes this guy super fucking creepy.  Having issues understanding why?  Imagine a 16 year old guy trying to motorboat a 12 year old girl.

Even if you're not dating an older dude.. you've suddenly realized that older men are looking at you now.  You've grown some boobs and the newness of taking them out for a spin in a low cut top and feeling a breeze on your half exposed ass, I mean, the attention is intoxicating.

But for chrissakes, I beg of you, don't feed the pervs.  The grown ass men who are paying attention to you are on par with teenage boys paying attention to an elementary schooler in a bikini.  Sure, I could get myself an ego boost from flashing my boobs at a construction site (I could also feel energized from sticking my tongue in a light socket) this does not make it a good idea.

4. Pictures are Forever
I am super grateful that when I was in High School the internet was a new thing, you have my overwhelming sympathy that you are growing up in a time where half of America would probably walk straight into the mouth of a psychotic mountain lion because they were busy checking Facebook on their smartphones.

When I was in 8th grade AOL became a thing.  I had to sit down at a 40,000 lb computer and wait for 5 minutes while it dialed up to connect (dialed up to connect).  There were approximately 3 people on that thing, all of whom wanted to have cybersex with me.  Teenage girls were, are, and will always be the crack to the internet perv.

The pictures you take of yourself with your new boobs poofed out, bending over in front of the mirror making inexplicable fishlips in drag queen make up - that shit is forever.  You know that embarrassing baby picture of you that you hope nobody ever sees?  It's like if I tattooed that on your face.  When you're 30 and some potential employer or some guy you met on EHarmony is looking you up, they're going to find that picture and think "score!  Lookie here!  She was a baby prostitute - I can practically smell the baby powder!"

It. Is. Creepy.

I know what you're thinking - what's wrong with forever getting attention for my sex appeal?!  Here's what's wrong with it:  it's the wrong, creepy kind from the wrong, creepy people.  It's intoxicating to you right now because it's new - much like going on a roller coaster for the first time is intoxicating and new.  However, if you've been on said roller coaster for 20 freaking years in a row, you will probably want to get off, have a good barf and try a different fucking kind of ride.  Posting your sex pictures online is basically the equivalent of nailing your ass into the seat of a roller coaster because you like it right now.

Princess Leia is now 500 years old and you know what people bring up with her the most?  The fucking gold bikini. Which, by the way, is practically a berka by today's standards.  And that shit is from the 70s.

5. Pot Smoker vs. Pot Head
I have zero problem with pot, I live in California it's practically in vending machines.  However, as a PSA I would like to explain the very big difference between a pot smoker and a pot head.

A pot smoker is someone who occasionally smokes pot, like one occasionally has a drink or occasionally gets a pedicure.

A pot head is someone who smokes pot everyday, feels absolutely awesome about doing nothing, stares into the abyss and lives in a cat-pee smelling apartment that is entirely furnished in cardboard and old pizza boxes.  This is not cute.

All of the post-25 year old Pot heads I know are basically some version of this:

6. Sexy Sexy Sex
While we're on the subject of things some people wouldn't approve of but I'm okay with, let's talk about sex baby.  I would never in a million years tell a teenager to not have sex - if it feels like the right thing to do at the right time, do it.  (But wear a fucking condom).

I will say that that girl who is trying to uber impress you by telling you she's already slept with 10 guys and has orgasms just from wearing tight jeans is full of shit.  If you're trying to figure out how to have fantastic sex for gawds sake ask questions and try figuring it out with some humility. Porn is useless.  I repeat - if you are a girl, porn as far as an instructional manual is concerned is useless.  Aforementioned full of shit girlfriend has probably gleamed most of her knowledge from said porn, and will probably be 45 and still have no idea where her clitoris is.

So sure, have sex.  But if you're running around asking everyone you meet to bang you on the end like a stubborn ketchup bottle, knock that shit off.  It doesn't lead to hotness it leads to herpes.

7.  Joining Groups
It's completely cliche but for gawds sake be your fucking self.  There will be places that you fit in, groups that you identify with.  I'm still a hippie and a theatre nerd, but buying into any one label entirely - whether it be goth, popular girl, punk, hippie, theatre nerd, roadkill enthusiast - just to buy into a label so you have some platform to judge other people off of... It's no different than hurling on a cheerleading uniform not because you like cheerleading but because you feel like it gives you some exclusivity and the right to be a bitch.  Retain some freaking contradiction and texture, that'll be what makes you interesting.

8.  Teenagedom is a Survivable Condition
It's going to be over soon, a faint memory, I promise.  Shit that seems like a really, really big deal one day you will more than likely never remember 5 years from now.  Promise promise.

Have I missed anything?  I feel better now.

Oh - in case you aren't feeling super old just by reading this post, fun fact:  Kurt Cobain's daughter is now old enough to drink.  #MindBlown


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Infertiles in Film

Greetings, Earthlings.

Once again my uterus, apparently ever-distracted by a butterfly or a shiny object, has decided to not churn out a period (or heaven forbid an attempt to ovulate) so I am kickstarting her yet again with a 10 day progesterone boogie.

I did pretty well last year with the IVF injections, apart from two incidents.  One, I decided to 'distract' myself by watching a Pixar movie I knew nothing about,  and that movie was "Up" (it should come with a freaking warning label).  Two, I was sleeping, Bub was washing dishes and dropped a pan.  Convinced that it was clearly an act of terror, the delivery of some passive aggressive message, I awoke fully prepared to hang him for treason.  Apart from that, I was my usual storky self with a few extra bruises and the super human ability to eat an entire side of cow in under 30 seconds.

That being said, I do not do well with Progesterone.

I stare into the abyss and turn inward.  I end up listening to far more Velvet Underground than any well functioning human should. Instead of falling into my usual YouTube hole of corgi's doing extraordinary things, I end up watching sad infertility videos and "Nosferatu" on Netflix.  My 'let's look on the goofy side of life!' inner furbie gets fed a little hormone after midnight, turns into a full on red-eyed gremlin and demands 'Let's feel all the things all at once!'. No me gusta.

Plus while my weekend was glorious, I seem to have in addition to progesterone caught some sort of small bug... so my usual happy-go-lucky, eternal-Christmas, claymation self has been replaced by an evil tyrant with an abundance of chin hair.

I have a new character to introduce on my list of homies, and we'll call her 'Jazzy' (we met on our HS dance team and shared a deep seeded hatred for one of our coaches, as well as total bafflement at our other coaches choice in eye make up). We hadn't chatted in many-a-year but are facebook friends.  Several months ago she made a pregnancy announcement (she has a son who is so cute I could eat him Nosferatu style) and then shortly after unfortunately had to share that she had a miscarriage.  (Yet more proof that the shittiest things happen to wonderful people).

I went out on a limb and sent her a private message basically saying 'sorry you're in our club it fucking blows.... I am pissed on your behalf'.  We've been chatting regularly ever since and she's on my shortlist of people who, when they get pregnant, I will be genuinely stoked for.  We mostly just lament - as one does with infertiles - but she reads my blog sometimes, and every now & again I send her to a blog post or give a book suggestion... you know, under the heading of 'shit I wish someone would've shared with me'. (This is of course all a down-payment, because should my shenanigans actually result in a baby I will need someone to explain to me what one does with one of those).

Today I've been thinking about our infertile representation in film; partly because I've been thinking about the new members in our ranks, partly because I've read a few blog posts the last couple of weeks about our representation in books, and partly because progesterone apparently gives me an unstoppable need to watch sad infertile YouTube videos with the inevitable Coldplay song on in the background.

I'm a writer, so I definitely have a reading fetish - but I'm a film nerd above all things.  Nothing gives me quite the infertile nerd boner as seeing one of us represented in film.

So I thought I'd share a few of my favorite cathartic infertile movies (full of spoilers, my apologies), and see what you all have to add to the list.  These would all be for the moments where you're not trying to distract yourself (damn you, Up) but for when you're in the mood for a little emotional cutting.


I love "Away We Go".

Maya Rudolph and John Krasinski play an expecting couple who are on the hunt for the perfect place to raise their daughter.  With the clock ticking they visit a few different cities where they have friends to see if they 'fit' there.

