March 10, 2012

A lesson in flexibility

I copied this out of a book several years ago.  Found the scrap of paper in the move, and wanted to put it somewhere more permanent – also so I could throw the paper away.  Also, its relevance never dissipates; only the situation that comes to mind changes.

Actual radio conversation released by chief of naval operations in 1995:

No. 1: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the North to avoid a collision.

No. 2: Recommend you divert your course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.

No. 1: This is the Captain of a U.S. Navy ship.  I say again, divert your course.

No. 2: I say again, you divert your course.

No. 1. This is the aircraft carrier Enterprise.  We are a large warship of the U.S. Navy.  Divert your course now!

No. 2: This is a lighthouse.  Your call.


March 7, 2012

Like thieves in the night.

In the middle of January, we decided we were going to see out our lease at our apartment (which was up in the end of February), and move to a bigger, better place.  Not like a house, like a two-bedroom apartment, somewhere that felt less like we were living in a frat house (hundreds of college kids and their large dogs in our complex…  it was never quiet, and I am almost 30 and too old for this), somewhere more central to my job and Doug’s job.  We were actually really excited about the prospect of moving; it felt like, for the first time in our four-year relationship, we were going to be able to afford something a little nicer than a downstairs-one-bedroom-apartment-in-a-giant-faceless-complex.  Then I got my annual bonus, Doug got a bonus, and Doug got a huge raise (going from $12/hour to over 15 – I think it was a clerical error).  I started dreaming about working four days a week instead of five; I started dreaming of writing a book…

Then Doug lost his job.

I’m not gonna lie: my world crashed down.  I spent the first few days in shock, telling no one at work but my bosses.  The company, which ended up cutting more than two-thirds of their personnel, gave Doug a decent severance package: six weeks’ worth of pay at the new rate.  He was optimistic, talking about how if he found a job right away, he would effectively get paid double for those six weeks.

But that isn’t what happened.  Instead of actively looking for work, he replied to a few craigslist ads, then sat around the apartment playing Castleville.  Somehow (mostly at Disneyland and in denial), we blew through both our bonuses and his severance by like the fourth week.  By the fifth week, we had decided that, instead of upgrading our living situation, we were going to move in with my parents for a while.  We still had a few more weeks – until today, in fact, March 7th – to gather up our stuff and move, a little at a time.

Then one day – it was a Monday, two weeks ago – while Doug was at my parents’ house dropping off some boxes of DVDs, he got a call from one of the companies whose craigslist ad he’d replied to several weeks prior.  They asked if he was still looking for work, and set up an interview for the following morning.  By Tuesday afternoon, he was hired.  He started on Thursday, so we spent all day Wednesday looking for a new apartment – and found nothing.  On Saturday, we tried again, and found a complex we liked, but the available units weren’t going to be ready for us to see until Tuesday.  So on Tuesday, while Doug was at work, I went by myself, looked at a unit, and made the decision that – with a week left until we were homeless – we were going to live there.  On Thursday (less than a week ago now), I came back and signed the lease.  We moved over the weekend, most of the packing included, threw away half our furniture (the old, broken, hand-me-down stuff), and stacked all our stuff, in its boxes, suitcases, and piles, on the living room floor.  We didn’t even attempt to clean our old apartment, a decision totally worth the $100 it means will get taken out of our deposit return.  We are cleaning, sorting, and organizing our stuff as we unpack it.

If that sounds hectic and confusing, it’s because it was.

Here are some details, about Doug’s job…

  • He’s doing the same sort of work as he was at the last place: shipping and receiving.
  • The company makes home security surveillance equipment (little cameras) (spyware), the live feed of which can be viewed on your personal computer/tablet/smart phone.
  • The ad had said that, depending on experience, they were willing to pay this person anywhere from $12-15/hour.  Doug interviewed so well – evidently telling his superiors some insider tips about shipping and receiving that even they were unaware of – that he was hired at 15.
  • The office is, ironically, located up by my parents’ house, almost 30 miles from here.  But the company’s lease is up at the end of this month, and they plan on moving further south.