How much do I love the scene where they have dinner with their pushy hippie friends?  Answer:  so much.  I am a dirty hippie, mind you, but as I've mentioned on here before I am a hippie that enjoys pain medication and a realistic approach to things, and has to consciously keep my bug eyes from rolling to the back of my head when I see Alicia Silverstone baby-birding her kid..  While I have absolutely no sense of what my birthplan will be, I on more than one occasion (as I'm sure you have) have been in a discussion with someone who implied that if I didn't do it their way I would be a 'less than' Mom.

Mind you, it's an indie movie following a pregnant woman who is not infertile so you are probably wondering why the fuck I am suggesting it.

First, I think it's just an interesting movie about finding your own way when it comes to how you want to raise your kids.

Second, the pole dance scene.

They visit a husband and wife they are friends with who have a house full of adopted kids. They are clearly very happy and very in love.  After they go out and have a few drinks, they go to 'pole dancing karaoke' (is this a thing??).  They lose track of where the wife is, there's a break in the dance music, and the speakers start playing "Oh, sweet nuthin'" by Velvet Underground.  (It does not help my heartbreak watching it that this is exactly one of the songs I listen to when I'm stuck in an infertility hole). The wife begins to do the saddest, slowest dance, and the husband admits that she just had her 5th miscarriage. (For the life of me I can't find just this clip, so skip to 8:15 to watch it, or watch the whole damn thing because it's good).

I've seen scenes in movies where they talk about miscarriage - inevitably girlfriend wakes up in the middle of the night bleeding, goes to hospital, cue tears.  Those get me too, don't get me wrong - but this one really got me.

I think it's that instead of having her give a monologue about how much she's hurting, she just kind of sways around for a moment in her melancholy without a whole lot left to say.  Chris Messina is just watching her, talking about the helplessness of it all, as she just does her thing.  She has all this love in her life, clearly, but in this one thing she feels alone on a stage...and the way she looks at her pregnant friend in the end just slays me.

Okay you've never heard of it.  Hunt down some 99cent VHS copy on Amazon, I'mma tellin' ya.

It is, entirely, about finding your absolute soulmate and then having to go through infertility treatments with that person.  It's heartbreaking and it's also really funny.

Gene Wilder meets Christine Lahti, they fall in love, they immediately start to try for a family.  It covers the absurdity of timed intercourse, IUIs, IVF, the strain it has on a marriage, miscarriage, briefly adoption.. all of it.  And it's actually a movie I liked long before I ever had any dealings with infertility.

Sidenote:  when I was nine I used to say "as long as I don't marry someone that looks like Gene Wilder".  Are you shitting me, 9 year old Jenny?  Who doesn't want to marry Gene Wilder??

Okay I'm not necessarily talking about the book or the movie "The Help" (even though they're both good), I'm just talking about Jessica Chastain's character Celia Foote.

For reasons that are totally ungettable to me, some people didn't like the character.  I dug her.

The jist... It's the 1960s in Mississippi.  Celia gets married, and moves into a town where she desperately wants to get in with the well-established group of lady friends who have resided their forever.  She's different, she's a little ditzy and clumsy, and for a multitude of reasons they're all pretty freaking mean to her.

Reading it and watching it I related to her the most before I even got to the infertility part - obviously not because I'm a Marilyn Monroe looking rich lady.  If I moved to Mississippi in the 60s, no matter how much I wanted girlfriends I would absolutely be the girl that stuck out like a sore thumb and didn't fit in, who said and wore the wrong things and didn't get a chance to show how kind she was.  Absolutely.

Part of the way into the movie (or book) it's revealed that Celia keeps having recurrent miscarriages.  She has them quietly, and buries her babies under a rosebush in her backyard unbeknownst to her husband.

She struck a chord for me (book and movie) because in every possible way, despite dressing and acting as the epitome of what a woman should be, she ends up feeling like a failure as a woman... From her lack of fitting in to her lack of domestic abilities to her lack of being able to carry a child to term.  She's completely embarrassed by all of it, but continually tries to handle it in a way where that doesn't come across.

So I know some people didn't particularly like Celia's character, but I loved her. For a multitude of reasons she's made to feel 'less than', and tries her best to cover it with optimism and pretty outfits.

That's it for my list-  I reserve the right to add to it later.  What am I missing?

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Aspergers: No Relation to Asparagus

Aloha, cyber vixens of uterine rage.

It is Memorial Day here in 'Murica, so you're supposed to be BBQing a wide variety of meats and hurling your post-winter body into some sort of body of water.  You know... to memorialize or some shit. (Settle down I have USAA, do the math). Seeing as how I have the body of someone who has spent the past ten winters in hybernation, and most days feeling like a sea of lard you may mistake for a mattress if it weren't for the two bug eyes at the tippity top, I will of course be celebrating with the grilled meats part and skipping the swim part.  (Though I am looking into finding old fashioned 20s swimsuits for Mr. T and I to wear, hopefully with matching floral swim caps and nose plugs,  to appease our mutual body dysmorphic disorders when they finish building the pool in our gym... until then we will have our moist fun trying to make a cyclone in his super classy above ground swimming pool).

I'mma talk about my hubba, Bubba, today.

So after hitting 'publish' on my last entry, I realized that I slipped in rather casually that he has a touch of the ole' Aspergers.  Every couple of months I truly-by-accident stumble across an article about it, a blog entry where someone is genuinely concerned that their kid is/will be autistic, or heaven forbid some shiz on vaccines. So I'm gonna throw my own cookey experience in the ring in the event someone wants to read about it in a... less frightening way.

In case you don't know, Aspergers is a 'high-functioning' form of autism (there is so much stuff on the internet about it, some great some awful, so I'll just leave you with wikipedia out of sheer laziness). The super simplified jist is that you're a very smart, very focused, kinda clumsy socially awkward person who doesn't easily pick up on social cues.

So before I get into it, a few requisite disclaimers that will hopefully help weed out any yellers.  I can only speak to my experience being married to my husband, who happens to have Aspergers... I am by absolutely no means an expert, nor can I give an opinion or try to speak to anyone else's experience, that's not the idea.  This will just be one woman's experience with one man (that sounds like the tagline on an erotica bookcover).  And yes, I'm capable of taking things seriously but outside of a funeral home I try my best not to.  ::fart noise::

I am a handful.

Much like procreating, I don't think there's any formula to dating that 'works', I think some people just luck the fuck out.  I would, however, venture a guess to say that most people's love lives before they found 'the one' is a constant editing process. I met Bub when I was young (2 weeks shy of 22), but I had been around the block a few times... I sucked at dating and had a hell of an editing process.

I initially went out with super extroverted guys who were hilarious, because I'm pretty extroverted and though I'm chubby, bug-eyed, continuously perplexed by any form of technology and can clearly not bake you a cake, I'm good for a chuckle.  So I picked people like me.  What ends up happening there is that you're so concerned with one-upping the laugh, that it turns into a neverending stand-up comedy routine.  By the end of the date you're so exhausted that nobody is in the mood to do anything else.  Every extroverted-funny man I went out with, eventually I'd have to sit him down and tell him ever-so-politely that he felt more like my brother and I'd rather be friends. Lesson learned: can have funny/funnier/more extroverted friends, not what I need in the romantic department.

Then I switched to sensitive artsy-fartsy types.  This I sucked at even worse. Right or wrong, for whatever reason, if a person pouts at me for several hours I don't have the patience to 'guess' what is wrong with you or try to psychologically analyze your reasoning behind your emotions.  I am nice and squishy and will get on board with it once I'm in the know, but I need people to tell me.  I have on more than one occasion said "tell me what's wrong or quit letting it affect me".  Reason being, I don't have any 'subtext'.  Apart from a select few friends, I have never had an experience with anyone 'reading' a facial expression of mine and getting it right, and if I'm in a room with you I like you enough to just tell you what's on my mind.  Believe me when I say, I find a way of eventually saying it.

I had, on most occasions, run screeching away from the suggestion of a relationship because I was afraid I would get bored, be responsible for the overwhelming emotions of another person, or that they would attempt to stomp around in my head invitation or no.  If I am your friend I am your friend for life, but for some reason in the romantic department I had never been hit over the head with a frying pan of devoted-love.

Enter Bub.

I've been with him for almost 10 years, and we didn't have any idea what Aspergers was until a few years ago.  Honestly if you had asked either one of us what that word meant when we first met, we probably would've thought it was some form of down syndrome.

For me, my personal experience with falling in love with and living with someone with Aspergers... I'll give you the jist.

My husband is a fucking weirdo and so am I.  His just has a name.

Thankfully the first few times I talked to him it was via email... So I had no idea what volume level I was going to deal with.  Also thankfully, I'm an extrovert and he was hot - so the first times we talked I just yammered on and on until he finally felt comfortable (or drunk) enough to chime in.

In a matter of a few weeks, I went from being someone who was basically incapable of returning a date's phone call to someone who was full on, gaga, in love and living with someone.  He quiets my mind, I make his mouth a little louder.

After a few dates with him, it was apparent that we were pretty much the same person, just different volume levels (this is, to this day, how I 'explain' us). Any given situation you give us, we will inevitably see it the same way and have the same opinion (with the exception of Amanda Knox... we are divided). The only difference is that I'm loud and he's quiet, it just happens to be such an 'obvious' difference that people upon seeing us together tend to say to themselves "what the... how the hell did that happen?"

If you meet one of us first, the other will come as a shock to you.

I realized right away, obviously, that he was a shy person.  The first year we lived together I let it frustrate me, then I embraced it.  If you sit me down in front of anyone, I will talk to them like we're girlfriends right away - I have never met anyone I can't have a conversation with.  If you want me to be nervous about you, you're going to have to seriously go out of your way to prove to me there's something to be nervous about.  Bub is the opposite - he will automatically assume there's something to be nervous about until proven otherwise.

If you were to invite me plus one to a dinner party tomorrow, by the time it was over you would assume that Jenny was going through a midlife crisis and/or was very rich, as she clearly is dating some pouty model who does not like anything or anyone.  It would take a few dinner parties for that pouty model to talk and for you to realize that we are, completely, intellectually and spiritually made for each other.  If anything he got the shit end of the stick.

I should mention here that Bub has a handful of facial expressions, basically, most of which would typically be categorized under 'grumpy'.  I have always had a wild attraction to people doing that whole brooding James Dean thing.. Half the time if Bub is looking at me I can't tell if he wants to have sex with me or murder me, and I dig that.

I should also say that despite his shy under-the-radar nature, he's never really had a problem with me being me in any social situation.  My favorite facial expression of his is one I alone can produce, always after I say something ridiculous or funny in front of someone else.  It is a face that is 25% okay-level-of embarrassment and 75% unadulterated pride.

The only time our difference-in-social abilities ever gives me pause is say, in a situation like going to the RE's.  I'm slightly conscious of the fact that it may come across that I'm some harpie shrew that won't let him talk (which believe me.. is not the case).  But ultimately, I don't give a fuck.  We make sense, and whether or not anyone would believe it, I can't get him to shut up when it's just us.

He is also freakishly smart despite his usual protest to this description.  He is a professional computer nerd, doing things I will never understand (and could frankly fall asleep just thinking about).  He gets super duper hyper focused on things.  On a regular basis, he's gone into our backyard to work on his computer and I've had to come out six hours later and say "hey.. so.. have you noticed that the sun has gone down and you're covered in mosquitos?"

Now, if I was another person I may have noticed that he had Aspergers.  But, as we are as a couple, it makes no difference to me 99% of the time that he can't read social cues because I have no interest in giving them. I'm sure in previous relationships he's gotten in trouble for not being able to read facial expressions and implications, just as I've gotten in trouble for refusing to give 'cues' and just telling people what's going on like a robot.  An example of our general wheelings and dealings - if we had some big RE appointment tomorrow I would tell him 'hey, I'm probably going to be a little upset about it after so maybe hug me, be nice, and let's watch a movie or something' instead of just going, coming home, and sticking my lip out expecting him to blindly figure out how to get it to pop back in.

So up until a few years ago, we had no idea his particular brand of weirdness had a name. He was weird, I was weird, we both dug weird, off into the sunset we go.

Somehow, I don't remember how, he started reading about Aspergers and said to me "I totally have Aspergers".  To which I said "No you don't, you're just weirdly hyper focused on something.  Stop it". (The irony of this statement is not lost on me).

Eventually, to shut him up I got online and read up on it.  And.... it was like if I didn't realize my husband was black, and had found an article that appropriately described to me "Oh - you'll know because his skin will be dark".

It was all him.  All of it.  Lack of eye contact, freakishly smart, hyper focused, socially awkward, a hyper sensitivity to certain textures/sounds... And then once I got into the minutiae of it, it was so much like I had written it it was almost funny. (Not funny ha-ha, funny 'omg YES').

An example of minutiae, I read something written by a woman who was married to someone with Aspergers.  One of the things she mentioned was that her husband rarely, if ever, used her name.

I am in no way exaggerating - Bub uses my first name maybe 3 times a year.  It's turned into one of our ongoing jokes.  My favorite example - he was once in the shower, and I was across the house.  He was out of body wash and the newly purchased bottle was in our kitchen.  So how does he get my attention to bring it to him?  He just shouts "Heyyy.... HEYYYYYYY!" until I came into the bathroom (dissolving into giggles and telling him he's lucky the gardener wasn't out back).

He doesn't have as 'severe' a case of it as some people do.  He went through his life just 'shy' and a little fucking weird.  It was a strange, cathartic experience when we learned he had it reading about people who also had it.  We now have a name for it, a little helpful advice about it, and I'm almost jealous that I can't type in "bug eyed, funny, no-filter and no domestic abilities" into some database and have a name for myself.

When most people hear 'aspergers' they either hear 'asparagus', Temple Grandin, or some kind of violent grunting.  (PS - other famous people that have it/it's speculated had it:  Dan Akroyd, Einstein, Lincoln, Nietzche, Dickinson, Marilyn Monroe, Beethoven, Thomas Jefferson.. the list goes on and on).  Most unfortunately he does not communicate like Tarzan and when he thinks electronic looking graphs do not appear next to his head (I double checked with him to make sure he couldn't do this yesterday... damnit).

We both have chosen a partner who is a little weird.  Yesterday I was laying on him, and told him if I die first I want him to leave instructions that when he dies they are to dig me up and hurl him on top of me... Believe me when I say, whatever diagnosed weirdness he has, I match it in my own way.

I've been in the Bub-whispering business long before he had any kind of diagnosis.  I know if we have some kind of emotional confrontation (which is rare, but it happens) to leave him alone for awhile because an immediate heartfelt response is not his thing.  I know that he inhales about 30 seconds before he's going to say something.  I know that he's great in bed and makes me laugh and that certainly outweighs that he's never going to be a chatty cathy at a party.  I know that he's not comfortable in situations but is freakishly good at making me feel comfy in the situations I'm uncomfortable in (which usually tend to be private and emotional). I know that I have to be/and am privileged to be his safe place.  I know that sometimes there's just going to be a thin line between Aspergers and Asshole.

I also know that I was not built for someone 'uncomplicated' or particularly emotional.  I know that I have to find words for what I'm feeling because I can't stand giving or getting 'cues'.  I know that I am a chatty cathy in most social situations.  I know that I can be Queen Asshole, Ruler of All Asshole People.  I'm freakishly good at making people comfortable, and the strength I need from my husband doesn't have anything to do with social situations.  He pushes me to find words for my feelings, which is the only time I've ever felt compelled to do so with a person.  And I know that I love being the Bub Whisperer, and likewise, he's a pretty good Jenny Whisperer.

My husband is fucking weird.  So am I.  Who isn't?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Fears of an Insane Person

You there, Lurker.

Yes you.

I fully support you hiding in the bushes with vaseline and a pair of binoculars. I do.  I dig weird.  But I'm really nice, I promise.  If you're going to be in my bush reading about my bush consider this just me coming out and making sure you're not in need of lemonade or a cookie.

As they say in Beetlejuice - Are you gross in there? Is it all night of the living dead in there? Are you covered in blood and puss?

Or do you, like me, have issues with the functioning of your puss?

REVEAL YOURSELVES.  Let's be friends.