…and about our new place:

  • It’s an upstairs, two-bedroom, corner unit, in a small complex that resembles a motel.  I’m really into the motel thing, for anyone who doesn’t know of my thing for Motel 6.
  • It’s still much closer to my work than Doug’s but we’re now just off the freeway – like, one of the real San Diego freeways, not sandwiched between two small and stupid ones like we were before – making my commute no longer (took me 8 minutes at 4:30 a.m.), and Doug’s much quicker.
  • It’s freezing.  Seriously.  Whereas our old apartment trapped the heat, this one seems to repel it.  Doug says it’s because we’re now in the valley, and heat rises.
  • The complex was built in the 70s, and our kitchen has no dishwasher.  When I first realized this, I thought I’d made a terrible mistake – I thought, if Doug had been here with me, he would’ve vetoed the place based on that.  But he insists it’ll be okay, that we can learn to go without.  And maybe he’s right.  For the last three days that we’ve been living here, I have been very good about washing dishes as I go.  I really hope it lasts, and that I can train Doug, who, so far, has not washed one single dish.
  • We took the smaller of the two bedrooms to sleep in, and are turning the larger one into our office/bike storage space/rabbit room/coffee house.  No reason to have just a bed and a dresser in a giant room – we only use our bedroom for sleeping and sex anyway – while all that other stuff gets crammed into a small space.  This was my idea.  If you ask Doug, he’ll tell you it was his.

Slowly but surely, we are turning the mess in our living room into a space we can be proud of.  That’s the goal, anyway: no more bachelor pad, no more hand-me-down furniture.  I am almost 30.  I want to have people over without being embarrassed at the state of things.  It’s time.

February 23, 2012

Owning it

So it looks like I’m depressed.

I’m okay-as-long-as-I’m-distracted-but-left-to-my-own-devices-cripplingly-unable-to-leave-my-apartment depressed.  Which is fine, I have my reasons: Doug’s been out of work for the past several weeks (thankfully started a new job today); my close friend just lost her baby, which has done a number on everyone in our circle; we have less than two weeks to be out of our current apartment and haven’t found a new place yet…  Things are hard.

The problem is, I don’t want to do anything.  I don’t even want to write this post.  I just want to lean on my friends to bring me out of the depths in, like, half-hour increments.  And I want to lie in my bed and read, and I want to take baths, and I want to watch movies, and I want to sew.  That’s about as exciting as it gets.

Actually, work is the best thing for me right now, because it puts me in a building full of friends to distract me.  But even there, the balance is so fragile – one thing going wrong can throw off my whole day, so much more easily than it usually would.

Fuck this.

It’s all so unfortunately familiar, too.  Like, I know what this is, and I know that I just have to ride the episode out – like a cold.  There are things to dull the symptoms, but the cure is just time.  It’s frustrating.

I have a lot to catch up on here (since before Christmas!), and hopefully I will soon.  For now, I figure, this – this tiny little post that says nothing but explains everything – is a start.

November 11, 2011

Punctuation Mark.

Because Mo says I can’t post this to my facebook wall for everyone to watch.

November 10, 2011

Cheapening the Institution since 2007

A little backstory:

Ava was my all-time best friend in high school.  We were inseparable.  We were on the newspaper staff together; we bought Christmas trees together; we got caught shoplifting together.  My friendship with her was my first romantic friendship – you know, the kind of friendship that’s so close that you share a bed and cuddle, you hurt when the other person hurts, you learn what it’s like to really love someone with your whole heart and soul.  The kind of friendship that prepares you for the kind of relationship you’ll eventually have with a partner, when you’ll learn to love with your whole heart, soul, and body as well.

After high school, Ava and I grew apart.  I think we’d always had different personalities, and going our separate ways after graduation enhanced them.  She joined a sorority and became even more of a socialite, taking after her beautiful, strong-willed mother.  I hunkered down with my reading and writing, confirmed my guess that I valued closeness and connection more than the party atmosphere college offers, and meanwhile explored the wilder side of myself by participating in Rocky Horror on weekends.  But history and that deep-rooted love kept us connected; we wrote real letters and sent care packages, and saw each other when we were both in our hometown.