And then you can go scurrying back into the bush from whence you came without a peep from me... for awhile.  I am hella friendly, ya'll.  I can sense you out in the ether.

Let's get full on apeshit out of our minds coocoo for a second and consider that it is possible, possible, that I could be pregnant three months from now.  Possible.  For a moment let's throw out all that blaspheming hopelessness I was feeling on Monday and consider that a possibility.

(Source: Brilliant fucking post you should all read).

First let me say, I will obviously be stoked beyond belief.  (And you should still come hang out with me in the interspace, even ye who lurk, because let's face it more so than a blog about infertility this has been, and will continue to be, mostly the unrelated ramblings of an insane person).  If pregnancy means that I will grow a 40 lb hunchback, start shitting out of my fingertips and grow a full on billy goat beard, I will be stoked about it beyond belief.  Beyond belief.  Not one whine out of me once I hit that 3 month mark.

That being said, I would like to share some of my more ridiculous fears about parenting/pregnancy because again, this blog is mostly the ramblings of a madwoman and if I don't ramble to you... who then?  Innocents on the street?

1. I am not afraid of having an autistic child or the like (Bub has a touch of the ole' aspergers - no relation to asparagus in case you were wondering).  What I am worried about is that I will somehow raise... oh gawd.. an asshole.  

Do not misinterpret - I will love that asshole.  But what if, despite my best efforts, he never tips waitresses, takes 40 items into the express line at the grocery store, and when he's done with a coffee just chucks his freaking cup out of his car window because he believes the apocalypse is imminent anyhow?  What if Bub's brains and my dancing bear charm converge into some supervillain asshole that aspires to marry very old rich women and upon moving in 'forgets' to install the no-slip appliques on the shower floor?

2.  Equally important: Bub's hair grows straight up like a pineapple, and if left up to nature alone, my hair is a giant, curly afro. (Fuck, even after straightening it if someone exhales within a mile of me in a moist enough fashion, my hair will widen to ten times the size of my head).  What if these two things combine and we create a son that looks like the lost member of Kid'n'Play?  Or worse - what if we create a daughter that looks like the lost member of Kid'n'Play?

3.  I have a high pain tolerance, I do.  I have had kidney stones, I have had cysts, I have broken things.  Ask anyone who knows me - much like Gloria from Modern Family if I dislocate my shoulder I will pop it back in myself and continue on with my day.  I, however, am so afraid of natural labor.  And please oh please, do not point me in the direction of a video where a woman in dreads makes sexual noises and releases her child into her home-assembled hot tub.  That just makes me more afraid. I will not be swayed by Ricky Lake's nipples. I pretty much feel like a lone wolf, here, in that I would like to be numb from the ears down.  I can't even fathom Bub being in the room with me as I barely want to be in the room with me.  My feelings on the subject are best expressed by Amy Poehler a-la-baby mama:

But what if that's wrong?  What if as a result of not chewing through my own cord and making everyone homemade placenta shampoo, my kid grows up to own a motel, wear my clothes, stuff my corpse in a corner and continue to have very aggressive conversations with me despite my death?

4. This is completely ridiculous, yes... But I am 7,000 lbs as it is.  What if after pregnancy, I am permanently 14,000 lbs and have to go the rest of my life looking like an eastern European woman who should clearly be professionally competing in the shotpot?

5. I am a person who has vomited maybe 5 times in her entire life (this includes my stint as a baby).  My earliest childhood memory is of going down my plastic slide, vomiting, and then being so frightened by the vomit that I ran to my Mother and made her come explain to me what it is.  I have absolutely no idea what it feels like to vomit.  What if, as a newly pregnant person with no previous experience in sensing an oncoming barf, without warning I just find myself opening my mouth and vomiting all over myself at inopportune times? I open my mouth to order at Chipotle, I vomit.  I open my mouth to thank someone for opening a door, I vomit.  I go on stage to accept an Oscar when they finally recognize stupidity as a category, I vomit. Can you appreciate that I will never be able to go to a restaurant ever?

6.  My house... My house.  I bought a nice house next to an awesome elementary school.  Had it not been for the previous owners decorative choices, we would never have been able to afford a house of this size in this neighborhood.

In short, the 70s were a very important decade to the previous owners.  Carpeted floors, wood on the walls, wallpaper that was made from a clowns nightmare.  We've been here three years and even though we've done a lot, holy gawd is there a lot to do.  I have a room - an entire room I shit you not - that is just boxes of my husbands' inexplicable cords.  If tomorrow the apocalypse comes we won't have any food or water but we will be able to plug in all things everywhere and still have plenty leftover to hang ourselves with (I swear to Christ those cords breed when I'm not looking.. The room looks like a very special techy episode of Hoarders). When/if the time comes, this cord room will become the nursery.

I am not known for my deep interest in manual labor or my incredible coordination in all things domestic.  And holy gawd there's another fear - no fucking way is my kid going to have neat hair (obviously), the best cookies at the bake sale or a wonderfully colorful chore chart.  Will you take a look at the cake I tried to bake Bub for his birthday?!?!?  I am clearly headed for my own cooking show.

But sweet baby Jesus, the house... I am going to go batshit insane trying to get it together in just a few months - gawd help everyone if I go through a typical nesting phase.  I at least love my husband enough to admit that nesting for me is going to be mostly supervisory - me sitting in a chair, looking menacing in my 14,000 lb shotpot body and commanding everyone around me to do things.

I fear everyday when Bub comes home from work he's going to open the door and be greeted by me and Mr. T, like so:

Frankly it's miracle enough he's not greeted like that now and my ute is empty minus a couple of cysts.

Oh gawd.

It's normal, right?  Normal?

Mind you if all of the above is true, I promise promise promise I will still be the happiest shot-potting Catherine O'Hara/Mrs. Bates hybrid the world has ever seen.

I just figure that if (yay hope!) I actually do get pregnant, it's best to get these fears out of the way now... Right?

Love me still.  Please.  I'll bake you one of my pretty cakes.

Monday, May 20, 2013


It is yet another Monday.

For some reason the Jenny of yesterday hated the Jenny of today, and came up with the brilliant idea that Mr. T and I should do a very intense dance class and immediately follow that up with a yoga class.  So I spent the better part of my day sweating, mumbling "this bitch is crazy" to Mr. T, and fully committing myself to the belief that exercise isn't worth it without at least the potential of an orgasm.  Yoga is new age for 'try to get your head up your own ass by any means necessary' in case you were wondering.

It's exactly what I needed and I'm totes gonna do it again Wednesday.  (Last night may or may not have ended with me finishing the Amanda Knox memoir, and hurling it across the room shouting "I just don't know!!" Jenny needed to unwind.)

Right now all I'd have to do is look at you and all your chis would be aligned or vibrate or whatever they're supposed to do.  I am wildly powerful. Trying to stick your head up your own ass ironically makes you feel like you've unstuck your head from up your ass.

Towards the end of class as we were breathing, the teacher talked about how strengthening your spirit is just as important as strengthening your body if not more so, and that spiritual potency comes with age and practice.  It was on topic with some things that have been going on in my mind, lately.  Some dark things.

Now, if you're religious or are sensitive in the G-O-D department, you can skip this post, I won't be offended.  I have a feeling to some it may seem like I'm about to get all blasphemous up in here. Let's end it on a high note before I start vomiting out my slightly dark thought process.  I give you a Panda seeking spiritual enlightenment through yoga, see you in a couple of days.


We good?

As I have admitted on here before, I am an agnostic heathen without an interest in religion... okay well that's not entirely true, I'm fascinated by religion.  Religion is just not going to be something that's apart of my own personal spiritual life.

I don't want to generalize anybody here, I have obviously met religious people who are open-minded and wonderful, and completely blow my mind.  From my own personal experience with religious people, however, the awesome ones are the minority.  That's not to say that the rest are bad or anything.. it's just usually even if they get you in with kindness, at some point whether it be loudly or with a whisper and a wink, they basically say 'oh, but we're better than this group of people over here... those people are sick'. No me gusta.

I have, on more than one occasion, had to explain to a person selling religion at my front door that after this life, as is true with any after party, I'm following the gays.  Better cocktails, better music, exquisitely decorated and usually free of judgmental assholes.  (I like my judgment catty and fun, not discriminatory).

When I went looking for my birthfather in my teenage years, I found that he had found Jesus in prison and was super religious.  We're talking women can't wear pants or cut their hair, speaking in tongues, tap dancing and snake juice religious.  Naturally he took one look at me and pretty much assumed I was the devil incarnate.  (I'm happy to report that he has mellowed out since then).

So for me, agnostic means I believe in something, I just don't presume to know the details.

When someone says to me "I know there is a G-d", I think... awesome, I wish I had that kind of confidence, I'm strangely comforted that some people do.

When someone says to me "I know there is a G-d... but he has these tiny rules, see.  He loves you, but if you cut your hair too short, get a tattoo, kiss someone of the same sex, step on a crack in the sidewalk or eat the wrong kind of cheese on a Tuesday He's gonna have to damn you to hell", I think... wait, you talked to Him/Her/It?  Directly?  Is He speaking to you now?  Should I call someone? And what's the point of that love bit if we all know that as a human being I'm clearly going to fuck up a bunch of those tiny rules...

And if you ask the latter type of person why they believe these things, they usually point to some form of very old book.  And I can't help but think (pardon me for saying these things 'out loud') if the only book to survive 1,000 years from now is Twas the Night Before Christmas, I would hate to think that people are running around thinking that they must sleep in kerchiefs and have window sashes.

I like to believe in something, some universal force.  Mother nature, collective consciousness, old man on cloud, I don't presume to know.

I tend to think of it more as mother nature/universal force, but for clarity's sake let's call it G-d.  I believe in G-d.  What I don't believe in for a second is man's ability to interpret Him.

That being said, in regards to infertility I'm really having issues even attempting to interpret G-d/Mother Nature/The Universe. We're having a little bit of a tiff, me and It.

 (Source. Love.)

I've picked up a few things from different religions that I like or make sense to me.  My best friend in elementary school took me to synagogue with her sometimes, and I adopted the idea that you shouldn't write out G-O-D on something if you ever plan on throwing it away.  My family is Roman Catholic-ish, and I take a St. Christopher with me when I travel.  My college sweetheart was a liberal Muslim, and I learned from him that fasting can sometimes lead to clarity (mostly fainting, but sometimes clarity).  I've had an inexplicable connection to St. Michael my whole life - he pops up everywhere - I love the idea that an Angel can also be a badass who is kind of warlike. I like a lot of Buddhist teachings, and reincarnation is one of those things I could see as being True.

I also used to be one of those obnoxious people that thought 'everything happens for a reason'.  I'd say a little prayer in my head every night, thanking the universe for all the great things it's given me, and reasoning that It (whatever It is) has never let me down unless It really, really had to.  I even held onto that belief when my Dad died which was a really, really hard thing to do.

And now that's all kind of dead inside of me, it just seems like unbelievably naive optimism. Now I'm mostly feeling superstitious and pissed.

Superstitious because I have lost all feeling in terms of hope and faith in things, and am mostly just in fear that if I don't have that I will be struck down with even more issues.

People tell me to believe, to have hope.  I did that, I did.. and somedays I still do.  But often times I find myself just exhausted.  I'm waving the good ole hope flag mostly because I'm afraid if I don't that I'll be even more screwed.  But I am fucking hope in a perfunctory, don't-want-to-hurt-her-feelings fashion.  The passion has gone.

I understand there are people who have it way worse than I do in the family-creating department, I do I do I do, and I know I'm being a whiner here... but if the lesson I'm supposed to be learning here is that building a family doesn't always happen easily, that it takes a long time, is sometimes a curved path?  Sweet baby Jesus, I GET IT.

I'm adopted.  I've had the experience of looking up birthparents, one was great one was awful.  My Dad died when I was 21 and it crushed me.  I've had every possible response to a sibling a person can have.  I've been trying to have a baby for 4 years, I've done fertility drugs, IVF, had an early miscarriage.  As far as touring the 'non-traditional' family side of life, I know I haven't had as thorough a tour as some, but damnit it's been thorough.

And even though I'm still nervous that even thinking these things (much less writing them) is going to result in me being struck down by lightning, I don't really feel like I'm learning anything new, at this point, from not having children.

Meeting new people, seeing new perspectives, learning about the comradery that happens with shared tragedy, yes.  Still learning.  The actual human experience of not being able to have a family?  I'm maxed out.

If there's supposed to be some lesson here, it's been done.  It's as if the Universe has asked me to listen to "Thriller" 9,000 times in a row.  The first 1,000 I was intrigued, the 2nd thousand I still managed to find new things about it... Now that I'm hitting 10,000 I'm no longer finding anything new, I understand each component of it and the collective whole of it as best as I'm ever going to. The song is stuck in my head, I'm ready to move on, now I'm just being Thriller-raped.

And if this whole experience is supposed to strengthen my relationship with Hope, well.. No.  I had her, she died, I revived her.  I had her, she died, I revived her.  Each time I revived her she came back looking more haggard and less of herself as she was before, and now she's just a vegetable.  I keep waiting for her to twitch a finger, blink, give me some sign that I'm holding on for a reason and I find it incredibly hard to believe in her without some reassurance.  Don't get me wrong, sometimes I can find the little finger twitch in my vegetable-like Hope (I happened to be seeing possibly the only Doctor who knew about our protein deficiency!  That counts for something, right?).  Hope is my own personal Terry Schiavo.  I don't want to be the dick to pull the plug but at what point are you the dick for not letting go?

By letting go I don't mean giving up on having a family. I am, after all, just a few months away from sci-fi IVF 2.0.  There is a chance that we will have normal fertilization this time around, and there's even a chance that I'll end up pregnant.  Some days I feel hopeful about that and some days I don't.  I'm mostly trying to stay as realistic about it as possible - no hopes up, but no doom & gloom, either.

By letting go I mean letting go of the idea that I have to feel good about it all the time, that optimism equals reward.  Letting go of the idea that if on some days, like today, if I can't muster the tiniest bit of a hope-boner for my future that I'm somehow going to be struck down.  Letting go of the idea that the people who don't get a happy ending are the ones that didn't believe in it strongly enough.

We all know that there are women with unboundless optimism who don't end up having babies, and women who are totally pessimistic and/or asshats who end up having a bakers dozen.

There's just no rhyme or reason to it.  All hope might do is maybe make the situation a little more livable, but it doesn't change the outcome.  So why do I feel guilty when I'm not feeling it, or like some unseen diety is going to say "yup, that's the test - you had to have it everyday for four years.  I'm sorry to say you failed, no baby for you".

I am hope-impotent.  Sometimes I can get it up and functioning, but there's no longer a logical reason for when and/or if that happens, and I'm gonna need some Hope Viagra.  Mostly I'm just sick of feeling guilty about said impotence.

I like to think that sometimes.. at least in movies, the girl with blind hope ends up being disappointed and the girl that has lost hope ends up being surprised.  Right? Hope makes the situation livable but it's not necessarily the cure 100% of the time.  There's no law that says the Universe rewards you for constantly having blind optimism about things.Where does this guilt even come from, the guilt that if I don't believe strong enough all the time I'm going to be struck down?

I'm agnostic!  Yet somehow, when the thought creeps into my mind "this is a bunch of horseshit, there's no reason in the world for this" I'm still afraid I'm going to be cursed because of it.

The only thing that I do confidently believe is that if there is a Higher Being, He/She/It is not a thought nazi that is going to punish me everytime a little bit of sadness, humanity or crisis of hope/faith sneaks in.  If there is a Higher Being that temporarily puts you in tough positions, I'm confident it's not with the expectation that you handle it perfectly all the time.  It's about enduring, not perfection, and I'm enduring as best as I can.

I feel dirty and awful when I'm feeling hopeless, doubtful, tired.  I feel stupid and naive when I'm feeling full of hope and optimism.  Damned if I do, damned if I don't.

Of course I'd probably feel better if I felt confident in my happy ending all the time.  I will continue to feel that way as much as possible.  But it doesn't help me to, when I'm not feeling it, throw a giant heap of guilt on top of it.

So I'll be brave, ladies.  I'll say it.  Sometimes I just can't get it up.  Sometimes I am so exhausted that all the tinkerbell-clapping and how-to sex guides in the world aren't going to get it up.