By the time I was getting married the first time, I didn’t have much regular interaction with Ava, but I remember the moment that I was trying to decide which of my eight (!!!) bridesmaids should be my maid of honor, and in the end I realized I couldn’t imagine it being anyone but her.*

Fast forward:

I get married; I get un-married.  Ava and I meet for coffee on Thanksgiving morning in the midst of it all, and she expresses her shock and lack of understanding.  I try to explain everything as best I can.  A few months later, she comes over for breakfast one morning while visiting another friend in Seattle, and shortly after sends me a care package with a nice letter saying she’s never seen me so happy [as I am with Doug].  Overall, we are back to that place of grown-apart like we were in college.  Then Ava’s mom gets terminal cancer.  I attend the funeral, which I heard about through mutual friends.  Ava is moving from LA to Oregon with her fiancé, and I tell her I want us to keep in touch by writing real letters.  She seems to love the idea, but in practice, it kind of falls through.

End of backstory.

*Actually, I had two maids of honor because my ex wanted two best men.  But you get the idea.

Real story:

I knew Ava was getting married, and I figured I wasn’t going to be involved.  Which was fine; I’m not planning on involving her in the wedding I’m currently planning either.  But then I started thinking I wasn’t going to be invited to her wedding either.  Facebook had told me it was going to be a destination wedding, so I just thought fine, maybe it’s a small private thing.  And not being invited would save me feeling obligated to travel, to plan another trip around another wedding.

Then, a few months ago, she called me, out of the blue, in what she called “crisis-mode.”  She had gone to a work conference, had spent the weekend flirting with some stranger, and had, at the end of the last night, kissed him.  She didn’t know what this meant for her current relationship, didn’t know whether or not to tell her fiancé, didn’t know if this was a sign of things to come – was she really the type of person who couldn’t be monogamous (because, she says, of how much she loves flirting and the thrill of the chase and the first kiss)?  In short, did she make an honest, one-time mistake, or was she really a cheating piece-of-shit?

Oh, and she emphasized, she was calling me, in this panic, in the middle of the workday, because I was the only one she could talk to about this.

Because I am, most likely, the only other cheating piece-of-shit she knows.

“So she’s using you,” another high school friend surmised when I told her about this conversation, and about the fact that I presumed I wasn’t invited to the wedding.  I laughed it off.

But the wedding was last weekend.  While I was trying on dresses, Ava was getting married.  And I wasn’t there, but other friends were, their photos and congratulations popping up in my facebook news feed.  And suddenly, this thing that had not been bothering me for the past year, started to bother me.  A lot.

And then, all these pieces seemed to fit into place.

Why is it that it’s okay to call me when – and only when – she finds herself dealing with this crisis, doubting and questioning her decision to enter into something permanent, wanting my advice, my estimation as to whether she was about to make the same mistakes I made, as to whether she was similarly flawed…  and then to not only not invite me to the wedding, but to offer no apology or explanation or even a simple admission of the fact that she wasn’t inviting me to the wedding?

What could possibly, simultaneously, get me on to the fidelity crisis hotline list and off of the wedding guest list?

Maybe the fact that I failed at marriage?

Maybe the idea that my being present at her holy matrimony would somehow make it less holy?  After all, my wedding was a show and my marriage was a joke.  I mean, would you invite Kim Kardasian to your wedding?  I wouldn’t.

It makes sense, doesn’t it?  That a shallow, self-centered person might make this kind of rationalization?

I’ve talked to several friends about this, and my therapist, and my mom.  All of them have tried to provide alternate reasons why I didn’t get an invite – the wedding was small; she didn’t want me to have to make the trip; she would feel guilty having me there because I know her secret…

But I have formulated my theory on why things happened the way they did, and no one is going to change my mind: I was not invited to Ava’s wedding because Ava thought it would make her look bad to have me, a young divorcée with a huge marriage mistake in her past, at her wedding.

In a way, it’s easier for me to stick with this assumption.  Because I may have a lot of judgments about myself on this front, but they are not so strong that I can’t ultimately arrive at “fuck that bitch” and feel justified in saying so.  And even if her exact reasoning was different, the way she handled it (as in, not at all) allows me to draw the same conclusion.  It allows me to give up on a friendship that was quite possibly over ten years ago, but that I, with my overactive sense of loyalty and connection, was trying to keep afloat.  I saw a quote recently that said something along the lines of, “When you’re making more deposits into a friendship than you are getting withdrawals, it’s time to close the account,” and I feel like that’s appropriate here.