All I can keep reminding myself is that I am very lucky, in a lot of areas, and that it's okay to have days where I feel hopeless just like there are days where I'm full of hope.  I'm lucky that I have a marriage where I can easily say to Bub without flinching "I pick you over kids, hands down", and it doesn't take away from that if I'm sometimes bitter to be in the position to have to say that in the first place.

Somedays I'm stoked and excited about all this, convinced it's going to work.  Others I just feel shitty to be in this position in the first place. I think that's okay, and I suppose I have to work on whatever stupid guilt I feel about not feeling roses and sunshine all the time... Like there's some very judgmental man on a cloud from the stone ages docking me every time I'm not full of optimistic glitter and sparkle.

I think that's enough blaspheming for the day.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

On Keeping a Gay Husband

Happy Thursday, interwebs of the internally challenged.

My week has been like a Baz Luhrmann movie full of color and general shenanigans, which is precisely what I needed to follow last weekend.  Sunday made me a wee bit sad as I already admitted, and so this week my gay husband and I have been on a mission to cheer up.

(For new people:  Bub is actual husband, Mr. T is the best friend, aka gay husband).

As you may or may not know I spend most of my week sitting in my pajamas, which inevitably include tank tops with holes around the nipples, and writing.  When I am not doing this, the gay-husband Mr. T and I like to play Real Housewives of Los Angeles or on a particularly sassy day as was Tuesday, Real Housewives of Disneyland.

We are like twins who have developed our own shorthand language.  If we spend more than an hour together, we always end up convulsing into inexplicable fits of hysterical laughter over nothing.  I do not recommend spending more than an hour with us.

When you take our little freakshow to Disneyland, we are so much worse.  Sometimes we don't even make it to the actual park before someone is convulsing and threatening to pee on something.  Case and point, Mr. T was in the backseat on the way there on Tuesday, and he was complaining about the arctic level of air conditioning that I enjoy.  Half hour outside of the park we had already started laughing.  Mr. T prepared to text Bub to let him know that he would be peeing in the backseat of our new car, but no need to fret, because of the temperature it would just be a frozen pee cube.

At some point in the day, we always end up talking to each other exclusively in our LA voice - it's like if a gay man and a snotty valley girl taught a child to talk, and that childs tongue had been stung by bees...Also if that child demanded at every restaurant to know if their kale was organic, demanded to know how many calories she would be consuming if she rode Pirates of the Caribbean, demanded to know if the fat ghosts on Haunted Mansion had ever tried the cayenne pepper cleanse, demanded to know if tourists from the midwest lived in any proximity to the middle east.

We also decided that the day called for me to have many hairdo changes.  Throughout the day I had braids, a side pony, pigtails, and a Mormon updo (which led to me asking the attendant on haunted mansion if she was confident the ghosts had all accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior).

Suffice it to say, we usually go alone.

On Tuesday my closest local lady friend Ms. Kali braved it, bless her heart. I do not believe she knew what she was getting into. At first she was adult supervision, and then she threw her hands in the air and decided to join the circus.  (She even got herself a circus themed pair of ears).

Still on our cheer-up mission, today Mr. T and I went to see The Great Gatsby. We both psychotically love Baz Luhrmann with a disconcerting ferocity.  (He's the Director of the to die for Leo version of Romeo + Juliet, and though I usually disapprove of movie musicals on principal, the amazing Moulin Rouge!).

I will try not to ruin this for anybody (but seriously guys?  Didn't even read it in High School?) so I'll give you the jist.  Leo is in a love triangle with Carey Mulligan and another actor (where Carey Mulligan is the desired object...) Tobey Maguire is the cousin of Carey's and friend to both men, and the narrator.

Now, I never understood lusting after the Leo of the Titanic era, but the R&J Leo, yes ma'am.  I'll take two.  To this day when I watch that movie I am capable of muting my usually cynical heart ( why don't they just run away?), wholeheartedly investing myself in their love for one another and wanting to bathe my fully naked body in Hawaiian shirts, spurs, and Leo's floppy bangs.  Leo's gayness has never stopped me before from believing him as a straight man.

Oh, I believe Leo is gay. Right?  I mean... he's gay. I'll give you a moment if you would like to adjust to the shock of it and come back.


So since Mr. T had already seen Gatsby prior to today and had already expressed to me that there was no way to walk out of the movie without thinking that Leo & Tobey have at one point or another slept together. I remained skeptical.

The movie was great, it was great.  But as per usual Mr. T is right, and watching Tobey and Leo make faces at each other is a bit like watching Ms. Jolie and Mr. Pitt in "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" when they were allegedly totes platonic.

The irony being that I think if Leo were just out and gay, he could play straight without any squinting or head tilting from anyone...but he is now lining his closet with the red-faced alcohol bloat of a never-ending shame spiral, and the apparent insistence for an uneven snookie like orange splotch of bronzer on his chin.  Cue head tilting.

Now that I'm home and plucking 40 lbs of popcorn out of my bra, I am developing a deep respect for Carey Mulligan's acting chops. She is essentially having to play not only the lone taco, but the deeply desired taco in a sea of bratwurst lovers at Oktoberfest. Give that girl an Oscar.

I wanted to reach into the screen and tell Daisy (her character) 'dude.. You can totally have two husbands with far less drama if you just make sure that your gay husband knows he's gay, okay?  I'm here in the dark with my gay husband and no one's going to get butt hurt over it'.

I say this because, as evidenced in my every day life and particularly this week, having a spare gay-husband is absolutely invaluable.  And he doesn't get me into sticky situations, he unsticks me from myself.

(Yes that actually happened at Disneyland, and after he satiated his catty bitch and took a picture, Mr. T, in fact, unstuck me).

This week I read the amazing post on depression that I'm sure you've all seen.  The author illustrates how she spent a year in a deep depression, and what started to snap her out of it wasn't her many concerned loved ones or even her own desire to.  She was one day crying on the floor of her kitchen (as you do) and happened to notice a single piece of shriveled corn stuck under her fridge.  Something about the sheer absurdity of that threw her into a hysterical laughing fit for the first time in a year and she started to come to.

Bub is my soulmate, my partner, my one true love, my lover, my world.  Mr. T is my friend-mate, my long lost twin, my shriveled piece of corn.

We both have our husbands and obviously a way different kind of love for them then we do for each other, but I'm his spare husband and he is mine.  I would die if I didn't have Bub, I would cease to see vivid Luhrmannesque colors if I didn't have Mr. T.

If I were to create a gift basket to all new infertiles full of shit that they would need, it would be full of pee sticks, instructions on how to block people on Facebook, some tequila and their very own Mr. T.

You absolutely need your husband or wife on this road (unless you don't in which case may I say, you're a badass) to go through it with you, but I really wish everyone had someone on the outside of the situation to gripe about it with you.

With Bub, right or wrong, I don't always tell him when something tiny upsets me about the uppity world of fertiles, because frankly I don't want to bring him down with me if I don't have to.  Mr. T is on the outside.

If I get sonogram snipered, he can tell me that that girl sucks balls and always has.

If at Disneyland I fantasize about renting an empty stroller just so that I can hit the back of fertiles heels to see how they like it, he doesn't see anything wrong with this plan and may even encourage it.

He can remind me that the Moms we see on Facebook are mostly completely fucking miserable.  Maybe they even have a secret meth problem.

He can correct me with certainty when my 'whens' become 'ifs'.

He can put my hair in a mormon updo because some days require a lot of hairdos.

It's an embarrassment of riches, having my two husbands.  One that makes it hard to feel too sorry for myself, even just a few days after Mother's Day.  I'm lucky.  I have a team to unstick me when I've stuck myself to the kitchen floor.

So my suggestion to Carey Mulligan's Daisy is for gawds sake, if you're going to have a spare husband make sure he's gay and he knows it.  Far less drama.  You might not get a movie out of it but you'd certainly get a good time at Disney.

Monday, May 13, 2013

May The Miscarriage Be With You

It.  Is.  Monday.