It sucks, though.

It sucks to be this angry and sad and kind of offended when I want to not care at all.  It sucks to feel, once again, like I fucked things up for myself forever on some level with a decision I made  – ultimately the right one, just done the wrong way – years ago.  It sucks to be reminded that while I cannot go back and change the things I’m not proud of in my past, those things have changed me, and my life, forever.

November 6, 2011

I bought a dress, and other scary commitments.

Yesterday, I went wedding dress shopping with my mom, Dawn, and Amanda – not to buy, just to try on.  I had decided, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that my coffee shop wedding needed a retro-looking, A-line, tea-length dress.  So I went in wanting to try on one dress.  This one:

However, despite the dress being listed as “in-store only,” the store we went to didn’t have it.  Not even one floor model in a giant size they would have had to take in with clothespins in order for me to “try it on.”  So I decided to try on other short, A-line dresses instead.

Meanwhile, my mom and Dawn were looking at long, fancy, mermaid-style (curve-hugging) dresses.  Dawn keeps insisting that we need to glam up the casual setting with things like passed hors-d’oeuvres and…  I don’t know what else.  Long, fancy dresses, I guess.

We were in the bridal shop for over two hours, and by the end of it, one of the shift supervisors was ready to kick us out.  I probably tried on about 25 dresses and found, much to my dismay, that none of the shorter dresses made me feel remotely like a bride; I looked at myself in the mirror and might as well have been picking out a dress for a high school dance.

(And I’m glad I was able to make that distinction, to stand up on that carpeted podium and say, “I deserve to feel like a bride.”  Part of me still holds this wedding up against the last one; part of me still thinks I don’t deserve anything this time, because I got everything last time, and I fucked it all up.  But then, I have to remind myself: This is a different wedding.  A different groom.  A different me.)

At the end of the afternoon, one of the dresses – picked by the bridal consultant based on what Dawn and my mom were asking for – stood out.  It stood out so much that I tried it on twice.  It was nothing like what I’d pictured myself in when I pictured this wedding day: it was long, fitted, and completely covered in lace and beads.  But somehow, I could see it, this romantic, vintage-looking dress at my romantic, 19th-century-coffee-shop wedding.

And, of course, it was being discontinued; the floor model was the last one; and they could only hold it for me for one day.  No pressure, though.

Then last night, I couldn’t sleep.  How could I make a decision about this dress when I had only tried on dresses from one shop?  We hadn’t even gone real-life vintage shopping yet, to look for our diamond-in-the-haystack (as Dawn put it, because she’s Korean and there’s no such thing as euphemisms in her culture, she says).  And I kept looking at the pictures of me wearing the dress, that Amanda had taken on my mom’s camera, and all I could think was that I hate my current hair color, and I hate the right side of my face, and the lighting was bad, and I was wearing a stupid veil.  And I had 24 hours to decide.

It was two or three in the morning, and no one was awake to hash this thing out with me.  I woke up Doug.

And then I did something I wasn’t supposed to do.

Doug said we didn’t have to tell anyone I’d shown him the pictures, but honestly, I don’t care.  I’m edging in on 30, this is my second wedding, and I’ll ignore whatever stupid traditions I feel like ignoring.  And he’s my best friend, my partner in everything, and the only opinion I care about in this matter is his.

And he had vetoed all things tea-length immediately after I mentioned the words “homecoming dress.”  But this dress, even in those horribly lit pictures that showcase my horrible hair color, he loved.

By that point, I was wired, and not likely to fall asleep even though I was feeling more comfortable with the decision I had to make.  So we stayed up talking.  And somehow, once again, we got on the subject of what I’m calling “play passes” – basically, opening our relationship up to one-night stands, to mollify the scary prospect of sleeping with just one person for the rest of forever.

It’s me, asking for this – or not really asking for it, because it seems complicated and in many ways unsatisfying, but I’m feeling it out as an idea.  And every time it comes up, I hit up against the brick wall of this fact: Doug does not worry about the scary prospect of sleeping with just one person for the rest of forever.  He doesn’t wonder what it would be like to hook up with this coworker or that stranger or those friends.  He doesn’t develop fleeting crushes on inappropriate, unavailable people like I still do.  From what he says, from what he insists on, he’s not just choosing to practice monogamy for the good our relationship; he’s actually 100% happy being monogamous.

It blows my mind.

And Doug won’t budge on the issue, and the more I bring it up, the more insecure I’m making him – the more of my own insecurities I’m heaping onto him, really.  It’s not that I want to sleep around, or that I have some insatiable sex drive, but I’m fixated on the idea of setting up this “out” because I don’t trust myself.  Because I’ve cheated before – just the once, but I’m stuck on that old adage of “once a cheater, always a cheater,” and the possibility that this could be true of me terrifies me.  So I’m trying to find a way to nip it in the bud; to make it okay for me to act on those silly crushes, or make mistakes, without being held so damn accountable, without having to enter cheating-piece-of-shit territory ever again.

But then, I have to remind myself: This will be a different marriage.  A different husband.  A different me.

This afternoon, Yumi, my bridesmaid who couldn’t make it to the dress party yesterday, texted me to ask how I was feeling about the not-at-all-what-I-thought-I-wanted-but-somehow-ended-up-as-the-favorite dress after having slept on the idea.  I told her I was still scared to pull the trigger, but that I was probably going to.

“So you LOVE it?” she asked.  “And you know it’s the one?”

“Nah,” I texted back.  “Doug is the one.  This is just a pretty dress.”

And then I bought it.

Oh, here’s your preview:


November 1, 2011

Wedding Planning vs. Marriage Planning: T-minus 10 months

At the request of a handful of my already small handful of readers, and perhaps at the request of my sanity, I’m going to start devoting at least part of this blog to the monster known as wedding planning.

But what I also want to focus on, something not as mainstream or seemingly pressing as choosing a caterer or picking a color palette, is marriage planning.

Because a wedding is one day, and a marriage is a lifetime, and guess which one gets all the attention in the months leading up to it?

Not by this girl; I’ve made that mistake before.

So with exactly ten months left to go before the big day, that is the day when Doug and I officially commit to spending the rest of our lives together, here’s where I’m at in the processes.

Wedding Planning

We finally chose a location – actually, we finally finalized the location I’d chosen before we were even officially engaged.  It’s a little coffee shop, built in an old train station building, along the coast.  It’s a stop on one of my and Doug’s (and my dad’s and my brother’s and Amanda’s) bike routes, so it holds a lot of meaning for us as a couple.  And it’s not an all-inclusive, hotel ballroom deal – with our $2000 netting us just the space, a barista, and a day-of coordinator, this is going to be only slightly less DIY than a backyard wedding.  And I am – and I think my bridesmaid team now is too – excited and inspired.

The Pannikin, complete with a cyclist out front

We’ve talked about the option of having the ceremony at a nearby park overlooking the beach, so that we can maximize our time at the Pannikin for the reception.  That decision doesn’t have to be made until March 1st, which is the earliest we can turn in an application to the city for use of the park.

And now that the big location question has been answered, my team (consisting of my two bridesmaids, my sister, and a far-away friend who just really seems to like weddings) has been going nuts with questions and design ideas, for things I’m not even ready to think about yet.  I came home from Disneyland the other night and literally had a dozen emails from them – including the one who had been at the park with me – how did she do that?!, bouncing links back and forth, and trying to figure out when the best times would be for us all to get together to go dress shopping.

I wanted to scream, but instead tried to calmly answer all the emails, because I need these girls’ help; I value the heck out of their enthusiasm; and there will come a time for all this detail stuff, so I might as well start filing the good ideas now.

And I know that much of my resistance to what seems to be so thrilling for everyone around me, is that I’m feeling really overwhelmed in general right now.  Which brings me to…

Marriage Planning

Lately, I’ve been incredibly, stupidly busy.  Part of this is my own fault, for taking on a few too many extra-curriculars (stationary trainer bike class, Christmas choir); part of it is work being extra demanding, and a little bit (certifiably) insane, as we approach the holiday season; part of it is me just trying to have a social life in the face of all this.