I can sense that everyone's weekend was full of glitter and unicorn farts, a weekend of riding a rainbow that shits chocolate and moonbeams. My Facebook/Fertilebook (why am I on this thing?  And why am I not friends with every single one of you on there?  I need some infertile homies) was just full to the brim with "your life just doesn't have meaning until you've pushed something out of your body" quotes.  I comfort myself a little thinking that maybe the occasional kidney stone/episode of diarrhea qualifies me some meaning.

Now before I go on to depress you horribly all the way from my 10,000 degree backyard in Los Angeles (it's like trying to write something meaningful wearing trash bags in an oven in Hades) one brief glimmer of awesomeness from my Saturday.

I met two blogging infertiles, live and in person, and forced them in addition to their own plates to split a 90 gajillion calorie red velvet pancake with me.  (I just admitted I write from Hades, what do you want from me?  If the price on it was $5 or your soul to spend eternity in this kind of heat, the thing still has to be eaten otherwise gravity will reverse itself).

I met this gorgeous piece of ass, JenS.  She is a few months pregnant with twins.  She claims to be a few months pregnant with twins but is clearly about two years pregnant with a small litter (and still tinier everywhere else on her body than I am.... You can begin to see why I had to push for the red velvet pancake, yes?).  She is adorable and lovely and is deluding herself into believing that there are only two in there.  Either her Doctor has been lying to her or my gift of impregnating people immediately upped the ante upon her entering my gravitational pull, but there's a third one if not a seventh one in there, I'mma tellin' ya.  How do I know this?  I poked the bump.  I poked it fast and hard because that's how I roll.

I also met this delightful little strumpet, Kharini.  Girlfriend is like a tiny mysteriously international pixie of your very own, my personal infertile Penelope Cruz.  She is approximately twenty pounds of giggles and upon meeting her you spend about 75% of your time loving her and 25% of your time wondering if you should be drinking her blood a-la-Charlize-Theron as snow white's evil stepmother to maybe get some of her youth and sparkle.  It should also be said that I am very susceptible to accents.  Had she told me, with her accent, to jump off a bridge and into a gulley I would be writing to you drenched in cool water instead of my own sweat.  Five seconds of any form of accent apart from mine and my bug eyes are hypnotized to the point of stupidity.

Seeing as how Father's day has been a shitfest for me for the last ten years (dead Dad, dead Father-in-law) I have previously gotten off Mother's day injury free.  I, of course, have understood for years why it's a shitfest for most infertiles, but every year have somehow surprised myself in my numbness.  I evidently patted myself on the back for this too soon.

Yesterday I was once again doing fine, and then through a series of totally normal statements made when I went behind the orange curtain yesterday to make my lovely mother and sassy grandmother dinner, I started to feel it.

The statements - we were talking about how much money Bub and I spend on coffee.  (We go to Starbucks everyday - the $$ is horrendous for sure). We were joking around and my sister quite innocently said "with that money it's either coffee or a baby!"

If you have met a Mexican from orange county, CA, I am related to them.  My family is huge.  My Grandma has a hallway with each of her grandchildren's graduation photos.  She was talking about how in front of those photos, she was going to put pictures of their babies.  (So my photo will have... dogs?  A cat?  Kidney stones?)

Perfectly innocent, harmless no-foul statements that ended up digging into me like tiny little daggers.

By the time Bub and I got in the car to go home, I turned to him and was like "man, I feel like shit a little bit".

Now - the downside to being a never-ending dancing bear (which I enjoy being, it's my charm) and occasionally being viewed as freakishly strong because of it, is that when you do have a meltdown of any kind for the most part it's such a jarring experience for witnesses that they have absolutely no idea what to do. It would be like if I got in the car, turned to Bub, opened my mouth and a leprechaun popped out. It's mostly just disconcerting.

90 minutes later we're home, his silence has flustered me, I get in the shower and have a good cry.  (This is maybe a twice a year event). I pull my shit together because that's what I do best (healthy or not be damned, apparently).

Now I have been running from this day and making jokes for a solid 4 years in a row and it has worked.  So I started trying to figure out why this year I crumbled... It's the first Mother's Day since I had my early miscarriage.  In some parallel universe that's absolutely irrelevant (because it doesn't exist), but nonetheless bothersome to me I would have a two month old and this would've been the first time the day didn't exist just to celebrate my Mom.

Bub would have inevitably forgotten about the day until Saturday, and ran out to get some leftover sad flowers on Sunday morning.  Maybe I would've talked him into making bacon and tomato pasta (even worse for you and more delicious than a red velvet pancake).  We would've gotten snippy with each other not over harmless comments but over strapping a kid into the back of our Batmobile for an hour and a half.  I'd feel self conscious because I'd still have baby weight on, but I would've been prepared for a photo because I would've wanted a picture of four generations.

It just woulda shoulda coulda been a different day... but it wasn't. And I know with 100% certainty that in theory it's absolutely pointless to even let those kind of thoughts in my head because parallel universes are irrelevant.  If we want to go playing that game, in a parallel universe I could be a billionaire who weighs 80 lbs and shits diamonds.  No sense in crying over that not being true.

I think it was also, in part, because the last few weeks I've been seeing miscarriages referenced everywhere.

Maybe you'll agree with me here, I just think it's funny that prior to finding myself umbrellaless in an infertility shitstorm, I could've maybe referenced one movie or tv show where there was any infertility.  Now I notice them all over the place.

I love Frida Kahlo (anyone who has those eyebrows and says "fuck it, this is me" and bags Josephine Baker is a hero in my book).  I love all of her art and her whole style.  A couple of weeks ago I had dreams about Mexico City (where I once lived) and the next evening I decided to re-watch "Frida" for the first time in many years.

I had seen the movie several times before, I have seen this painting a million times before... just not since dealing with infertility.


Somehow, despite having loved her for so long and having read about her years ago not to mention seeing this movie a dozen times, that part of her life didn't get filed in the "keep this" part of my brain. Suffice it to say this time it struck me.

Naturally this time after seeing it, I tried to find information on that part of her life and came up with this. Read it, I'm telling you.

When she was going through infertility, she wrote beautiful and frank letters back and forth with her Doctor, and her friend.  She was married to Diego Rivera and wanted desperately to have his child and it just would never be.  What got me about the article is that a lot of her personal items are on display at a badass museum in Mexico, and all of her work is very painful and autobiographical... but these letters that she wrote about her infertile experience, even after Diego Rivera died he left instructions that they were not to be shared for years and years after his death (and obviously, hers).  I'm fascinated by the fact that she put everything of herself out there in her art and for people to see (which is why I love her), and yet how hurt she was about not having children was something she felt was HERS.

Last weekend when I was up in the mountains with my Mom, we watched DVDs in our cabin.  One we watched was "Julie & Julia".  (Love the movie... Have different feelings about the book I'm sorry to say).

ANYHOO.  As we all know Meryl Streep (legal name I'm sure is "Meryl Fucking Streep, Ya'll") plays Julia Child.  The last time I saw this movie must have been right before boarding the train to Infertileville.

Julia Child wanted children and it never happened.  There are a couple of small moments in the movie where she passes a baby carriage and has to brace herself. There was one part in particular I must have seen before but again didn't file in the 'keep this' part of my brain.

Julia Child gets a letter from her sister announcing that she's pregnant.  She bursts into tears (Meryl Fucking Streep, Ya'll) and while sobbing manages to blurt out "I'm just so happy!".  Her husband just puts his arm around her and solemnly says "I know".

Two seconds in an otherwise pretty fluffy movie, but I thought 'wow... I've played out some variation of this scene a million times'.  (MFS, Y).

So yes, this year Mother's Day managed to knock me down for once... somehow my one miscarriage has made dancing-bear impossible a few days of the year.

After I had my tears in the shower and started thinking about why this year there are tears.. I thought about my miscarriage, these miscarriage references I've seen the last couple of weeks that probably put my tears into motion, and about Saturday, meeting a couple of real life, in the flesh, badass infertiles.

And I was comforted.  I had a good solid three hours of feeling nothing but horribly sorry for myself, and then I found comfort.  I'm comforted because I'm not the only one who is not a Mother's day fan.  I'm comforted because the occasional burst of tears is good for the soul.  I'm comforted because women are not just expressing their feelings on the subject now, but have been doing so long before computers through art and through handwritten letters.  I'm comforted because I now live in a time when all I have to do is pop online and find thousands of other women shaking their fists and rolling their eyes in May.  Most of all I'm comforted because if you're going to be in the shitty Mother's day club, at least we can say what a bunch of badass, fascinating bitches to be in a club with.