But what suffers as a result is my relationship.  Doug and I sleep next to each other every night, and go places together to put in the requisite face-time with our families and friends, but lately it feels like we never see each other.  We’re disconnected.  And I, as a result of that disconnect, have been exhibiting signs of depression: wanting to quit everything, hiding in my dark apartment on days when Doug works and I don’t, finding it hard to force a smile, finding myself increasingly drawn to certain bright and shiny aspects of my younger life*.

This will not do.  We can’t live like roommates, passing in the night.  Relationships are about connection, about being on the same page.  For me, this is as simple as spending an evening or two together doing nothing significant – playing board games, watching a movie, eating cheese and crackers and fruit and calling it dinner.  Another friend told me that for her and her boyfriend, it’s even simpler: being in the same room, reading or working independently, is their sweetest form of connection.

Really, I’m not asking for a lot here.

So for the last week or two, Doug and I have been trying to carve out this time.  And it’s happening late at night, on nights when I don’t have to open the next morning.  I figure this is good practice for “after the kids are asleep,” but it does seem kind of unfortunate that it’s all we can get right now, when we have no kids.

At least it’s something.  This week feels better than last week, and that’s saying a lot.

*But that last one could be the season, too.  It happens, to some extent, around Halloween every year.

October 24, 2011

Not-Penny’s Baby Shower

(For my friends/family reading this: some of my blog friends are throwing another one of our friends a virtual baby shower today.  We will return to your not-s0-regularly scheduled blogging, um, a different day.)

When I first started writing Bakery Closed, I was writing it for myself and for my friends and family.  I wasn’t particularly interested in networking with other bloggers, because I honestly believed there were no other bloggers like me.  (And there truly aren’t – I was in a place of waiting, not ready to start a family, but still hurting from my miscarriage; most of the other bloggers I’ve met are in a place of doing, trying again, going through infertility treatments, or looking toward adoption.)

Well, despite my resistance, the other bloggers found me.  And one of the first to do so was a girl by the name of Yolk (who now goes by Elphaba).  I wasn’t looking for stranger-friends, but I decided not to categorically reject them either.  And Yolk turned out to be fun, funny, sarcastic, and so eloquent about the hurt/jealousy/bitterness/crazy we were both living in.  I thought I had found my exact Canadian double (and yes, it still shocks me every time I see a picture of her and re-discover that she’s not white like I am).

When Yolk succeeded in getting pregnant (because, unlike me, she was actually trying), I wasn’t quite ready for her to be pregnant yet.  I worried that I would lose this great ally, that she would become one of the squealy, obnoxious fertiles.

Eight months later, I’m glad to say that that didn’t really happen.  All that really did happen, was that Yolk had an ongoing argument with her husband about wanting to name the baby girl Penelope, and she painted some stuff pink.  She was the same fun, funny, sarcastic, eloquent, brown Canadian girl – she just also happened to be pregnant.  And it’s so good to know that people aren’t as fickle and changeable as all that.

But now it’s time for Yolk not to be pregnant anymore.  So, without further ado:

To the baby girl who will not be named Penelope,

Welcome to the world, little one.  We’ve all been waiting for you for a long time – your mommy and daddy especially.

It’s kind of a scary place out here, and can be really hard to navigate, but if you’re lucky, you’ll find some amazing people to help you along the way.  Or if you’re really lucky, they’ll find you.

I’m making you something, a gift from me and Mo.  You are going to be early, and it’s going to be late, but I think that’s okay.  We’ve got lots of time.

Love, Mommy’s white American friend

Not-Penny's very late baby gift

September 29, 2011

Real-life fajitas

Last night, I was in charge of dinner.  I had asked Doug if he had any ideas, jumping off points, or particular cravings, and he had told me to start with the bag of chicken tenders in our freezer.  So I decided to make fajitas.

I used to make chicken fajitas all the time when I was living in the UK with my ex.  Mexican food fixings are hard to come by out there, and my ex refused to eat most vegetables, but somehow fajitas were doable on both counts.  So even though I couldn’t exactlyremember the recipe I used to use, I’m pretty confident in my fajita-making ability.