Friday, May 10, 2013

A Rant from an Adoptee

It's Friiiiiday!

Is anyone there?  I know on the weekends the blogosphere becomes the field the day after the carnival ends... Not quite as fun as you remember it being, full of rotten caramel apples and scary carnies.

A little something horrifying in the spirit of a carnival:

(Taken from this gem of an article: 38 Baby Shower Cakes Made from Nightmares)

Seeing as how it's probably pretty quiet, here, apart from sharing the cake that I will absolutely be taking with me to the next party I'm invited to (note I said party, and not necessarily baby shower) I would like to take this opportunity to vent a little.

Today I went to the gym with the fabulous glitter shitting gay husband known as Mr. T, and we followed that up with eating at a restaurant called "More Than Waffles".  (Not just waffles, ya'll.. More than waffles).  Over our surprisingly waffleless plates we got into a discussion about adoption, as this is one of the options Mr. T and his husband are considering in the not-so-distant future.  I was mostly piping in about how if I were a birthmom, I would totes be hunting down the liberal gay dudes in a sea of heterosexual white couples.

Yesterday I was directed via Twitter (talk about an online carnival) to a lovely, informative article about adoption on an adoption website.. Coming home today, adoption on the brain, I perused the website again and came across an article that made me squirm a little bit.

The jist:  it's written by an adoptee, and it discusses the trauma that all adoptees experience from being adopted.  How we all experience a fear of abandonment, have rejection issues, and will spend our childhoods overcompensating by either acting out or blending in.  The writer is an adoptee, he has some research to back his statements up, and while I'm not in agreement with everything that he said he delivers it in a kindhearted, open way.

I'm an adoptee, ya'll.  I am surprisingly uninformed about how many adoption websites, articles, etc. there are.  One of these days I'll write about my adoption story and meeting my birthparents, but frankly I keep forgetting that it's interesting to anyone - that's how much of a non-issue it is for me.  Perusing around the interwebs today and seeing how much stuff there is on the subject is a bit like overhearing someone talking about you... what you hear is either going to make you feel wonderful or shitty, not a whole lot of room in between.

Apart from my very strong feelings about telling adopted children they are adopted in a positive way, before they're even old enough to understand what that means (please, pretty please with sugar on top) I usually don't have too many loud opinions about it. Am I stoked about being the subject of many horror movies and the idea that being an orphan gives me an interesting edge from birth?  Yes. I don't feel like I need to talk about it all the time, and I also don't have any problem talking about it whenever it comes up.  I'm totes in the middle, ya'll.

The article made me squirm a bit (I feel like it may accidentally send the message 'you're signing up for a problem child!') but some of the comments made me full on clench my fists.

Particularly one from a birthmother... Now, she must have had a very terrible experience, but she says that 90% of adoptions are 'unnecessary', that adoption agencies are money-grubbers who work only with the interests of their 'infertile clients', and that there are no tests or hoops to weed out alcoholics or pedophiles most of the time. (Cause you know, if you're a pedophile, quickest route to a child is adoption!  So simple!)

(Taken from this gem of an article that made me pee my pants).

Cue head exploding.

I am in a particularly unique position to respond to this, because I am both an adult adoptee and an infertile.

First, I know a million adopted people, none of whom - regardless of whether their adoptive parents ended up divorcing, or if they grew up wishing to find their birth parents - think of their adoption as 'unnecessary'.  That is... insulting.

Second, as an infertile I resent the picture that I'm some sort of subfertile asshat whose desire is to hire a fancy attorney to coax an unwilling baby from a saintly fertiles arms.  I feel I can safely speak for the infertile community in saying that by the time you're looking to adopt, you've jumped through plenty of hoops and are absolutely at the mercy of everyone else involved - power is not something that you have.  (And sidenote - my Mom was perfectly fertile, she chose to adopt thankyouverymuch).

Considering I'm adopted and I've gone through years of infertility treatments, I think I have been asked a few more times than the average bear - in timid ways and in accusatory ways - 'why don't I just adopt'.  For the record, the idea of having someone genetically related to me that I see every day, seems like science fiction.  I want to experience it.  Rare is the adoptee who adopts, an unadopted person can say to themselves 'I had genetic siblings and parents - genetics don't mean anything'.  I know that, I do, but I would like to experience it - and that's not even really a point that needs to be made. Having been adopted and raised by the most loving people on the planet, and having been an infertile, my feeling is that everyone has a right to build their family in the way that they see fit, and if they end up adopting, they need to come to it naturally and be super stoked about it.

I resent the implication that I am in some way 'defective'.  That they did a study about people like me, and have reached the conclusion that I have 100% either spent my life behaving badly or behaving too kindly.  I think we can all agree here that I'm a bit of a grab bag just like any other human being on the planet.

No one has 'studied' me.  No one has sat down and asked me about my adoption experience and compiled it for scientific data.  And until someone does talk to every single adoptee on the planet, I have to say that I find most 'statistics' about what I'm 'like' to be about as useful as reading my horoscope.  Sure, some capricorns are going to find it wildly insightful and applicable, others are going to find it to be a giant hunk of horseshit.  It's one fat generalization about a huge group of people who happen to have been born in similar conditions.

So I just wanted to state very clearly for any women who have adopted, are thinking about adopting or have it on the 'someday' backburner - you are no more likely to get a defective human being by adopting than you would by giving birth to your 'own'.

I am so sick - so sick! - of reading things all over the internet about how if you adopt a child, if you end up with an autistic child, if you don't breastfeed your child (which by the way is insulting to adoptees), if you don't chew through the cord at a water birth, that you're just going to be royally fucked with this tragic mess of a human being.

I'm adopted.  I'm married to an autistic person.  No one breast fed me.  To the question of whether or not I'll be making you all shampoo out of my future placenta, put me down for no.  If you're signing onto motherhood in hopes that you're going to make a perfect person, you're in for a world of surprises.  Show me a person who's not a little weird, who has no damage, and I'll show you someone who can't be trusted.  Serial killers are usually the beige people smiling all the time, kids.

That all being said - if you adopt are you going to have someone with rejection issues?

Yes.  It's icky to even write that, but from my experience, yes you are.

Every adoption story is different.  One day I'll find the right words to maybe explain it on here, but I can say as an adoptee that children most definitely, in utero, come out with a sense of whether they were wanted or unwanted. (I was wanted - my birthmom was just unable to mother me.  I know adoptees who have the same feeling, and I know adoptees who have known since birth that they would not be welcomed should they go looking their birthmother up.  It differs).

Being adopted is being the perfect experiment in the genetics vs. environment debate.  From my experience, the answer 60% of the time is environment, 30% of the time both, and 10% genetics.

I am extremely uncomfortable with any website - regardless of studies to back it up, regardless of whether it's authored by 10 thousand psychologists or 10 thousand carnies - who make any generalizations about all adoptees.  Again, I know a gajillion of them and they are all different.

The only general conclusions I have reached about adoptees is that yes, we'll all have some degree of a rejection issue, some tiny some huge.  We're born out of some kind of loss.  (And I'm even anxious to write that just as my experience, because I'm sure there's a person out there who doesn't have any rejection issue.. I just haven't met them).

All that means is that we need that hug for a few seconds longer, we need to be reminded sometimes when someone declines something of us that it's not a rejection of who we are as people.  That's it.  That's the issue.

But fuck me... there are plenty of unadopted adults who have that.  There are plenty of unadopted adults who have been rejected by their biological parents.  There are plenty of unadopted adults who act crazy rebellious as teenagers, who have to lock and unlock their door three times before they can leave their house, who have to look at their toilet paper after they wipe, who are incapable of being nice to anyone who serves them, etc. etc. etc.  At least with adoption, you'll know from the get-go what 'problem' it is that you're signing up for.

If what you're looking for is a perfect human, you don't want to be a Mom, you want to be God.  And that's all there is to it.

PS - on an unrelated note, lookie lookie!  I'm on BlogHer!  INTERNET FAMOUS.