I had the chicken at home already, but I had to buy everything else: tortillas, onion, peppers, lemon, cilantro, sour cream, and salsa.  I was smart enough to pull some of the chicken out of the freezer and put it in a ziploc bag to thaw.  Then I took a nap.

I woke up thinking I had an hour and a half until Doug was going to get home, but it turns out I was reading the clock wrong and only had half an hour.  This meant that for the first time ever (in the brief history of me cooking dinners around here), I didn’t cook obscenely early and then sit around waiting while the food all got cold.

So here’s what I did:

I put the thawed chicken in a bowl with some olive oil, the juice from the lemon, some crushed garlic, and a bunch of chili powder.  I mixed it around then let it sit while I cut the onion and peppers into strips, tore up some cilantro, and set that all aside in another bowl.  Then I heated up a big pan and dumped the chicken/marinade into it.  It sizzled and splattered and messed up my clean stovetop.

Once the chicken was cooked, I pulled the pieces out with tongs, then dumped the veggies into the pan and stirred them around in what was left of the marinade.  Then I turned the heat down to low, put a cover on the pan, and cut the chicken into little pieces.  Then I waited while the vegetables steamed.  Then I put it all back together.  Then Doug came home and we ate it.

Halfway through the meal, Doug said, “This is good, honey.  What frozen bag did you use?”

“The frozen bag of chicken?”  I said.  “From our freezer?  Like you asked me to?  Then I cut up some vegetables and put it all in some stuff and cooked it?”

“Wait, you made this?!  Now I’m even more impressed!”

I wasn’t sure whether to be complimented or insulted.  I chose complimented.  I chose to laugh.

September 17, 2011

We interrupt this program…

I feel the need to do one throwback post to Bakery Closed.  But I’m posting it here, because that blog is done.  And I’m relying on the assumption that most of the people reading this blog followed me from that blog.  Yes?  Good.

I read a statistic once – it was on someone else’s blog, and wasn’t cited, but I chose to believe it was a statistical fact anyway – that it takes three years to heal from a miscarriage (and, incidentally, seven for a stillbirth).

Yesterday was that day.

September 16, 2008, I checked in for the D&C that would put an end to my doomed pregnancy.  I have no desire to tell that story again.  What I want to tell you, is this:

A few weeks ago, Doug and I were going to Target to pick up a Christmas present (never too early!) for our nephew Andrew.  And, as we were getting out of the car in the parking lot, I finally voiced something that has been formulating in me since we got engaged.

“I’ve been thinking…  Let’s not lose the condoms two months before the wedding and run the risk of me having morning sickness on our wedding day.  Let’s not lie to the OB and get me on Clomid the day we get married, so we can make a baby right away.  Let’s just…  you know, let’s be married first.  Let’s enjoy that, without me having to feel like a crazy person and crying every time I get a period.*  So what if we just lose the condoms ON our wedding night, then give it a year, and see what happens before I go rushing in begging for fertility drugs?”

Doug, of course, loved the idea.  He’s into any idea that involves me not acting crazy.  It also means lots of unprotected sex, since I don’t ovulate regularly enough for us to just have the “on-purpose” kind.  What guy is going to say no?

Here’s the thing, though.  If you had told me three years ago (or two, or one), that I would ever agree to, let alone formulate, any plan that didn’t involve “Baby! Now!”, I would have glared at you and probably blocked you on facebook like I was doing to all the fertiles.  As far as I was concerned, the only thing that could ever make me feel better about everything I’d been through was going to be a healthy pregnancy.  And therefore, I was just biding my time; marriage was going to be my vehicle to pregnancy, not something that could itself be enjoyed and celebrated.

So what changed?

Well, it seems that all that time I was biding was doing some work of its own.  They say time heals all wounds, but we never want to believe it when we’re the ones wounded, do we?  It’s the only explanation I can come up with, though.  Not so long ago, I was planning on cheating on my birth control and cheating on my OB exam, so that I could get to Baby! Baby! Baby! as soon as humanly (and medically) possible.  And now…  I never thought I’d say it, but:

I’m in no rush.

*I actually don’t get periods very often, but you (and he) get the idea.